We're sorry it took us so long to publish this report. We'll publish fresher news soon :)

The 16th of August was Tails 6th birthday. Well, Tails existed before, but it was the birthday of the first public release. Actually, it was named amnesia then, it was before the fusion with Incognito.

Never mind the details. Let's celebrate!

Releases

The following changes were introduced in Tails 1.5:

New features

  • Disable access to the local network in the Tor Browser. You should now use the Unsafe Browser to access the local network.

Upgrades and changes

  • Install Tor Browser 5.0 (based on Firefox 38esr).
  • Install a 32-bit GRUB EFI boot loader. Tails should now start on some tablets with Intel Bay Trail processors among others.
  • Let the user know when Tails Installer has rejected a device because it is too small.

Fixed problems

  • Our AppArmor setup has been audited and improved in various ways which should harden the system.
  • The network should now be properly disabled when MAC address spoofing fails.

Documentation and website

User experience

Infrastructure

  • We asked our mirrors to disable HTTP ETag to better support resumed downloads and documented how to do that.

  • Despite of the Tor bug limiting our pool of HTTP mirrors is getting small. We need mirrors again and stopped saying that our pool is full.

  • Our test suite covers 191 scenarios, 6 more than in July.

Funding

  • We finally signed a contract with OTF, running from February 2015 to July 2016, and sent our first report.

  • We created ourselves a Flattr account.

Outreach

  • We have Tails stickers again! We'll share them during upcoming events, you can also make your own.

  • Alan attended GUADEC, the GNOME conference in Gothenburg, Sweden on August 7 – 9 and connected us better with the GNOME community.

  • A talk about Tails took place during DebConf15 in Heidelberg, Germany, on August 15th.

  • DrWhax did a lightning talk about Tails at CCCamp on August 13 - 17 in Zehdenick, Germany.

On-going discussions

  • Alan submitted for review a new version of Tor Monitor (to replace Vidalia) and Sascha Steinbiss proposed to package it for Debian.

  • We drafted a script to run a Mumble server from Tails, verified that the Mumble client in Tails Jessie works well, and started using it for internal meetings.

Press and testimonials

Translation

At the end of the month:

All website PO files

  • de: 18% (1265) strings translated, 0% strings fuzzy, 17% words translated
  • fr: 46% (3223) strings translated, 2% strings fuzzy, 43% words translated
  • pt: 26% (1842) strings translated, 3% strings fuzzy, 24% words translated

Total original words: 79407

Core PO files

  • de: 59% (794) strings translated, 1% strings fuzzy, 66% words translated
  • fr: 91% (1219) strings translated, 3% strings fuzzy, 92% words translated
  • pt: 82% (1102) strings translated, 9% strings fuzzy, 85% words translated

Total original words: 14404

Metrics

  • Tails has been started more than 469,870 times this month. This makes 15,157 boots a day on average.

  • 31,870 downloads of the OpenPGP signature of Tails ISO from our website.

  • 127 bug reports were received through WhisperBack.

-- Report by BitingBird for Tails folks

Posted Thu 04 Feb 2016 12:53:36 PM CET

We are especially proud to present you Tails 2.0, the first version of Tails based on:

  • GNOME Shell, with lots of changes in the desktop environment.
  • Debian 8 (Jessie), which upgrades most included software and improves many things under the hood.

This release fixes many security issues and users should upgrade as soon as possible.

Changes

New features

  • Tails now uses the GNOME Shell desktop environment, in its Classic mode. GNOME Shell provides a modern, simple, and actively developed desktop environment. The Classic mode keeps the traditional Applications, Places menu, and windows list. Accessibility and non-Latin input sources are also better integrated.

    To find your way around, read our introduction to GNOME and the Tails desktop.

    The desktop and Applications menu
    Tails 2.0 desktop with applications menu unfolded

    The activities overview
    Tails 2.0 activities overview

Upgrades and changes

  • Debian 8 upgrades most included software, for example:

    • Many core GNOME utilities from 3.4 to 3.14: Files, Disks, Videos, etc.
    • LibreOffice from 3.5 to 4.3
    • PiTiVi from 0.15 to 0.93
    • Git from 1.7.10 to 2.1.4
    • Poedit from 1.5.4 to 1.6.10
    • Liferea from 1.8.6 to 1.10
  • Update Tor Browser to 5.5 (based on Firefox 38.6.0 ESR):

    • Add Japanese support.
  • Remove the Windows camouflage which is currently broken in GNOME Shell. We started working on adding it back but your help is needed!

