Test your Wi-Fi

Problems with Wi-Fi are unfortunately quite common in Tails and Linux in general. To test if your Wi-Fi interface works in Tails:

  1. Open the system menu in the top-right corner:

  2. Choose Wi-Fi Not Connected and then Select Network.

  3. After establishing a connection to a network:

    • If you can already access the Internet, Tor is automatically started.

    • If you need to log in to a captive portal before being granted access to the Internet, see our documentation about logging in to captive portals.

If your Wi-Fi interface is not working, either:

  • There is no Wi-Fi option in the system menu:

  • The interface is disabled when starting Tails or when plugging in your USB Wi-Fi adapter:

    Notification about network card being disabled

    In this case, you can disable MAC spoofing to get your Wi-Fi interface to work in Tails. Disabling MAC spoofing has security implications, so read carefully our documentation about MAC spoofing before doing so.

To connect to the Internet, you can try to either:

  • Use an Ethernet cable instead of Wi-Fi if possible. Wired interfaces work much more reliably than Wi-Fi in Tails.

  • Buy a USB Wi-Fi adapter that works in Tails:

    VendorModelSizeSpeedPriceBuy offlineBuy online
    EdimaxEW-7811UnNano150 Mbit/s$10NoAmazon
    Panda WirelessUltraNano150 Mbit/s$12NoAmazon
    Panda WirelessPAU05Small300 Mbit/s$14NoAmazon

    If you find another USB Wi-Fi adapter that works in Tails, please let us know. You can write to tails-testers@boum.org (public mailing list) or tails@boum.org (private email).

Yay, you managed to start your new Tails on your computer!

If you want to save some of your documents and configuration in an encrypted storage on your new Tails USB stick, follow our instructions until the end. Otherwise, have a look at our final recommendations. final recommendations. final recommendations. final recommendations. final recommendations. final recommendations.

Create an encrypted persistent storage (optional)

You can optionally create an encrypted persistent storage in the remaining free space on your new Tails USB stick to store any of the following:

  • Personal files
  • Some settings
  • Additional software
  • Encryption keys

The data in the encrypted persistent storage:

  • Remains available across separate working sessions.
  • Is encrypted using a passphrase of your choice.

The encrypted persistent storage is not hidden. An attacker in possession of the USB stick can know whether it has an encrypted persistent storage. Take into consideration that you can be forced or tricked to give out its passphrase.

It is possible to open the encrypted persistent storage from other operating systems. But, doing so might compromise the security provided by Tails.

For example, image thumbnails might be created and saved by the other operating system. Or, the contents of files might be indexed by the other operating system.

Other operating systems should probably not be trusted to handle sensitive information or leave no trace.

Create the persistent storage

  1. Choose Applications ▸ Tails ▸ Configure persistent volume.

  2. Specify a passphrase of your choice in both the Passphrase and Verify Passphrase text boxes.

    We recommend choosing a long passphrase made of five to seven random words. Learn more.

  3. Click on the Create button.

  4. Wait for the creation to finish.

  5. The assistant shows a list of the possible persistence features. Each feature corresponds to a set of files or settings to be saved in the encrypted persistent storage.

    We recommend you to only activate the Personal Data persistence feature for the time being. You can activate more features later on according to your needs.

  6. Click Save.

Restart and activate the persistent storage

  1. Shut down the computer and restart on your new Tails USB stick.

  2. In Tails Greeter:

    Tails Greeter: 'Welcome to Tails!'

    • Select your language and keyboard layout in the Language & Region section.
    • In the Encrypted Persistent Storage section, enter your passphrase and click Unlock to activate the encrypted persistent storage for the current working session.
    • Click Start Tails.
  3. After 15–30 seconds, the Tails desktop appears.

  4. You can now save your personal files and working documents in the Persistent folder. To open the Persistent folder choose Places ▸ Persistent.

Tails USB stick with persistent storage

You now have a complete Tails, congrats!

Final recommendations

Tails does not protect you from everything! Have a look at our warnings.

If you face any problem, use the Report an error launcher on the Tails desktop or visit our support pages.

We hope you enjoy using Tails :)