Tails is Free Software, you can download it, use it and share it without restriction.

First time user?

  • If you don't know what a metadata or a man-in-the-middle attack is.
  • If you think no-one can eavesdrop on your communications because you are using Tor.
  • If you have no notion of how Tails works.

Then, check first the about and warning pages to make sure that Tails is the right tool for you and that you understand well its limitations.

Download the ISO image

You will download Tails in the form of an ISO image: a single file that you will later burn on a DVD or install onto a USB stick or SD card.

Direct download

Latest release

Tails 0.23 ISO image

Cryptographic signature

Tails 0.23 signature

If you're not sure what the cryptographic signature is, please read the part on verifying the ISO image.

Set up a web mirror

If you're running a web server, you're most welcome to help us spread Tails by setting up a web mirror.

BitTorrent download

Latest release

Tails 0.23 torrent

Cryptographic signature

The cryptographic signature of the ISO image is also included in the Torrent.

Additionally, you can verify the signature of the Torrent file itself before downloading it.

Seed back!

Seeding back the image once you have downloaded it is also a nice and easy way of helping spread Tails.

List of current known issues in Tails.

Verify the ISO image

It is important to check the integrity of the ISO image you downloaded to make sure that the download went well.

Those techniques rely on standard HTTPS and certificate authorities to make you trust the content of this website. But, as explained on our warning page, you could still be victim of a man-in-the-middle attack while using HTTPS. On this website as much as on any other of the Internet.

As a consequence, they don't provide you with a strong way of checking the ISO image authenticity and making sure you downloaded a genuine Tails. In a dedicated section, we will propose you some more advanced techniques to check the authenticity of the ISO image.

All Tails ISO image are cryptographically signed by our OpenPGP key. OpenPGP is a standard for data encryption that provides cryptographic privacy and authentication through the use of keys owned by its users. Checking this signature is the recommended way of checking the ISO image integrity.

If you already know how to use an OpenPGP key you can download it straight away:

Tails signing key

Otherwise, read our instructions to check the ISO image integrity:

Using Linux with Gnome: Ubuntu, Debian, Tails, Fedora, etc.

You need to have the seahorse-plugins package installed. It is already the case under Tails. Under Debian or Ubuntu, if you're not sure or want to install it, you can issue the following commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install seahorse-plugins

The development of seahorse-plugins has stopped. It hasn't been ported to Gnome 3. It is no more available on Debian starting from Wheezy and Ubuntu starting from version 11.10, Oneiric Ocelot. If you can't install it please try verifying the ISO using the command line.

If you are using Tails, you already have the signing key. Otherwise, first download Tails signing key:

Tails signing key

Your browser should propose you to open it with "Import Key". Choose this action. It will add Tails signing key to your keyring, the collection of OpenPGP keys you already imported:

What should Iceweasel do with this file? Open
with: Import Key (default)

You will get notified will the following message:

Key Imported. Imported a key for Tails
developers (signing key) <tails@boum.org>

Now, download the cryptographic signature corresponding to the ISO image you want to verify:

Tails 0.23 signature

Your browser should propose you to open it with "Verify Signature". Choose this action to start the cryptographic verification:

What should Iceweasel do with this file?
Open with: Verify Signature (default)

Browse your files to select the Tails ISO image you want to verify. Then, the verification will start. It can take several minutes:

Verifying

If the ISO image is correct you will get a notification telling you that the signature is good:

Goog Signature

If the ISO image is not correct you will get a notification telling you that the signature is bad:

Bad Signature: Bad or forged signature.

Using Linux with the command line

You need to have GnuPG installed. GnuPG is the common OpenPGP implementation for Linux: it is installed by default under Debian, Ubuntu, Tails and many other distributions.

First, download Tails signing key:

Tails signing key

Open a terminal and import Tails signing key with the following commands:

cd [the directory in which you downloaded the key]
cat tails-signing.key | gpg --keyid-format long --import

The output should tell you that the key was imported:

gpg: key 1202821CBE2CD9C1: public key "Tails developers (signing key) <tails@boum.org>" imported
gpg: Total number processed: 1
gpg:               imported: 1  (RSA: 1)

If you had already imported Tails signing key in the past, the output should tell you that the key was not changed:

gpg: key 1202821CBE2CD9C1: "Tails developers (signing key) <tails@boum.org>" not changed
gpg: Total number processed: 1
gpg:              unchanged: 1

If you are shown the following message at the end of the output:

gpg: no ultimately trusted keys found

Analyse the other messages as usual: this extra message doesn't relate to the Tails signing key that you downloaded and usually means that you didn't create an OpenPGP key for yourself yet, which of no importance to verify the ISO image.

