These instructions require:

  • macOS 10.10 (Yosemite) or later

Start in macOS.

Install Tails using Etcher

Install an intermediary Tails using Etcher

In this step, you will install an intermediary Tails using the Tails USB image that you downloaded earlier.

Install Etcher

  1. Click on the following link to download Etcher:

    Download Etcher for macOS

  2. Open the Etcher download (DMG disk image).

  3. To install Etcher, drag the Etcher icon onto the Applications icon.

  4. Close the installation window of Etcher.

    Optionally, eject the Etcher disk image from the desktop.

Instead of installing Etcher, you can also install Tails using dd on the command line.

  1. Make sure that your USB stick is unplugged.

  2. Open Terminal from Applications ▸ Utilities ▸ Terminal.app.

  3. Execute the following command:

    diskutil list

    It returns a list of the storage devices on the system. For example:

    /dev/disk0 #: TYPE NAME SIZE IDENTIFIER 0: GUID_partition_scheme *500.1 GB disk0 1: EFI 209.7 MB disk0s1 2: Apple_HFS MacDrive 250.0 GB disk0s2 3: EFI 134.1 GB disk0s3 4: Microsoft Basic Data BOOTCAMP 115.5 GB disk0s4

  4. Plug your USB stick in the computer.

  5. Execute again the same command:

    diskutil list

    Your USB stick appears as a new device in the list. Check that its size corresponds to the size of your USB stick.

    /dev/disk0 #: TYPE NAME SIZE IDENTIFIER 0: GUID_partition_scheme ∗500.1 GB disk0 1: EFI 209.7 MB disk0s1 2: Apple_HFS MacDrive 250.0 GB disk0s2 3: EFI 134.1 GB disk0s3 4: Microsoft Basic Data BOOTCAMP 115.5 GB disk0s4 /dev/disk1 #: TYPE NAME SIZE IDENTIFIER 0: FDisk_partition_scheme *8.0 GB disk1 1: Apple_HFS Untitled 1 8.0 GB disk1s1

  6. Take note of the device name of your USB stick. In this example, the USB stick is 8.0 GB and its device name is /dev/disk1. Yours might be different.

    If you are unsure about the device name, you should stop proceeding or you risk overwriting any hard disk on the system.

  7. Execute the following commands to copy the USB image that you downloaded earlier to the USB stick.

    Replace:

    • tails.img with the path to the USB image

      If you are unsure about the path to the USB image, you can insert the correct path by dragging and dropping the icon of the USB image from Finder onto Terminal.

    • device with the device name found in step 6

      You can try adding r before disk to make the installation faster.

    diskutil unmountDisk device

    dd if=tails.img of=device bs=16m && sync

    You should get something like this:

    dd if=/Users/me/tails-amd64-3.12.img of=/dev/rdisk9 bs=16m && sync

    If no error message is returned, Tails is being copied on the USB stick. The copy takes some time, generally a few minutes.

    If you get a Permission denied error, try adding sudo at the beginning of the command:

    sudo dd if=tails.img of=device bs=16m && sync

    If you get an invalid number ‘16m’ error, try using 16M instead:

    dd if=tails.img of=device bs=16M && sync

    The installation is complete once the command prompt reappeared.

Install the intermediary Tails

USB stick plugged in the computer
USB stick plugged on the left
  1. Plug in the USB stick on which you want to install Tails the intermediary Tails.

    Se perderá toda la información en esta memoria USB.

    The persistent storage of your Tails USB stick will not be copied to the temporary Tails.

  2. Open Finder and choose Etcher in Applications.

    Open the Etcher download.

    At the security warning, confirm that you want to open Etcher.

    Etcher starts.

  3. Click the Select image button.

    Choose the USB image that you downloaded earlier.

    Make sure that the USB image has an .img file extension.

    If the image has an .iso file extension, it is not the correct image. Please go back to the download step for installing from Windows download step for installing from macOS. download step for upgrading from Windows download step for upgrading from macOS.

  4. Etcher should automatically select your USB stick. Otherwise, click the Change link to choose a different USB stick.

    USB image installed on USB stick
    USB image installed on USB stick on the left
  5. Click Flash.

    Enter your password if you are asked for it.

    The installation takes a few minutes.

    After installing Tails, Etcher verifies the installation.

    If the verification of Etcher fails, try to install again or to use a different USB stick.

  6. Close Etcher.

    If a notification about the USB stick not being readable appears, click Eject to eject the USB stick.

