How well does Liberté Linux compare with Tails?

Distrowatch says the Origin is Undisclosed, which is similar to Tails developers in remaining anonymous, am I correct?

It appears rather new, compared with Tails which has been around awhile and built off a previous incarnation.

What are the main strengths and weaknesses of each distro?




From Liberté Linux FAQ:

Q: How does Liberté Linux differ from other anonymity distributions?

A: Liberté is a specialized and lightweight live distribution with deep system integration and rapid development cycle; it is not a thin configuration wrapper for a major distribution. The focus is on adding innovative features, some of which require in-house research and development. A few of the capabilities that (to the best of my knowledge) were pioneered in Liberté Linux are:

  • Cables communication for transparent and reliable anonymous email-like message exchange
  • Immediate shutdown with anti-forensic memory erasure on boot media extraction
  • Encrypted persistence of user data and settings on resizable LUKS/OTFE volume
  • Initial clock setting from Tor consensus, entirely dropping the requirement for non-Tor communication (including DNS)
  • Separate Unsafe Browser for registration in public Wi-Fi hotspots I2P communication over Tor means better firewall traversal and no need to rely on another anonymity framework

The purpose of Liberté is not to popularize Tor or I2P with computer-illiterate users — this distribution assumes willingness and capability to study operation of non-mainstream operating systems and software. It is entirely possible that you do not belong to the target userbase, and that using Liberté (if found) will result in stronger negative bias from the authorities.

Comment by Anonymous Mon 09 Jul 2012 03:22:57 PM CEST

My own Quick and Dirty comparison, based on personal experiences.

Operational differences between Tails 0.12.1 and Liberte Linux 2012.2

Emergency Exit

If you unplug the pendrive, the PC shuts down, after wiping RAM, within 30 seconds. Tails is slightly faster on my PC, and blacks out the screen faster (Liberte Linux shows it's logo for a short time). Emergency Exit mode might hang in some cases if you use a PLPBT iso (booting from a pendrive if your pc does not support usb booting).


Liberte Linux is easier to install on a pendrive. Unzip to pendrive, run [setup.bat], follow the instructions on the screen. Tails offer better security installing itself on a pendrive. For example if you install from a verified Tails live cd, viruses have hardly any chance.


Liberte Linux offers broader persistence options, e.g. installing applications. Both use an encrypted container to store the sensitive data.


Tails is abandoning TrueCrypt, can be enabled with a startup parameter for now.

Root commands

You likely can not enter root commands by accident on Liberty Linux. You have to read the documentation. There is an awkward procedure to enable root access, or you must enter a boot startup parameter.

Document production

Tails has a more complete, thus slower, OpenOffice V3 suite..Liberte Linux offers a English spellchecker by default for it's Abiword V2.8.6 word processor. Tails has a "metadata" removal tool, Liberty Linux inserts generic metadata, backdates created documents (1969 iirc).

Cloaking / hiding

Tails looks more innocent. In default configuration Liberte Linux displays their logo, which might draw attention on a public pc. If you plug a Tails pendrive in a Windows computer, it does not display the individual files (you might get a "do you want to format this drive" message). If you lose your Tails pendrive, someone might just reformat it and use it afterwards. If someone finds a lost Liberte Linux pendrive, he might get curious.


Liberte Linux offers a serverless "cables" message system, which is basically a p2p message system on a Claws email GUI. Both sender and receiver need to "see" each other to exchange "emails". Initially can cost you half an hour before your Cables node is discoverable by the other party.

Mac Changer

Liberte Linux tries to perform a mac address change at startup.


Tails uses Iceweasel, Liberte Linux uses Epiphany. Both perform well over the Tor network, both have script blocking, prefer HTTPS traffic. Tails opening website is "", so you instantly know your Tor is working. Liberte Linux opens a menu website. Liberte Linux also has uGET download manager, and a gFTP client.


Both use the claws client. Liberte Linux claws client is pre-configured with a "cables" account (on pendrive only!). Tails client installs "empty".


Both use the Pidgin client, Tails comes pre-configured with an OFTC account over SSL and a nickserv. Liberty Linux Pidgin is "empty" by default.

Password Manager

Liberty Linux offers Figaro's Password Manager for password needs.

Different Languages

Liberte Linux can easy handle "exotic languages" e.g. Mongolian, Arabic.

Comment by Anonymous Mon 09 Jul 2012 05:41:32 PM CEST

Both can not boot under Mac OS -.- rEFIt will not help -.-

Liberté has (U)EFI support for all installation options (USB, CD, OVF), so ability to boot per se comes down to your knowledge of operating your Mac. Hardware support is a different issue, though.

Comment by Anonymous Tue 10 Jul 2012 09:54:42 PM CEST
  1. Liberte Linux is Gentoo based. - - - 1. Tails is Debian based.

  2. In Liberte download size is 200+ MB. (ok) - - - 2. In Tails is 800+ MB. (bad)

  3. Liberte Linux can be installed on HDD. (OK) - - - 3. Tails cannot. Or really hard to... (Bad)

  4. Liberte installed on usb is 220+ MB. (OK) - - - 4. Tails is 1500+ MB. (Bad)

  5. Liberte linux can run from USB stick with other files. Remaining space can be used even in windows. (OK) - - - 5. Tails use all space on the usb stick. Remaining space is wasted or made persistent invisible on Windows Xp. (Bad)

  6. In Liberte Linux, persistent is an encrypted file on USB. It can be viewed in Windows with FreeOTFE. (OK) - - - 6. In Tails, persistent is partition on USB space. Cannot be viewed in Windows or I don't know how. (Bad)

  7. Liberte Linux run with 192 MB RAM. (OK) - - - 7. Tails needs a lot of Ram.. (Bad)

  8. Liberte seems to run on older PCs. (OK) - - - 8. Tails is a headache on older PCs or on PCs with small memory. And with every new version shipped older and newer PCs became too old (Definitely bad)

  9. In Liberte Linux, upgrading is made by overwriting files (even from windows) - - - 9. In Tails, upgrading is made from DVD.

  10. Liberte seems a little complicated to install. Not tested too well. - - - 10. Tails can be installed easily on USB from DVD.

  11. In Liberte, web browser is Gentoo based. (OK) - - - 11. In Tails, Firefox is the web browser. (OK)

  12. Liberte is lightweight so less programs. (bad) - - - 12. Tails is big so more programs can be made available. (OK)

  13. still searching... and still using Tails and testing liberte Linux in VM. But it would be great that Tails remains on max 1.3-1.4 Gb to be able to be written on small DVD disks. End of story 4 now. Remember: that's what I think (an average user of Tails).

Comment by Anonymous Wed 16 Jan 2013 09:42:03 PM CET

Liberte is easier to install, not more difficult, as claimed above. And Liberte does boot MacBooks. Installing software on Liberte is not for a newbie , requires recompiling, pain in the ass...not easy as claimed above.

Comment by Anonymous Mon 06 May 2013 01:38:14 AM CEST