The following changes were introduced in Tails 3.12:

  • New installation methods
    • For macOS, the new method is much simpler as it uses a graphical tool (Etcher) instead of the command line.
    • For Windows, the new method is much faster as it doesn't require 2 USB sticks and an intermediary Tails anymore. The resulting USB stick also works better on newer computers with UEFI.
    • For Debian and Ubuntu, the new method uses a native application (GNOME Disks) and you don't have to install Tails Installer anymore.
    • For other Linux distributions, the new method is faster as it doesn't require 2 USB sticks and an intermediary Tails anymore.
  • Starting Tails should be a bit faster on most machines. (#15915)
  • Tell users to use sudo when they try to use su on the command line.
  • Fix the black screen when starting Tails with some Intel graphics cards. (#16224)


  • A bunch of Foundations Team members had a sprint focused on porting Tails to Debian 10 (Buster). For details, see the full report.

Documentation and website

User experience

Hot topics on our help desk

The month started with this questions:

  1. Black screen after the boot menu with Intel GPU (i915)
  2. Partially applied incremental upgrades cause all kinds of trouble

But after the release of Tails 3.12, the hottest topics were:

  1. Regression on some Intel GPU (Braswell, Kaby Lake)
  2. Electrum Phishing Attack - Upstream Fix Committed


  • Our infrastructure was targeted by a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack that caused a couple of temporary outages. We're discussing ways to protect ourselves in the future.

  • We kept polishing the automated test suite for Additional Software and hope it will be merged in time for the next Tails release.

  • We kept investigating options to make our CI faster, shorten the development feedback loop, and thus make our developers' work more efficient and pleasurable. We will soon be able to benchmark our currently preferred option.

  • We dealt with the fallout of the big infrastructure changes done in December. A few issues remain but things are starting to run more smoothly again :)


  • We close our end-of-year donation campaign. We don't have the final numbers yet.

  • We submitted 2 applications to the NLnet NGI Zero PET project.


Press and testimonials


All the website

  • de: 46% (2832) strings translated, 7% strings fuzzy, 41% words translated
  • es: 51% (3137) strings translated, 4% strings fuzzy, 42% words translated
  • fa: 32% (1982) strings translated, 10% strings fuzzy, 33% words translated
  • fr: 88% (5418) strings translated, 1% strings fuzzy, 86% words translated
  • it: 32% (1969) strings translated, 5% strings fuzzy, 28% words translated
  • pt: 25% (1553) strings translated, 7% strings fuzzy, 21% words translated

Total original words: 65286

Core pages of the website

  • de: 71% (1252) strings translated, 12% strings fuzzy, 74% words translated
  • es: 80% (1417) strings translated, 9% strings fuzzy, 82% words translated
  • fa: 34% (615) strings translated, 13% strings fuzzy, 33% words translated
  • fr: 96% (1705) strings translated, 1% strings fuzzy, 96% words translated
  • it: 63% (1112) strings translated, 17% strings fuzzy, 65% words translated
  • pt: 45% (798) strings translated, 13% strings fuzzy, 48% words translated


  • Tails has been started more than 749 304 times this month. This makes 24 171 boots a day on average.
  • 7 403 downloads of the OpenPGP signature of Tails ISO from our website.
  • 88 bug reports were received through WhisperBack.