  • Change to systemd as init system and use it to:

    • Sandbox many services using Linux namespaces and make them harder to exploit.
    • Make the launching of Tor and the memory wipe on shutdown more robust.
    • Sanitize our code base by replacing many custom scripts.
  • Update most firmware packages which might improve hardware compatibility.

  • Notify the user if Tails is running from a non-free virtualization software.

  • Remove Claws Mail, replaced by Icedove, a rebranded version of Mozilla Thunderbird.

Fixed problems

  • HiDPI displays are better supported. (#8659)

  • Remove the option to open a download with an external application in Tor Browser as this is usually impossible due to the AppArmor confinement. (#9285)

  • Close Vidalia before restarting Tor.

  • Allow Videos to access the DVD drive. (#10455, #9990)

  • Allow configuring printers without administration password. (#8443)

For more details, see also our changelog.

Known issues

  • Tor Browser 5.5 introduces protection against fingerprinting but due to an oversight it is not enabled in Tails 2.0. However, this is not so bad for Tails users since each Tails system has the same fonts installed, and hence will look identical, so this only means that it's easy to distinguish whether a user of Tor Browser 5.5 uses Tails or not. That is already easy given that Tails has the AdBlock Plus extension enabled, unlike the normal Tor Browser.

See the current list of known issues.

Installing

We also redesigned completely our download and installation instructions to make it easier to get started with Tails.

For example, you can now verify the ISO image automatically from Firefox using a special add-on.

You can also install or upgrade Tails directly from Debian or Ubuntu using the tails-installer package.

Try our new installation assistant.

Upgrading

Tails changed so much since version 1.8.2 that it is impossible to provide an automatic upgrade. We recommend you follow our new manual upgrade instructions instead.

What's coming up?

The next Tails release is scheduled for March 6.

Have a look at our roadmap to see where we are heading to.

We need your help and there are many ways to contribute to Tails (donating is only one of them). Come talk to us!

Posted Tue 26 Jan 2016 12:34:56 PM CET Tags:

You can help Tails! The first release candidate for the upcoming version 2.0 is out. We are very excited and cannot wait to hear what you think about it :)

What's new in 2.0?

Tails 2.0 will be the first version of Tails based on Debian 8 (Jessie). As such, it upgrades essentially all included software.

The most noticeable change is probably the move to GNOME Shell, configured in Classic mode. This desktop environment provides a modern and actively developed replacement for the aging GNOME "Flashback". GNOME Shell also paves the way for better supporting touchscreens in the future.

Under the hood, an amazing amount of code was ported to more modern technologies. This, in turn, allowed us to do lots of small changes all around the place, that will make the Tails experience both safer, and more pleasant. For example, all custom system services are harder to exploit thanks to the use of Linux namespaces, set up by systemd. And the way Tails tells the user that "Tor is ready" is now more accurate.

But really, there are simply too many changes to describe them all here, so try Tails 2.0~rc1 yourself!

Technical details of all the changes are listed in the Changelog.

There is one piece of bad news, that makes us a bit sad, though: we had to remove the Windows camouflage feature, since our call for help to port it to GNOME Shell (issued in January, 2015) was unsuccessful.

What's new since Tails 2.0~beta1?

New features

  • Fix the passphrase strength indicator of GNOME Disks.

Upgrades and changes

  • Remove Claws Mail: Icedove is now the default email client.
  • Upgrade Tor Browser to 5.5a6.
  • Install xserver-xorg-video-intel from Jessie Backports (currently: 2.99.917-2~bpo8+1). This adds support for recent chips such as Intel Broadwell's HD Graphics.

Fixed problems

  • Stop offering the option to open downloaded files with external
  • applications in Tor Browser (Closes: #9285). Our AppArmor confinement was
  • blocking most such actions anyway, resulting in poor UX.

  • Fix the performance issue of Tails Upgrader that made automatic upgrades

  • very slow to apply.

  • Fix Electrum by installing the version from Debian testing.

  • Restore default file associations.

  • Repair Dotfiles persistence feature.

  • Fix ability to reconfigure an existing persistent storage.

  • Associate armored OpenPGP public keys named *.key with Seahorse.

  • Update the list of enabled GNOME Shell extensions, which might fix

  • the "GNOME Shell sometimes leaves Classic mode" bug seen in 2.0~beta1:

How to test Tails 2.0~rc1?

  1. Keep in mind that this is a test image. We have ensured that it is not broken in any obvious way, but it might still contain undiscovered issues.