Memoria USB Tails

¡Felicitaciones, haz instalado Tails en tu memoria USB!

Ahora vas a reiniciar tu computadora en esta memoria USB. Puede ser un poco complicado así que ¡buena suerte! Pero puede no funcionar en tu modelo de Mac así que ¡buena suerte!

Lee estas instrucciones en otro dispositivo

En el siguiente paso, apagarás la computadora. Para poder seguir el resto de las instrucciones después, te recomendamos que:

  • Abras esta página en tu celular, tableta o alguna otra computadora (recomendado).

  • Imprimas el resto de las instrucciones.

  • Tomes nota de la dirección URL de esta página para poder volver a ella luego:

    https://tails.boum.org/install/clone?back=1 https://tails.boum.org/install/win/usb?back=1 https://tails.boum.org/install/mac/usb?back=1 https://tails.boum.org/install/mac/clone?back=1 https://tails.boum.org/install/expert/usb?back=1 https://tails.boum.org/install/linux/usb?back=1 https://tails.boum.org/upgrade/clone?back=1 https://tails.boum.org/upgrade/tails?back=1 https://tails.boum.org/upgrade/win?back=1 https://tails.boum.org/upgrade/mac?back=1 https://tails.boum.org/upgrade/linux?back=1

Restart on the intermediary Tails

Restart on the other Tails

Restart on Tails

Memoria USB conectada en la izquierda Computadora reiniciada en la memoria USB Computer restarted on USB stick on the left Memoria USB desconectada en la derecha y computadora reiniciada en la memoria USB en la izquierda

Make the computer start on the USB stick

This step is the most complicated one as it depends a lot on the model of the computer:

  • On most computers, our basic instructions to get to the boot menu work fine.
  • On some computers, you might have to do more advanced techniques, like editing the BIOS settings.
  • On a few computers, it might currently be impossible to start Tails. But, it is very hard to know without trying.

The goal is to reach the Boot Loader Menu of Tails:

Black screen with Tails artwork. Boot Loader Menu with two options 'Tails' and 'Tails (Troubleshooting Mode)'.

Getting to the boot menu

On most computers, you can press a boot menu key to display a list of possible devices to start from. The following instructions explain how to display the boot menu and start on the USB stick. The following screenshot is an example of a boot menu:

  1. Shut down the computer while leaving the USB stick plugged in.

    Shut down the computer.

    Plug in the other Tails USB stick that you want to install upgrade from.

    Unplug your Tails USB stick while leaving the intermediary USB stick plugged in.

  2. Identify the possible boot menu keys for the computer depending on the computer manufacturer in the following list:

    ManufacturerKey
    AcerEsc, F12, F9
    AsusEsc, F8
    DellF12
    FujitsuF12, Esc
    HPF9, Esc
    LenovoF12, Novo, F8, F10
    SamsungEsc, F12, F2
    SonyF11, Esc, F10
    ToshibaF12
    others…F12, Esc

    On many computers, a message is displayed very briefly when switching on that also explains how to get to the boot menu or edit the BIOS settings.

  3. Switch on the computer and immediately press several times the first possible boot menu key identified in step 2.

  4. If the computer starts on another operating system or returns an error message, shut down the computer again and repeat step 3 for all the possible boot menu keys identified in step 2.

    If a boot menu with a list of devices appears, select your USB stick and press Enter.

    If the boot menu key that works on your computer is a different one than the first in the list, please let us know so we can improve the list. You can write to sajolida@pimienta.org (private email).

This animation explains how to use the boot menu key:

Check our list of known issues

Similar problems might have been reported already for your model of computer in our list of known issues.

Edit the BIOS settings

If none of the possible boot menu keys from the previous technique work, or if the USB stick does not appear in the boot menu, you might need to edit your BIOS settings.

Search for the user manual of the computer on the website of its manufacturer to learn how to edit the BIOS settings:

In the BIOS settings, try to apply the following changes one by one and restart the computer after each change. Some changes might not apply to certain computer models.

Take note of the changes that you apply to the BIOS settings. That way, you can revert the changes if they prevent the computer from starting on its usual operating system.

  1. Edit the Boot Order. Depending on the computer model you might see an entry for removable devices or USB media. Move this entry to the top of the list to force the computer to try to start from the USB stick before starting from the internal hard disk.

