Related documents

Design work done in 2015

Archive of the design work done in 2015

First iteration

For the first iteration we did some parallel designs:

Router, second iteration

We refined the first iteration still with parallel designs:

Router, third iteration

Overview, second iteration

Overview, third iteration


Design work done in 2017

Open problems

  • Suggest human strategies to avoid targeted malware:
    • Clone from a friend
    • Use a different computer than yours
    • Use Linux if available around you
  • Investigate how we could monitor the usage of the assistant: most common path, failures, people leaving, etc. But this can have privacy issues.
  • Integrate system requirements.
  • Integrate information about organizations offering training.

Future work

Faster checksum computation in Tails Verification

  • DAVE used to rely on a native call (nsICryptoHash) which is not available anymore to WebExtensions. It was so fast that we never felt the need to measure how many seconds it took; probably less than 5.

  • Tails Verification relies on the Forge library and takes 45 seconds on a Core i5 M520.

Asking upstream a new API for checksum calculation sounds hard as it would require lobbying both Mozilla and Chrome. An alternative could be to rewrite the checksum calculation in WebAssembly.

Mac compatibility list

Mac users still face the most complicated situation, with no graphical technique for USB and unpredictable hardware. If no graphical installation method for macOS can be found, this could be improved by maintaining a list of Mac models and their compatibility with Tails and our different installation techniques.

Better booting instructions

Booting is still a major pain point for people trying to start Tails for the first time. Future work might involve:

Integrate warnings

Our warning page is good but it's also one of the oldest page in our documentation and it would deserve a bit of work (#8845). Furthermore, it would make a lot of sense to integrate it in the assistant, to teach people about Tails as they are installing it.

An idea would be to display our warnings while the ISO image is downloaded (#9386). The download page from 2017 makes this more complicated since the verification extension cannot monitor the beginning and end of the download but most likely not impossible.