Releases

March was a heavy month regarding Tails releases: shortly after putting out the Tails 3.6 major release, we had to publish an emergency 3.6.1 release to fix security issues identified at Pwn2Own, and finally we had to prepare another emergency release (3.6.2) that was released in April. Due to an unfortunate combination of software development and release management mistakes, applying these upgrades was harder than usual for Tails users; apologies!

The following changes were introduced in Tails 3.6:

  • You can now lock your screen by clicking on the Lock button in the system menu.

    • If you set up an administration password when starting Tails, you can unlock your screen with your administration password.
    • Otherwise, you can set up a password to unlock your screen when locking your screen for the first time.
  • We improved a lot the backend of the Additional Software persistence feature. Your additional software is now:

    • Installed in the background after the session starts instead of blocking the opening of the desktop.
    • Always installed even if you are offline.
  • Install pdf-redact-tools, a command line tool to clean metadata and redact PDF files by converting them to PNG images.

  • An error message indicating the name of the graphics card is now displayed when Tails fails to start GNOME.

  • The Tails documentation launcher on the desktop now opens the documentation on our website if you are online.

  • We activated the AppArmor profile for Thunderbird from Debian to confine Thunderbird for security.

  • Rewrite some internal scripts from shell scripting to Python, thanks to GoodCrypto.

  • Remove the display of debug and error messages when starting.

  • Fix the ISO image selection being unavailable in Tails Installer in languages other than English. (#15233)

  • Fix OpenPGP Applet being unresponsive when decrypting a lot of text. (#6398)

The following changes were introduced in Tails 3.6.1:

Code

Documentation and website

We documented how to:

We also made the output of the GnuPG command line to verify an ISO image more consistent across different versions of GnuPG.

User experience

  • From a session at the Internet Freedom Festival, we took notes on how participants used the metaphor of a tent to describe Tails:

    • It's portable: you can store it in your backpack.
    • It's amnesic: it's empty every time you set it up.
    • It's incognito: you can move it around and it looks like other tents.
  • We started discussing a collaboration with Simply Secure to explain better what is Tails. The goals are both to reach a consensus among contributors and to make it easier to explain Tails to the world.

Hot topics on our help desk

  1. Several users complained about Tails Installer failing.

  2. And there seems to be more people complaining about losing their Persistent Volume than usual.

Infrastructure

  • We've worked on a more detailed scheme to include our web translation platform into our workflow (#10034).

  • We documented our survey platform.

Funding

Outreach

Past events

  • Emma Peel and sajolida where at the Internet Freedom Festival where they participated in several sessions on documentation and user experience and presented Tails in the tools showcase.

  • anonym and intrigeri attended the Tor meeting in Rome. We've had lots of interesting discussions there, including heart-warming ones about how Tails could work more closely with the Tor project in the future.

  • Tails was presented by jvoisin at the Journées FedeRez in Paris, France. The slides (in French) are available here.

Upcoming events

  • Tails contributors will attend CryptoRave (São Paulo, May 4-5) and will run a number of Tails/Tor-related events there, including a users meetup aimed at gathering feedback and better understanding who our users are, what they do with Tails, what works well and what is problematic. If you're around São Paulo, join us there! :)

Press and testimonials

  • 2018-03-19: Edward Snowden retweeted about our participation to the DuckDuckGo Privacy Challenge explaining:

    Because I've used @Tails_live for years. The journalists who broke the mass surveillance revelations of 2013 all relied on it. Free, libre, and open source software projects quietly save the world every day, even when you can't see it, and their success depends on your support.

Translation

All the website

  • de: 52% (2820) strings translated, 7% strings fuzzy, 46% words translated
  • es: 44% (2422) strings translated, 0% strings fuzzy, 34% words translated
  • fa: 38% (2071) strings translated, 10% strings fuzzy, 40% words translated
  • fr: 91% (4933) strings translated, 1% strings fuzzy, 89% words translated
  • it: 35% (1899) strings translated, 5% strings fuzzy, 31% words translated
  • pt: 23% (1245) strings translated, 9% strings fuzzy, 19% words translated

Total original words: 57706

Core pages of the website

  • de: 75% (1433) strings translated, 13% strings fuzzy, 76% words translated
  • es: 93% (1771) strings translated, 2% strings fuzzy, 89% words translated
  • fa: 33% (636) strings translated, 11% strings fuzzy, 33% words translated
  • fr: 98% (1862) strings translated, 1% strings fuzzy, 98% words translated
  • it: 69% (1322) strings translated, 14% strings fuzzy, 70% words translated
  • pt: 41% (781) strings translated, 15% strings fuzzy, 41% words translated

Total original words: 17281

Metrics

  • Tails has been started more than 693 060 times this month. This makes 22 357 boots a day on average.
  • 13 315 downloads of the OpenPGP signature of Tails ISO from our website.
  • 139 bug reports were received through WhisperBack.

How do we know this?