1. Problems starting Tails
    1. Problematic USB sticks
      1. PNY
      2. Aegis Secure Key
      3. Kingston DataTraveler 2000, Kingston DataTraveler 100 G3
    2. Mac
    3. PC
      1. "Soft lockup" error
      2. Acer Travelmate 8573T-254G50M
      3. Acer Aspire 5315-ICL50
      4. AMD Ryzen with Vega graphics cards
      5. ASUS VivoBook X202E
      6. Dell Chromebook LULU
      7. Dell Latitude E5250
      8. Dell Latitude E6430 and E6230
      9. Dell XPS L702X/03RG89, Samsung RV520, Samsung Series 7 Chronos
      10. HP Compaq dc5750 Microtower
      11. HP Compaq 615
      12. HP Compaq CQ60-214DX
      13. HP Pavilion 15-ab277ca
      14. HP ProBook
      15. Lenovo IdeaPad Y410p
      16. Lenovo IdeaPad z585
      17. Clevo W258CU, ThinkPad X121e, T420i, T410, T520, W520, T530, T60, E325, and E530
      18. System76 Oryx Pro
  2. Wi-Fi issues
    1. Knowing the model of your Wi-Fi interface
    2. 88W8897 [AVASTAR] 802.11ac Wireless
    3. RTL8723BE PCIe Wireless Network Adapter
    4. Broadcom Wi-Fi network interface needing broadcom-sta-dkms
    5. Lenovo Legion Y530
  3. Security issues
    1. Tails does not erase video memory
  4. Other issues
    1. Boot Loader Menu has display issues
    2. Touchpad configurations
      1. Acer TravelMate B113 - ETPS/2 Elantech Touchpad
      2. Acer C720 - Cypress APA Touchpad
    3. Bluetooth devices don't work
    4. Tails fails to start or behaves weirdly after an automatic upgrade
    5. Persistent folder disappears and persistent feature configurations do not load
    6. Icons and information located on the top right corner of the screen disappeared
    7. Some languages do not have the correct keyboard layout set by default
    8. The OpenPGP passphrase prompt steals the keyboard and mouse focus
    9. Problems when the system clock goes backwards
    10. Lenovo ThinkPad 11e
    11. Electrum is outdated and cannot connect to servers
    12. USB devices are not working on some GIGABYTE motherboards

Problems starting Tails

This section lists known problems with specific hardware. To report a problem with different hardware see our report guidelines when Tails does not start.

Problematic USB sticks

PNY

When installing Tails, PNY USB sticks have problems with the constant write load and are prone to failure.

Aegis Secure Key

  • Aegis Secure Key USB 2.0

During the boot process, USB is briefly powered off, that causes Aegis hardware-encrypted USB sticks to lock down, and the PIN must be entered again (fast) in order to complete the boot.

  • Aegis Secure Key USB 3.0

This USB stick doesn't start Tails at all, the USB 2.0 workaround is not working for that hardware.

Kingston DataTraveler 2000, Kingston DataTraveler 100 G3

Starting Tails from a Kingston DataTraveler 2000 or DataTraveler 100G3 doesn't work.

Mac

PC

"Soft lockup" error

On some laptops, Tails starts with the following error:

soft lockup - CPU#N stuck for Ns

To start Tails successfully, add the following boot option when starting Tails:

acpi_rev_override=1 nouveau.modeset=0

Acer Travelmate 8573T-254G50M

Booting from DVD works fine, but does not start from USB sticks.

This problem might be corrected in Tails 1.1 and newer: please report your test results back to us.

Acer Aspire 5315-ICL50

Does not start on USB sticks.

AMD Ryzen with Vega graphics cards

To start Tails successfully, add the following boot option when starting Tails:

iommu=soft

ASUS VivoBook X202E

Legacy support needs to be enabled in order to start Tails. To enable legacy boot support, enable 'Launch CSM' under boot (menu).

This problem might be corrected in Tails 1.1 and newer: please report your test results back to us.

Dell Chromebook LULU

To start Tails successfully, add the following boot option when starting Tails:

nomodeset

Dell Latitude E5250

Does not start on Tails USB sticks.

Dell Latitude E6430 and E6230

Does not start on USB sticks.

With BIOS versions A03 06/03/2012 (and A09, A11, and A12)

Error message: Invalid partition table!

Workaround (at least with BIOS versions A09, A11, and A12): just hit enter and it will continue with the boot.

Dell XPS L702X/03RG89, Samsung RV520, Samsung Series 7 Chronos

Does not start on USB sticks.

We were reported that the legacy BIOS shipped on these systems doesn't know how to deal with the GPT partition scheme used in Tails.

