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!