We are pleased to present you the second Tails bimonthly report.

This report may, or may not, be followed by others depending on the feedback we get: if you like reading such news about Tails, don't hesitate telling us!

This report sums up the work that was done on Tails in March and April 2011.

New releases

The new Tails 0.7 major release was out on April 7th, quickly followed by a bugfix and security release (0.7.1) on April 30th. See their release announces for details:

Google Summer of Code

We announced two months ago we prepared three projects to be submitted under the Tor Project umbrella for the Google Summer of Code. This was a great success for our first participation into the GSoC program, as a total of five students sent applications for our projects. In the end, two students were selected and will work this summer on projects we have suggested:

  • Max will implement ?tails-greeter, the graphical boot menu Tails really needs as more and more upcoming features (including ?persistence, ?macchanger, ?bridge support) need to ask the user for input at boot time; reports of his work will be posted on a dedicated ?blog.
  • Julien Voisin will implement a Meta-data anonymizing toolkit for file publication; thanks a lot to Mike Perry for accepting to be Julien's mentor, as we ourselves lack the needed time to mentor two students this year; Julien has setup a blog where one can keep track of his work.

We warmly welcome Max and Julien into the Tails and Tor development communities!

Thanks to everyone who made this happen, including the students whose GSoC application was rejected: you are welcome to join us anyway!

Documentation

The Great Tails Documentation Rework Plan was started. Once this is done, several entry points will be available to better fit a given user's available time and energy. Such work happens in the doc-rework branch of our Git repository. Want to help?

A brand new "how to contribute to Tails" documentation was published. We hope it will make it easier for anyone interested to get involved and make Tails better as there many ways you can contribute to Tails: setting up a BitTorrent or HTTP mirror, helping other Tails users, improving documentation, reporting bugs, fixing bugs, implementing new features, improving Tails in your own language, providing needed input to developers, etc.

Outreach

In the press

Shortly following their announcement of Tails 0.7 release, LWN published a great, long and serious article about Tails in last week's edition.

Tails 0.7 release also made it twice on DistroWatch.

Website

We published our new website layout. If you're into CSS, patches are welcome to fix the latest glitches.

A glimpse towards the future

Upcoming releases

We've not decided yet what our plans exactly are. The alternative seems to be: either we'll release 0.8 quickly with stuff that was mostly ready, but not tested enough to make it into 0.7, or we'll release 0.8 only when slightly more new major features are cooked and ready to serve.

More 0.7.x point releases are to be expected anyway as security issues are discovered in software we ship.

Installing and upgrading Tails onto a USB stick

In the next months, a few of us are going to focus on preparing a tool for easy install and upgrade of Tails onto USB sticks, with support for an encrypted persistent volume in mind. We're likely to use Fedora's liveusb-creator as a basis. Either we'll make it more generic or we'll fork it minimally, depending on how liveusb-creator's developers welcome the idea of supporting our usecases.

Other plans

Bridges support: we now have a working prototype that is likely to be shipped into the upcoming 0.8 release. We'll make our patches to make Vidalia support our usecase generic enough so that they can be merged upstream.

PowerPC support (pre-Intel Macs): we're "almost" there, but we have a hard time prioritizing this task among all exciting enhancements that could be done on Tails. If you need Tails to support pre-Intel Macs, don't hesitate telling us.