  2. Disable Fast boot.

  3. If the computer is configured to start with legacy BIOS, try to configure it to start with UEFI. Else, if the computer is configured to start with UEFI, try to configure it to start with legacy BIOS. To do so, try any of the following options if available:

  4. Try to upgrade the BIOS to the latest version provided by the manufacturer.

If none of these options work, we are sorry but you might not be able to use Tails on this computer. Feel free to report the problem to our help desk.

Reporting the problem to our help desk

Please send the following information to tails-support-private@boum.org:

  1. Which version of Tails are you trying to start?

  2. How did you verify the USB image?

  3. What is the brand and model of your computer?

  4. What exactly happens when trying to start? Report the complete error message that appears on the screen, if any.

  5. What program did you use to install your USB stick?

  6. Does the USB stick start successfully on other computers? If so, what are the brands and models of those computers?

  7. Have you been able to successfully start another version of Tails on this computer before? If so, which version?

We answer requests in:

  • English
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Italian

Requests not in English might take longer to answer. Imperfect English is welcome :)

  1. Shut down the computer while leaving the USB stick plugged in.

    Plug in the other Tails USB stick that you want to install from.

  2. Switch on the computer and immediately press-and-hold the Option key (Alt key) until a list of possible startup disks appears.

    'Option' or 'alt' key in the bottom left of Mac keyboard

  3. Choose the USB stick and press Enter. The USB stick appears as an external hard disk and might be labeled EFI Boot or Windows like in the following screenshot:

    Screen with the logo of an internal hard disk labeled 'Macintosh HD' and an external hard disk labelled 'Windows' (selected)

    If the USB stick does not appear in the list of possible startup disks:

    1. Make sure that you have verified your download of Tails.
    2. Try installing again on the same USB stick.
    3. Try installing on a different USB stick.
    4. Try using the same USB stick to start on a different computer.
      If the same USB stick works on a different computer, please report the problem to our help desk.
  4. Reporting the problem to our help desk

    Please send the following information to tails-support-private@boum.org:

    1. Which version of Tails are you trying to start?

    2. How did you verify the USB image?

    3. What is the brand and model of your computer?

    4. What exactly happens when trying to start? Report the complete error message that appears on the screen, if any.

    5. What program did you use to install your USB stick?

    6. Does the USB stick start successfully on other computers? If so, what are the brands and models of those computers?

    7. Have you been able to successfully start another version of Tails on this computer before? If so, which version?

    We answer requests in:

    • English
    • French
    • Spanish
    • Italian

    Requests not in English might take longer to answer. Imperfect English is welcome :)

  5. If the computer starts on Tails, the Boot Loader Menu appears and Tails starts automatically after 4 seconds.

    Black screen with Tails artwork. Boot Loader Menu with two options 'Tails' and 'Tails (Troubleshooting Mode)'.

If your computer displays the Boot Loader Menu but then fails to start on the USB stick, it might currently be impossible to start Tails on your Mac model.

Please report the problem to our help desk.

Reporting the problem to our help desk

Please send the following information to tails-support-private@boum.org:

  1. Which version of Tails are you trying to start?

  2. How did you verify the USB image?

  3. What is the brand and model of your computer?

  4. What exactly happens when trying to start? Report the complete error message that appears on the screen, if any.

  5. What program did you use to install your USB stick?

  6. Does the USB stick start successfully on other computers? If so, what are the brands and models of those computers?

  7. Have you been able to successfully start another version of Tails on this computer before? If so, which version?

We answer requests in:

  • English
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Italian

Requests not in English might take longer to answer. Imperfect English is welcome :)

Tails Greeter

  1. Uno o dos minutos después del Menú de cargador de arranque, aparece otra pantalla titulada Tails Greeter.

    Si la computadora muestra el mensaje de error Error iniciando GDM con tu tarjeta gráfica, revisa nuestra lista de problemas conocidos con tarjetas gráficas.

    Si la computadora deja de responder o muestra otros mensajes de error antes de entrar al Tails Greeter, referirse a la sección de solución de problemas sobre Tails no inicia por completo.

    Resolución de problemas

    Tails no arranca completamente

    La siguiente sección aplica si el Menú de cargador de arranque aparece, pero no aparece el Tails Greeter al arracar Tails.

    1. Reinicia la computadora en el primer dispositivo USB.

    2. En el Menú del cargador de arranque, escoge el Troubleshooting Mode que puede funcionar mejor en algunos computadores.