Now, download the cryptographic signature corresponding to the ISO image you want to verify and save it in the same folder as the ISO image:

Tails 0.23 signature

Then, start the cryptographic verification, it can take several minutes:

cd [the ISO image directory]
gpg --keyid-format long --verify tails-i386-0.23.iso.sig tails-i386-0.23.iso

If the ISO image is correct the output will tell you that the signature is good:

gpg: Signature made Sat 30 Apr 2011 10:53:23 AM CEST
gpg:                using RSA key 1202821CBE2CD9C1
gpg: Good signature from "Tails developers (signing key) <tails@boum.org>"

If you see the following warning:

gpg: WARNING: This key is not certified with a trusted signature!
gpg:          There is no indication that the signature belongs to the owner.
Primary key fingerprint: 0D24 B36A A9A2 A651 7878  7645 1202 821C BE2C D9C1

Then the ISO image is still correct, and valid according to the Tails signing key that you downloaded. This warning is related to the trust that you put in the Tails signing key. See, Trusting Tails signing key. To remove this warning you would have to personally sign the Tails signing key with your own key.

If the ISO image is not correct the output will tell you that the signature is bad:

gpg: Signature made Sat 30 Apr 2011 10:53:23 AM CEST
gpg:                using RSA key 1202821CBE2CD9C1
gpg: BAD signature from "Tails developers (signing key) <tails@boum.org>"

Using other operating systems

Using Firefox

Instead of a cryptographic signature, this technique uses a cryptographic hash. We propose it because it's especially easy for Windows users.

  1. Install the MD5 Reborned Hasher extension for Firefox.

  2. Restart Firefox.

  3. Open the Downloads window from the menu Tools ▸ Downloads. MD5 Reborned Hasher only operates from the files that are appearing in the Downloads window of Firefox.

  4. If you are using Firefox 20 to 25, MD5 Reborned Hasher is incompatible with the new Downloads window. To go back to a compatible layout of the Downloads window, do the following:

    1. Open a new tab in Firefox.
    2. Type about:config in the URL bar, then press Enter.
    3. Paste the following preference name into the search field: browser.download.useToolkitUI.
    4. Change the value of this preference to true, by doing right-click on the preference and choosing Toggle.
    5. Restart Firefox.

    If you are using Firefox 26 or later, this method is not working anymore. It is currently impossible to use Firefox 26 or later to verify an ISO image.

  5. If the ISO image does not appear in the list of recent downloads:

    • Choose the menu File ▸ Open File….
    • Select the ISO image that you want to check. Choose to save it with the same name. Answer Yes if Firefox asks you whether you want to replace it.
    • This starts a local copy of the ISO image and adds it to the Downloads window.
  6. Click on the Check Digest… link on the line of the Downloads window corresponding to the ISO image. If no Check Digest… link appear, then MD5 Reborned Hasher is not installed correctly.

  7. In the Check File window, choose a SHA256 hash type.

  8. Click on Generate Digest.

  9. Copy and paste the following hash for version 0.23 in the Enter checksum text box.

    359d104737f1a448375d2030f938dea3d529468b8218485998ab893c1f7509eb
  10. When the hash is done generating, a result appears at the bottom of the window saying:

    • Okay, if the ISO image is correct,
    • Match failed!, if the ISO image is not correct.

Using the cryptographic signature

GnuPG, a common free software implementation of OpenPGP has versions and graphical frontends for both Windows and Mac OS X. This also make it possible to check the cryptographic signature with those operating systems:

You will find on either of those websites detailed documentation on how to install and use them.

For Windows using Gpg4win

After installing Gpg4win, download Tails signing key:

Tails signing key

Consult the Gpg4win documentation to import it

Then, download the cryptographic signature corresponding to the ISO image you want to verify:

Tails 0.23 signature

Consult the Gpg4win documentation to check the signature

If you see the following warning:

Not enough information to check the signature validity.
Signed on ... by tails@boum.org (Key ID: 0xBE2CD9C1
The validity of the signature cannot be verified.

Then the ISO image is still correct, and valid according to the Tails signing key that you downloaded. This warning is related to the trust that you put in the Tails signing key. See, Trusting Tails signing key. To remove this warning you would have to personally sign the Tails signing key with your own key.

For Mac OS X using GPGTools

After installing GPGTools, you should be able to follow the instruction for Linux with the command line. To open the command line, navigate to your Applications folder, open Utilities, and double click on Terminal.

So how can I better check the ISO image authenticity?

The Tails signing key that you downloaded from this website could be a fake one if you were victim of a man-in-the-middle attack.

Finding a way of trusting better Tails signing key would allow you to authenticate better the ISO image you downloaded. The following page will give you hints on how to increase the trust you can put in the Tails signing key you downloaded:

Stay tuned

It's very important to keep your version of Tails up-to-date, otherwise your system will be vulnerable to numerous security holes. The development team is doing its best to release new versions fixing known security holes on a regular basis.

New versions are announced on our news mailing-list. Drop your email address into this box, then hit the button to subscribe:

to the news mailing-list.

There also are RSS and Atom feeds that announce new available BitTorrent files.

Refer to our security announcements feed for more detailed information about the security holes affecting Tails. Furthermore you will be automatically notified of the security holes affecting the version you are using at the startup of a new Tails session.