This problem might be corrected in Tails 1.1 and newer: please report your test results back to us.

https://www.dell.com/community/Laptops-General-Read-Only/GPT-Bootable-Bios-Optimus-Switch-Are-Necessary-For-L502x-L702x/m-p/3699920

HP Compaq dc5750 Microtower

Does not start Tails 1.2.3.

HP Compaq 615

You need to update the firmware to its latest version in order to start from a USB stick.

HP Compaq CQ60-214DX

Tails 3.3 does not start.

HP Pavilion 15-ab277ca

Tails 3.3 restarts during startup and never starts successfully.

HP ProBook

With UEFI enabled, when choosing a boot device, select Boot From EFI File and then Filesystem Tails and EFI/BOOT/BOOTX64.EFI.

That workaround applied to, at least, the following HP ProBook:

  • 4330s
  • 6560b

Lenovo IdeaPad Y410p

Does not start Tails 1.1 from USB installed manually in Linux.

Lenovo IdeaPad z585

Goes back continuously to Boot Loader Menu on Tails installed on DVD.

Clevo W258CU, ThinkPad X121e, T420i, T410, T520, W520, T530, T60, E325, and E530

These machines do not start on USB sticks due to a firmware limitation.

This problem might be corrected in Tails 1.1 and newer: please report your test results back to us.

System76 Oryx Pro

This machine does not start from a Tails USB stick: the Linux kernel included in at least Tails 3.11 to 3.13.1, inclusive, does not support the hardware USB controller.

Wi-Fi issues

If your Wi-Fi interface is not working, either:

  • There is no Wi-Fi option in the system menu:

  • The interface is disabled when starting Tails or when plugging in your USB Wi-Fi adapter:

    Notification about network card being disabled

    In this case, you can disable MAC spoofing to get your Wi-Fi interface to work in Tails. Disabling MAC spoofing has security implications, so read carefully our documentation about MAC spoofing before doing so.

To connect to the Internet, you can try to either:

  • Use an Ethernet cable instead of Wi-Fi if possible. Wired interfaces work much more reliably than Wi-Fi in Tails.

  • Buy a USB Wi-Fi adapter that works in Tails:

VendorModelSizeSpeedPriceBuy offlineBuy online
EdimaxEW-7811UnNano150 Mbit/s$10NoAmazon
Panda WirelessUltraNano150 Mbit/s$12NoAmazon
Panda WirelessPAU05Small300 Mbit/s$14NoAmazon

If you find another USB Wi-Fi adapter that works in Tails, please let us know. You can write to sajolida@pimienta.org (private email).

  • Check in the following sections if there is a workaround to get your Wi-Fi interface work in Tails.

Knowing the model of your Wi-Fi interface

  1. Open Terminal and execute the following command:

    lspci -v | grep "Network controller"
    

88W8897 [AVASTAR] 802.11ac Wireless

On some computers with a Marvell Avastar 88W8897 Wi-Fi adapter, such as some Microsoft Surface Pro models, Tails fails to connect to Wi-Fi networks.

If you experience this problem, you can try to disable MAC address spoofing that sometimes fixes it.

RTL8723BE PCIe Wireless Network Adapter

On some computers with a RTL8723be Wi-Fi adapter, Tails might fail to discover Wi-Fi networks, provide unreliable Wi-Fi connections, or have poor Wi-Fi performance.

You can to add the following boot options when starting Tails until you find a combination that works for you. The exact combination of options that works depends on the computer:

  • rtl8723be.fwlps=0 rtl8723be.ips=0

  • rtl8723be.ant_sel=1

  • rtl8723be.ant_sel=2

  • rtl8723be.ant_sel=1 rtl8723be.fwlps=0 rtl8723be.ips=0

  • rtl8723be.ant_sel=2 rtl8723be.fwlps=0 rtl8723be.ips=0

Broadcom Wi-Fi network interface needing broadcom-sta-dkms

Some Broadcom Wi-Fi interfaces require the wl driver, provided by the broadcom-sta-dkms Debian package, to work in Tails.

The wl driver is not included in Tails because it is proprietary.

You device requires the wl driver if it is in the list of devices supported by the broadcom-sta-dkms package on the corresponding Debian wiki page. If you find your device in the list of supported devices, then it is impossible to use your Wi-Fi card in Tails.

Lenovo Legion Y530

Wi-Fi adapter does not work.

To fix this issue, add the following boot option when starting Tails:

modprobe.blacklist=ideapad_laptop

Security issues

Tails does not erase video memory

Tails doesn't erase the video memory yet. When one uses Tails, then restarts the computer into another operating system, that other operating system might, for a moment, display the last screen that was displayed in Tails.

Shutting down the computer completely, instead of restarting it, might allow the video memory to empty itself.

See Erase video memory on shutdown.

