Releases

The following changes were introduced in Tails 4.2:

  • Improvements to automatic upgrades

    We worked on important improvements to the automatic upgrade feature, which is still one of your major pain points when using Tails:

    • Until now, if your version of Tails was several months old, you sometimes had to do 2 or more automatic upgrades in a row. For example, to upgrade from Tails 3.12 to Tails 3.16, you first had to upgrade to Tails 3.14.

      Starting with 4.2, direct automatic upgrades will be available from all prior versions to the latest version.

    • Until now, you could only do a limited number of automatic upgrades, after which you had to do a much more complicated "manual" upgrade.

      Starting with 4.2, you will only have to do a manual upgrade between major versions, for example to upgrade to Tails 5.0 in 2021.

    • We made automatic upgrades use less memory.

    • We optimized a bit the size of the download when doing automatic upgrades.

  • We included several command line tools used by SecureDrop users to analyze the metadata of leaked documents on computers that cannot use the Additional Software feature:

    • PDF Redact Tools to redact and strip metadata from text documents before publishing
    • Tesseract OCR to convert images containing text into a text document
    • FFmpeg to record and convert audio and video
  • Open ~/Persistent/keepassx.kdbx by default when starting KeePassX. If this database does not exist yet, stop pointing to it in the list of recent databases.

The following changes were introduced in Tails 4.2:

  • Update Tor Browser to 9.0.4.

    This fixes a critical vulnerability in the JavaScript JIT compiler of Firefox and Tor Browser.

    Mozilla is aware of targeted attacks in the wild abusing this vulnerability.

    This vulnerability only affects the standard security level of Tor Browser. The safer and safest security levels are not affected.

  • Avoid a 2-minutes delay when restarting after doing an automatic upgrade. (#17026)

Code

  • We fixed critical regressions that were introduced while improving automatic upgrades.

  • We started work on making the download of automatic upgrades more robust (#15875).

  • We fixed the long delay while rebooting after applying an automatic upgrade (#17026).

  • In order to make the development process a bit smoother:

    • We now use the tarball with all Tor Browser langpacks (#17400), instead of downloading a complete Tor Browser for every language.
    • Our build system is now able to cache the website build.

Documentation and website

  • Göktürk Yüksek improved the dd command in the expert installation scenario to display progress (status=progress) and sync on-the-fly (oflag=direct).

  • We fixed the display of the output of rsync when doing a backup of the persistent volume.

Hot topics on our help desk

  1. A lot of users are complaining about Seahorse failing to import public keys

  2. A few people reported graphic issues, mostly #16875, but also with Nvidia Turing

  3. Some users are facing issues (#17388, #17430, #17418) with some network adapter since 4.1.1

Infrastructure

  • We made progress on our migration to GitLab.

  • We resumed work on upgrading our CI hardware (#16960).

Funding

  • We added ThinkPenguin as a partner.

  • We teared down the donation campaign. We raised around 100k€ from 2 000 donations.

  • We were invited to submit a full proposal for the joint grant proposal with Tor and the Guardian Project to the DRL Internet Freedom program.

Translations

All the website

  • fr: 86% (5293) strings translated, 3% strings fuzzy
  • es: 51% (3134) strings translated, 4% strings fuzzy
  • de: 34% (2143) strings translated, 10% strings fuzzy
  • it: 30% (1852) strings translated, 8% strings fuzzy
  • fa: 27% (1689) strings translated, 10% strings fuzzy
  • pt: 22% (1359) strings translated, 8% strings fuzzy

Core pages of the website

  • fr: 93% (1695) strings translated, 4% strings fuzzy
  • es: 90% (1636) strings translated, 2% strings fuzzy
  • de: 64% (1168) strings translated, 16% strings fuzzy
  • it: 60% (1094) strings translated, 18% strings fuzzy
  • pt: 43% (792) strings translated, 14% strings fuzzy
  • fa: 32% (596) strings translated, 14% strings fuzzy

Metrics

  • Tails has been started more than 856 922 times this month. This makes 27 643 boots a day on average.

How do we know this?