This report covers the activity of Tails in January 2018.

Everything in this report is public.

A. VeraCrypt support in GNOME

A.4 Add VeraCrypt support to udisks

We added support for unlocking hidden volumes and using keyfiles to libblockdev (#15216) and udisks (#15215). We also fixed some bugs and improved the code style of our udisks patches (#15215).

A.6 Add VeraCrypt support to GNOME Files

We added preliminary support to unlock normal (i.e. non-hidden, non-system-volume, without keyfiles) VeraCrypt volumes via GVfs monitor (#15218). We found difficulties regarding modifications of the unlock dialog used by GVfs, and reached out to the GTK developers to ask for advise.

B. Additional software

B.1 UX & UI design sprint

The main developer and the UX designer working on this project gathered for three days of sprint in Berlin, at the Onion Space, a coworking space for Internet freedom technologists, on January 27, 28, and 29.

We followed a very similar methodology as the one we described in more details when we reported on the UX design sprint for VeraCrypt support in GNOME.

Design studio

We started with a design studio to ideate and come up with a first design candidate.

Paper prototyping and formative testing with users

We prepared paper prototypes of this first candidate. Over the week-end, we had 7 people come over for testing sessions of one hour each. After each test we debriefed our findings and improved our design.

We selected people with diverse prior knowledge about how to install packages in Tails (and Linux in general). All were familiar with Tails (though to various degrees) but some were otherwise Windows or macOS users while some were Debian experts or used to Linux distributions with a different packaging system.


The full list of interfaces that we designed can be seen on our blueprint.

The complete XML wireframes are on GitHub and here are the most relevant parts.

When installing a Debian package:

When starting Tails with some additional packages configured:

Additional Software feature in the persistent storage configuration:

Example list of additional software:

When no software has been added yet:

B.2. Write technical design documentation

We drafted an initial technical design of the components that will implement the user experience described above.

B.3. Write automated tests

We wrote the automated tests for the Offline Mode feature (activity B.5). Once we complete our review process they will be included in the upcoming Tails release (3.6).

B.4. Implement backend and GUI

We started to implement the backend code.

B.5. Implement offline mode

The Offline Mode for Additional Software Packages will be merged once we complete our review process for the corresponding automated tests (activity B.3) and then included in the next Tails release (3.6).

B.8. Fix bugs and UX issues

The bugfix for Additional software locking the opening of the desktop has been merged and will be released in the next Tails release.