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Tails in 2 sentences

Original proposal:

Tails is a portable operating system that protects your privacy and anonymity.

Just like Windows or macOS, it runs on your computer and allows you to edit files, browse the web, and send email.

But unlike a traditional OS, it runs on a USB stick that you can plug in and use on almost any computer.


  • 1
    • Will it protect my privacy when I'm browsing?
    • Portable?
    • Do users understand portable in the sense of our context
  • 2
    • Does the audience know what an OS is?
    • Runs on a computer?
    • Runs on a USB stick?
  • 3
    • Who is targeted? Though I like that it could talk to any type of user -- Very simple statement.
    • Maybe emphasize that advantages of USB sticks on DVD? (+) others computers?
    • Maybe the "WHY" is missing? → empowerment
    • Second sentence may give the impression that it has only basic features.
    • Is it useful to explain that is does not run on some computers?
  • 4
    • portable operating system → ♥
    • By making every 1 look the same
    • "run on your computer" → ?
    • [any computer] and forgets everything between sessions
    • amnesia, forgets everything
    • everyone looks the same
  • 5
    • Transportable? Pocketable?
    • Confidential / Secret
    • Amnesia → missing
  • 6
    • Portable!
    • USB stick in 1st sentence
    • Instead of Win and macOS
    • amnesia or keep it for later
    • merge USB stick with Win & macOS

Updated proposal:

Tails is a portable operating system that protects your privacy and avoids censorship.

Install Tails on a USB stick and run it on any computer instead of Windows or macOS.

Main benefits

Eileen's version (benefit oriented)

6 main properties:

  • 1st row

    • Portable + light-weight Your secure computer anywhere Take it anywhere on a USB stick
    • Protects against censorship / surveillance Uses Tor...
    • No ads, no viruses, no tracking Gives you a cleaner Internet / environment
  • 2nd row

    • Digital privacy toolbox
    • Preconfigured and secure by default Out-of-the-box
    • Free software Audited by experts, run by a community, download/install for free

sajolida's version (feature oriented)

  • Portable

    • Use a different computer
    • Secure OS for your own computer
    • Amnesia
      • No virus
  • Tor

    • No censorship
    • No tracking
    • Anonymity
  • Toolbox

    • Safe default
    • Persistence



Tails as a tent

From "Writing good documentation" at the IFF 2018

  • [Drawing of an unfolded tent] portable, set up anywhere in the world or your own backyard
  • [Drawing of two similar tents]
  • [Drawing of a tent in a bag] small portable tent fits in backpack, with your belongings.
  • [Drawing of a tent city of similar tents]

  • Amnesic

    • Empty every time its setup
    • Stored in backpack ("USB stick") along with "stuff" which can be moved into the tent ("persistence") or not.
  • Incognito
    • Can move around (change "address")
    • Many tents look alike
    • Works best among other tents (not in a library)
  • Live
    • Can carry around in backpack
    • Can set up in backyard (own laptop) or away from home
  • Put it away when its finished

"Leave No Trace" is an organization and a code of ethics for outdoor activities.

Open relationship

Tails is not my main operating system: Tails does not make me choose between itself and other operating systems. With Tails I have an open relationship. Is not my main operating system, I have other operating systems for other things.

One in my laptop, one in my school...

Tails is not jealous and does not aim to fulfill all my computer needs: if I need something Tails cannot give me... I can use another operating system!

But I respect our relationship: Tails does not want to be plugged to my laptop if I am running other operating systems, so I never do that.

And I don't use identities I use on other operating systems from the same Tails USB stick.

Other output from IFF 2018

  • [Drawing of a circus tent]
  • [Drawing of a magic hat] make things magically disappear
  • Doesn't leave a trace -- invisibility cloak
  • New wig every morning
  • Incognito mode for your computer
  • A caravan -- you're the owner, you can move it anywhere
  • Like a bicycle
    • You can take it anywhere
    • They don't have a registration plate
    • No trace where you've been on the environment
    • Using a bike lock
    • Helmet with shades so you're unknown

From the user testing in January 2018 in Berlin

  • Additional Software P1 talking about how everything we do on the Internet is tracked: "With Tails I can create that image for myself".
  • Additional Software P4: "bullet proof".