  2. Download the ISO image and its signature:

    Tails 2.0~rc1 ISO image

    Tails 2.0~rc1 signature

    Or try the automatic upgrade from 2.0~beta1 even though it is very slow. Note that there is no automatic upgrade from 1.8.2 to this release.

  3. Verify the ISO image.

  4. Have a look at the list of known issues of this release and the list of longstanding known issues.

  5. Test wildly!

If you find anything that is not working as it should, please report to us on tails-testers@boum.org.

Bonus points if you first check if it is a known issue of this release or a longstanding known issue.

Known issues in 2.0~rc1

  • The documentation was not updated yet.

  • Tor Browser does not support MPEG-4 video streaming in Tails 2.0 and newer (#10835). Instead, in some cases you can download them and play them with the video player included in Tails. On the other hand, web sites that propose WebM video streaming work fine.

  • Sometimes, some of the icons located on the top right corner of the screen are not displayed entirely, or at all. For example, the Vidalia icon, or the icon that allows to change to another keyboard layout, may be hidden. Other information, such as the clock, may not be visible. Restarting Tails often solves this problem. (#10576 and #10807)

  • Network interfaces sometimes remain turned off (#9012). If this happens to you, please report the error so we can get enough debugging information to fix it.

  • Graphics display operations are slow on computers with graphics adapters of the NVidia GeForce 900 series, such as the GeForce GTX 960.

  • It is not possible to add and configure printers (#10893).

  • Longstanding known issues

Posted Tue 12 Jan 2016 05:00:00 PM CET Tags:

This release fixes numerous security issues. All users must upgrade as soon as possible.

Changes

Upgrades and changes

  • Upgrade Tor Browser to 5.0.7

Known issues

  • Automatic upgrades are much slower to apply than before. Expect the upgrade to take around an hour after the download is finished. See #10757 for details.

See the current list of known issues.

Download or upgrade

Go to the download or upgrade page.

If your Tails does not boot after an automatic upgrade, please upgrade your Tails manually.

What's coming up?

The next Tails release is scheduled for January 26.

Have a look at our roadmap to see where we are heading to.

We need your help and there are many ways to contribute to Tails (donating is only one of them). Come talk to us!

Posted Sun 10 Jan 2016 01:02:03 AM CET Tags:

You can help Tails! The first beta for the upcoming version 2.0 is out. We are very excited and cannot wait to hear what you think about it :)

What's new in 2.0?

Tails 2.0 will be the first version of Tails based on Debian 8 (Jessie). As such, it upgrades essentially all included software.

The most noticeable change is probably the move to GNOME Shell, configured in Classic mode. This desktop environment provides a modern and actively developed replacement for the aging GNOME "Flashback". GNOME Shell also paves the way for better supporting touchscreens in the future.

Under the hood, an amazing amount of code was ported to more modern technologies. This, in turn, allowed us to do lots of small changes all around the place, that will make the Tails experience both safer, and more pleasant. For example, all custom system services are harder to exploit thanks to the use of Linux namespaces, set up by systemd. And the way Tails tells the user that "Tor is ready" is now more accurate.

But really, there are simply too many changes to describe them all here, so just try Tails 2.0~beta1 yourself!

Technical details of all the changes are listed in the Changelog.

There is only one piece of bad news, that makes us a bit sad, though: we had to remove the Windows camouflage feature, since our call for help to port it to GNOME Shell (issued in January, 2015) was unsuccessful.

How to test Tails 2.0~beta1?

  1. Keep in mind that this is a test image. We have ensured that it is not broken in any obvious way, but it might still contain undiscovered issues.

  2. Download the ISO image and its signature:

    Tails 2.0~beta1 ISO image

    Tails 2.0~beta1 signature

    Note that there is no automatic upgrade applicable to this release.

  3. Verify the ISO image.

  4. Have a look at the list of known issues of this release and the list of longstanding known issues.

  5. Test wildly!

If you find anything that is not working as it should, please report to us on tails-testers@boum.org.

Bonus points if you first check if it is a known issue of this release or a longstanding known issue.

Known issues in 2.0~beta1

  • The documentation was not adjusted yet.

  • The Electrum Bitcoin client is not functional (#10754).

  • The network is sometimes not unblocked after logging in (#9012). If this happens to you, please send intrigeri@boum.org the complete output of the sudo tails-debugging-info command.

  • The Dotfiles persistence feature does not work correctly (#10784).

  • Default file associations are missing (#10798).

  • It is not possible to re-configure an existing persistent volume using the persistent volume assistant (#10809). However, it is possible to use an existing persistent volume, and to create a new one.

