Join us on July 5-6 in Paris, to make online anonymity and digital privacy usable by the masses! Whether you're a writer, a software developer, a designer, a system administrator or just plain interested, come learn about the challenges faced by Tails, and how you can be part of the solution.

The Tails HackFest will bring together anyone interested in making Tails more usable and more secure. This open event will be an intense mix of teaching, drawing, coding, sharing, learning and celebrating.

Many thanks to Debian, IRILL, Mozilla and the Tor project for supporting this event!


  • Where: the venue for the event is IRILL, Paris, France: 23, avenue d'Italie - 75013 Paris (Métro Place d'Italie)

  • Dates: Saturday, July 5, 2014 - Sunday, July 6, 2014

  • Time: 10 AM - 10 PM

  • Getting in: it is neither possible to leave the door open, nor to organize frontdesk in the entry hall. So, we will come open the door every quarter of hour. Thanks for your patience :)

  • Food: vegetarian food will be available for lunch and supper. To pay with bitcoin: 1GbJBxiwYstWqqY5BcdNj1ochNKQ86XYQe


If you want to attend, please consider dropping us a note about it. This is optional, but would help organizing this event (notably the food available).


Tails is made and used by very different people -- and we appreciate that! It is anyone's responsability to make sure everyone else feels welcomed and safe. Please read this event's anti-harassment policy before attending :)



Here, you can find the (initial) schedule, followed by the description of each planned talk, workshop and discussion.



  • 10:00-10:30 Welcomes, getting oriented
  • 10:30-11:00 Introductory talk
  • 11:15-12:00 Resisting Total Surveillance: free software and political struggle
  • 12:00-14:00 Lunch
  • 14:00-15:00 Deciphering the process of contributing to Tails
  • 15:00-16:00 Triaging Tails tickets
  • 15:00-16:00 Automated testing of Tails
  • 16:00-16:30 Break
  • 16:30-17:30 Contributing to Tails by working on Debian
  • 16:30-17:30 Documentation style guide
  • 17:30-18:30 Enforcing anonymity and improving pseudonymity in Tails
  • 17:30-18:30 Improving Tails UX
  • 18:30-19:30 Improving our website strategy and architecture
  • 19:30-21:00 Supper
  • 21:00-22:00 Unscheduled hacking and social interaction


  • 10:00-11:00 Keysigning party
  • 11:00-12:00 Translate Tails
  • 11:00-12:00 Initiation to Tails: goals and usage
  • 12:00-14:00 Lunch
  • 13:00-14:00 Initiation to Tails: goals and usage
  • 14:00-15:00 Improving the infrastructure behind Tails
  • 14:00-15:00 Hack on polishing Tails user experience
  • 15:00-16:00 Inserting a layer of virtualization into Tails
  • 16:00-16:30 Break
  • 16:30-17:30 Feedback on promoting and teaching Tails: use cases, reception and potential obstacles
  • 17:30-18:30 Redesigning our homepage
  • 18:30-19:30 Restructuring our navigation and sidebar
  • 19:30-21:00 Supper
  • 21:00-22:00 Unscheduled hacking and social interaction


  • Introductory talk

  • Resisting Total Surveillance: free software and political struggle, by Richard Stallman - july 5th, 11h15-12h

  • Triaging Tails tickets, by BitingBird: an easy way to start contributing and learn what are the plans

  • Enforcing Anonymity and Improving Pseudonymity in Tails, by David Wolinsky from the Decentralized and Distributed Systems Research group at Yale

  • Automated testing of Tails: introduction, demonstration of running the tests, demonstration of writing a new testcase, known issues, future plans

  • Documentation style guide: improving our writing style to make it clear, informative, and consistent requires knowing a few tricks and some good will. This session will present some aspects of our style guide and present useful resources to learn more. Then we will put that into practice and try to collectively rewrite bits of our documentation to make them better.

  • Feedback on promoting and teaching Tails: use cases, reception and potential obstacles, by Amaelle Guiton, independent journalist

  • Improving Tails UX. Tails is organising with NUMA in Paris some Usability testing and conception workshops since a few month. This talk will present the methodology we used, the main things we have discovered, and some first improvement drafts.

  • Initiation to Tails: goals and usage: what is Tails? What are its goals? How to install and use it? We'll make a quick tour of the major features.


  • Deciphering the process of contributing to Tails, by DrWhax & u: There are lots of ways to contribute : helping with user support, writing documentation, translating, proof reading, web programming, testing ISOs, reporting bugs, triaging bugs, auditing code, writing code, contributing back to Debian for software used in Tails, doing system administration, advocating Tails, formulating ideas on further improvements and more.

  • Contributing to Tails by working on Debian: sometimes, the best way to help Tails is to make Debian better; let's see how

  • Improving the infrastructure behind Tails, by intrigeri: getting started with Tails system administration

  • Hack on polishing Tails user experience We'll work on fixing small bugs in Tails user interface to improve user experience. We'll also take this occasion to learn the process of submitting patches to Tails and get them merged.

  • Translate Tails, by u & others: hands-on translations: how to set up a working environment to improve Tails in your language, it's easier than it sounds.

  • Redesigning our homepage: building on the strategy from the previous session, let's talk about our homepage in more details. See ticket #7082.

    • What are the problems with the current homepage?
    • What do we want to achieve with this new homepage?
  • Restructuring our navigation and sidebar: this session will take over the work of the previous session to restructure our navigation and sidebar using card sorting.


  • Inserting a layer of virtualization into Tails, as a follow-up to David Wolinsky's talk. Let's think together about it, evaluate what compromises are acceptable, and come up with good ideas.

  • Improving our website strategy and architecture: in the last months, proposals were made to improve at least our homepage, and our sidebar. But we need to take a bottom-up approach and think in terms of objectives and strategy first, in order to get the implementation and details right down the road. This session will talk in abstract terms about our website strategy.

And much more!

Most of the discussions and hands-on hacking that will happen there are deliciously unscheduled! :)


Somebody is interested in seeing a talk about that, would you make it happen?

  • Links between Tails and Tor

  • Tails' community