    3. Si el Troubleshooting Mode no funciona mejor, reinicia el computador de nuevo desde la primera memoria USB.

    4. En el Menú de cargador de arranque, oprime TAB. Una línea de comando con una lista de opciones de arranque aparecerá abajo de la pantalla.

      Pantalla negra con el logo de Tails y una lista de opciones de arranque

      1. Oprime la tecla Tecla de borrarvarias veces para quitar las opciones de la linea de comando que no apliquen.

      2. Si Tails falló previamente al iniciar y mostró el error Probing EDD (edd=off to disable)..., escribe edd=off para agregar esta opción a la línea de comandos.

      3. Escribe debug nosplash para agregar estas opciones a la línea de comandos.

      4. Para arrancar Tails oprime la tecla Enter / de retorno.

      5. Mensajes de error deberían aparecer ahora al arrancar Tails. Puedes enviarlos a nuestro equipo de ayuda por correo , por ejemplo tomando una foto a la última pantalla y al mensaje de error.

    Tails Greeter: 'Welcome to Tails!'

  • En el Tails Greeter elige tu idioma y la configuración de tu teclado en la sección Language & Region y presiona Start Tails.

  • Luego de 15–30 segundos, el escritorio de Tails aparecerá.

    EscritorioTails

  • Test your Wi-Fi

    Problemas con Wi-Fi son desafortunadamente muy comunes en Tails y Linux en general. Para probar si tu interfaz Wi-Fi funciona en Tails:

    1. Abre el menú del sistema en la esquina superior derecha:

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

    3. Luego de establecer una conexión a la red:

      • Si ya puedes acceder a Internet, Tor arranca automáticamente.

      • 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 sajolida@pimienta.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.

    Crea una unidad de almacenamiento persistente encriptado (opcional)

    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:

    • Archivos personales
    • Algunas configuraciones
    • Software adicional
    • Llaves de cifrado

    Los datos en el almacenamiento persistente cifrado:

    • Permanece disponible entre sesiones de trabajo separadas.
    • Esta cifrado usando una contraseña de tu elección.

    El almacenamiento persistente cifrado no está escondido. Un atacante en posesión de la memoria USB puede saber si contiene un almacenamiento persistente cifrado. Ten en cuenta que puedes ser forzado o engañado a revelar la contraseña.

    Es posible abrir el almacenamiento persistente cifrado desde otros sistemas operativos, pero podría romper tu seguridad.

    Por ejemplo, las imágenes en miniatura podrían ser creadas y guardadas por el otro sistema operativo. O los contenidos de los archivos podrían ser indexados por el otro sistema operativo.

    Otros sistemas operativos probablemente no deberían ser confiados con el manejo de información sensible o sin dejar rastros.

    Crea el almacenamiento persistente

    1. Selecciona Aplicaciones ▸ Tails ▸ Configurar volumen persistente.

    2. Especifica una contraseña de tu elección en las cajas de texto Contraseña y en Verificar Contraseña.

      Recomendamos elegir contraseñas largas compuestas de cinco a siete palabras aleatorias. Aprende más.

    3. Haz click en el botón Crear.

    4. Espera a que finalice la creación.

    5. El asistente muestra una lista de las posibles características de persistencia. Cada característica corresponde con un conjunto de archivos o ajustes que se guardaran en el almacenamiento persistente cifrado.

      Te recomendamos activar la función de persistencia de Datos Personales solo por el momento. Puedes activar más funciones luego de acuerdo a tus necesidades.

    6. Haz click Guardar.

    Reinicia y activa el almacenamiento persistente

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

    2. En el Tails Greeter:

      Tails Greeter: 'Welcome to Tails!''

      • Elige tu idioma y disposición de teclado en la sección Language & Region.
      • En la sección Encrypted Persistent Storage, escribe tu frase contraseña y haz click en Unlock para activar el almacenamiento persistente cifrado para la sesión actual.
      • Haz click en Start Tails.
    3. Luego de 15–30 segundos, el escritorio de Tails aparecerá.

    4. Ahora puedes guardar tus archivos personales y documentos de trabajo en la carpeta Persistente. Para abrir la carpeta Persistente elige Lugares ▸ Persistent.

    Memoria USB de Tails con almacenamiento persistente

    You now have a complete Tails, congrats!

    Recomendaciones finales

    ¡Tails no te protege de todo! Échale un vistazo a nuestras advertencias.

    Si tienes algún problema, usa el lanzador Reportar un error en el escritorio de Tails o visita nuestras páginas de soporte.

    Esperamos que disfrutes usando Tails :)