  • Longstanding known issues

Posted Tue 22 Dec 2015 12:00:00 PM CET Tags:

This release fixes numerous security issues. All users must upgrade as soon as possible.

Changes

Upgrades and changes

Fixed problems

  • Fix time synchronization in bridge mode.

Known issues

  • Automatic upgrades are much slower to apply than before. Expect the upgrade to take around an hour after the download is finished. See #10757 for details.

See the current list of known issues.

Download or upgrade

Go to the download or upgrade page.

If your Tails does not boot after an automatic upgrade, please upgrade your Tails manually.

For users of a persistent Electrum Bitcoin client

If you have enabled the Bitcoin client (Electrum) persistence feature and have upgraded a Tails USB stick installation to Tails 1.8.1, then please follow these steps in order to make Electrum able to connect to the network:

  1. Make sure Electrum is not running.

  2. Choose Applications ▸ Accessories ▸ Terminal to open a terminal.

  3. Execute the following command to migrate the configuration:

    echo '{"auto_connect": true, "proxy": "socks5:localhost:9050"}' > ~/.electrum/config
    

What's coming up?

The next Tails release is scheduled for January 26.

Have a look at our roadmap to see where we are heading to.

We need your help and there are many ways to contribute to Tails (donating is only one of them). Come talk to us!

Posted Sat 19 Dec 2015 04:33:34 PM CET Tags:

This release fixes numerous security issues. All users must upgrade as soon as possible.

Changes

New features

  • Icedove a rebranded version of Mozilla Thunderbird is now the official email client in Tails, replacing Claws Mail.

    Claws Mail will be removed from Tails in version 2.0 (2016-01-26). If you have been using Claws Mail and activated its persistence feature, follow our instructions to migrate your data to Icedove.

Upgrades and changes

  • Electrum from 1.9.8 to 2.5.4. Now Electrum should work again in Tails.

  • Tor Browser to 5.0.5.

  • Tor to 0.2.7.6.

  • I2P to 0.9.23.

  • Icedove from 31.8 to 38.4.

  • Enigmail from 1.7.2 to 1.8.2.

Known issues

  • Automatic upgrades are much slower to apply than before. Expect the upgrade to take around an hour after the download is finished. See #10757 for details.

  • The bridge mode fails if the system clock is incorrect. To prevent this problem, correct the system clock before connecting to the network. To do so:

    1. Set up an administration password when starting Tails.

    2. Right-click on the system clock in the top navigation bar and choose Adjust Date & Time.

    3. Click the Unlock button and enter the administration password from step 1.

    4. Adjust the time to be the correct time in UTC (use the same difference with your local time as observed usually in Tails).

See the current list of known issues.

Download or upgrade

Go to the download or upgrade page.

If your Tails does not boot after an automatic upgrade, please upgrade your Tails manually.

What's coming up?

The next Tails release is scheduled for January 26.

Have a look at our roadmap to see where we are heading to.

We need your help and there are many ways to contribute to Tails (donating is only one of them). Come talk to us!

Posted Tue 15 Dec 2015 12:34:56 PM CET Tags:

This release fixes numerous security issues. All users must upgrade as soon as possible.

Changes

New features

  • You can now start Tails in offline mode to disable all networking for additional security. Doing so can be useful when working on sensitive documents.

  • We added Icedove, a rebranded version of the Mozilla Thunderbird email client.

    Icedove is currently a technology preview. It is safe to use in the context of Tails but it will be better integrated in future versions until we remove Claws Mail. Users of Claws Mail should refer to our instructions to migrate their data from Claws Mail to Icedove.

Upgrades and changes

  • Improve the wording of the first screen of Tails Installer.

  • Restart Tor automatically if connecting to the Tor network takes too long. (#9516)

  • Update several firmware packages which might improve hardware compatibility.

  • Update the Tails signing key which is now valid until 2017.

  • Update Tor Browser to 5.0.4.

  • Update Tor to 0.2.7.4.

Fixed problems

  • Prevent wget from leaking the IP address when using the FTP protocol. (#10364)

  • Prevent symlink attack on ~/.xsession-errors via tails-debugging-info which could be used by the amnesia user to bypass read permissions on any file. (#10333)

  • Force synchronization of data on the USB stick at the end of automatic upgrades. This might fix some reliability bugs in automatic upgrades.

  • Make the "I2P is ready" notification more reliable.

Known issues

See the current list of known issues.

Download or upgrade

Go to the download or upgrade page.

If you have been updating automatically for a while and your Tails does not boot after an automatic upgrade, you can update your Tails manually.

What's coming up?

The next Tails release is scheduled for December 15.