Other issues

Boot Loader Menu has display issues

Since Tails 1.1, on some hardware (ThinkPad X230, MacBook Pro 8,1), the Boot Loader Menu is not displayed properly. Tails starts fine, though.

Touchpad configurations

Acer TravelMate B113 - ETPS/2 Elantech Touchpad

synclient FingerPress=256;
synclient TapButton3=0;
synclient Clickpad=1;
synclient VertTwoFingerScroll=1;
synclient FingerLow=1;
synclient FingerHigh=1;

Acer C720 - Cypress APA Touchpad

synclient FingerLow=5;
synclient FingerHigh=5;

Bluetooth devices don't work

Bluetooth is not enabled in Tails for security reasons.

Tails fails to start or behaves weirdly after an automatic upgrade

Sometimes, after an automatic upgrade, your Tails might either:

  • Fail to start. Often after the message:

    Loading, please wait...
  • Behave weirdly. For example, your keyboard does not work or you cannot connect to a network.

To fix this problem, you can update your Tails manually.

Note that your Persistent Volume will be safely preserved.

Persistent folder disappears and persistent feature configurations do not load

Sometimes, the Persistent folder is missing and the configurations for persistent features do not load.

Most likely this means that the persistence.conf file has disappeared. However, the files in the Persistent folder and the persistent feature configurations should still be saved.

If you encounter this problem:

  1. Enable your encrypted persistent storage in Tails Greeter when you start Tails.

  2. Choose Applications ▸ Tails ▸ Configure persistent volume.

  3. If you are asked to enter a passphrase, enter the same passphrase that you used to unlock your persistent storage.

  4. Click Save, then restart Tails.

Your Persistent folder and persistent feature configurations should be restored.

Icons and information located on the top right corner of the screen disappeared

Sometimes, some of the icons located on the top right corner of the screen are not displayed entirely, or at all. For example, the icon that allows to change to another keyboard layout may be hidden. Other information, such as the clock, may not be visible.

Press Alt+F2 and type r to restart GNOME Shell, which often solves this problem.

See #10576 for more details.

Some languages do not have the correct keyboard layout set by default

When selecting some languages in the Tails Greeter, the default associated keyboard layout fallbacks to US.

To use the right keyboard layout during a session, set it in the Tails Greeter after having set the language. When the desktop has started, apply the keyboard layout by clicking on the en systray icon.

Affected language codes are AYC, BHB, BRX, CMN, HAK, HNE, LIJ, LZH, MHR, NAN, NHN, QUZ, SGS, SHS, TCY, THE, UNM, WAE and YUE.

The OpenPGP passphrase prompt steals the keyboard and mouse focus

This happens when one has enabled the GnuPG persistence feature before Tails 2.3. To fix this problem, execute the following command in a terminal:

echo "no-grab" >> ~/.gnupg/gpg-agent.conf

Problems when the system clock goes backwards

When connecting to Tor, Tails sets the system time to the current time in the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) timezone. Many operating systems, such as Linux and macOS, write time expressed in UTC to the hardware clock of the computer. But, Windows instead writes time expressed in the local timezone to the hardware clock of the computer. So, if you are east of the United Kingdom (which is in the UTC timezone) on a computer that also runs Windows, Tails will make the system clock go backwards during startup. Unfortunately, this might trigger software errors in Tails.

For example, when the system clock goes backwards:

To solve this problem permanently on a Windows computer, set the hardware clock of the computer to UTC.

Lenovo ThinkPad 11e

Tails may be unstable and stop working regularly on some Lenovo ThinkPad 11e laptops, such as the 2015 model.

To fix this problem, add the following boot option when starting Tails:

intel_idle.max_cstate=1

Electrum is outdated and cannot connect to servers

Electrum in Tails cannot connect anymore to Electrum servers.

The version of Electrum in Tails is vulnerable to a phishing attack that tricks people in updating to a malicious version of Electrum which is not distributed from the official Electrum website.

You are safe unless you try to do the malicious update manually.

To prevent this phishing attack, all trustworthy Electrum servers now prevent older versions from connecting to them.

Unfortunately, newer versions of Electrum are not available in Debian and cannot be integrated easily in Tails. Given the lack of maintenance of Electrum in Debian, we are still assessing what is best to do in Tails.

Until then, your wallet is not lost and you can restore it from its seed using an up-to-date version of Electrum outside of Tails.

USB devices are not working on some GIGABYTE motherboards

To workaround this issue, you can try to:

  • Use other USB ports. For example, use USB 2 ports instead of USB 3 ports and vice versa.

  • Enable these 3 options in the BIOS

    • xHCI handoff
    • EHCI handoff
    • IOMMU controller
  • Add the following boot option when starting Tails:

    amd_iommu=on iommu=pt
    
  • Disable IOMMU in the BIOS then enable it again.

Some of these workarounds may disable some of the USB ports.