Have a look at our roadmap to see where we are heading to.

We need your help and there are many ways to contribute to Tails (donating is only one of them). Come talk to us!

Posted Tue 03 Nov 2015 12:34:56 PM CET Tags:

You can help Tails! The first release candidate for the upcoming version 1.7 is out. Please test it and see if it works for you.

How to test Tails 1.7~rc1?

  1. Keep in mind that this is a test image. We have made sure that it is not broken in an obvious way, but it might still contain undiscovered issues.

  2. Either try the automatic upgrade, or download the ISO image and its signature:

    Tails 1.7~rc1 ISO image

    Tails 1.7~rc1 signature

  3. Verify the ISO image.

  4. Have a look at the list of known issues of this release and the list of longstanding known issues.

  5. Test wildly!

If you find anything that is not working as it should, please report to us! Bonus points if you first check if it is a known issue of this release or a longstanding known issue.

How to automatically upgrade from 1.6?

These steps allow you to automatically upgrade a device installed with Tails Installer from Tails 1.6 to Tails 1.7~rc1.

  1. Start Tails 1.6 from a USB stick or SD card (installed by the Tails Installer), and set an administration password.

  2. Run this command in a Root Terminal to select the "alpha" upgrade channel and start the upgrade:

    echo TAILS_CHANNEL=\"alpha\" >> /etc/os-release && \
         tails-upgrade-frontend-wrapper
    
  3. Once the upgrade has been installed, restart Tails and look at Applications ▸ Tails ▸ About Tails to confirm that the running system is Tails 1.7~rc1.

What's new since 1.6?

Changes since Tails 1.6 are:

  • Major new features and changes

    • Add a technology preview of the Icedove Email client (a rebranded version of Mozilla Thunderbird), including OpenPGP support via the Enigmail add-on, general security and anonymity improvements via the Torbirdy add-on, and complete persistence support (which will be enabled automatically if you already have Claws Mail persistence enabled). Icedove will replace Claws Mail as the supported email client in Tails in a future release. (Closes: #6151, #9498, #10285)
    • Upgrade Tor to 0.2.7.4-rc-1~d70.wheezy+1+tails1. Among the many improvement of this new Tor major release, the new KeepAliveIsolateSOCKSAuth option allows us to drop the bug15482.patch patch (taken from the Tor Browse bundle) that enabled similar (but inferiour) functionality for all SocksPort:s -- now the same circuit is only kept alive for extended periods for the SocksPort used by the Tor Browser. (Closes: #10194, #10308)
    • Add an option to Tails Greeter which disables networking completely. This is useful when intending to use Tails for offline work only. (Closes: #6811)
  • Security fixes

    • Fix CVE-2015-7665, which could lead to a network interface's IP address being exposed through wget. (Closes: #10364)
  • Minor improvements

    • Restart Tor if bootstrapping stalls for too long when not using pluggable transports. (Closes: #9516)
    • Install firmware-amd-graphics, and firmware-misc-nonfree instead of firmware-ralink-nonfree, both from Debian Sid.
    • Update the Tails signing key. (Closes: #10012)

There are numerous other changes that might not be apparent in the daily operation of a typical user. Technical details of all the changes are listed in the Changelog.

Known issues in 1.7~rc1

Posted Tue 27 Oct 2015 12:00:00 PM CET

Tails, The Amnesic Incognito Live System, version 1.6, is out.

This release fixes numerous security issues and all users must upgrade as soon as possible.

Changes

Upgrades and changes

  • Upgrade Tor Browser to version 5.0.3 (based on Firefox 38.3.0 ESR).
  • Upgrade I2P to version 0.9.22 and enable its AppArmor profile.

There are numerous other changes that might not be apparent in the daily operation of a typical user. Technical details of all the changes are listed in the Changelog.

Fixed problems

  • Fix several issues related to MAC address spoofing:
    • If MAC address spoofing fails on a network interface and this interface cannot be disabled, then all networking is now completely disabled.
    • A notification is displayed if MAC address spoofing causes network issues, for example if a network only allows connections from a list of authorized MAC addresses.

Known issues

See the current list of known issues.

Download or upgrade

Go to the download or upgrade page.

If you have been updating automatically for a while and your Tails does not boot after an automatic upgrade, you can update your Tails manually.

What's coming up?

The next Tails release is scheduled for November 3.

Have a look to our roadmap to see where we are heading to.

Do you want to help? There are many ways you can contribute to Tails, for example by donating. If you want to help, come talk to us!

Posted Tue 22 Sep 2015 12:34:56 PM CEST Tags: