1. Problems starting Tails
    1. Problematic USB sticks
    2. Acer Travelmate 8573T-254G50M
    3. Acer Aspire 5315-ICL50 and Acer ES-1-331
    4. ASUS VivoBook X202E
    5. Compaq 615
    6. Dell Inc. Latitude E6430 and E6230
    7. Dell XPS L702X/03RG89, Samsung RV520, Samsung Series 7 Chronos
    8. Dell Inspiron 8100
    9. Dell Dimension 2400
    10. Fujitsu Siemens Amilo A 1667G
    11. HP Compaq dc5750 Microtower
    12. HP Pavilion dv7
    13. HP ProBook
    14. Lenovo IdeaPad Y410p
    15. Lenovo IdeaPad z585
    16. Clevo W258CU, ThinkPad X121e, T420i, T410, T520, W520, T530, E325, and E530
    17. Mac
  2. Graphics issues
    1. Tails Greeter fails to start with some AMD/ATI Radeon graphic adapters
    2. Tails Greeter fails to start on computers with NVIDIA Maxwell graphic cards
    3. Black screen with switchable graphics computers
    4. Cannot start GNOME session with switchable graphics computers
    5. Laptops with Intel 855GM graphic card
    6. Laptops with Intel GM965/GL960 graphic card
    7. Systems with Intel graphic cards
  3. Wi-Fi issues
    1. Broadcom Wi-Fi network interface needing broadcom-sta-dkms
    2. Intel Atom Cherry Trail tablets
  4. Security issues
    1. Tails does not erase video memory
    2. Tails DVD eject failure
  5. Browser fingerprint
  6. Other issues
    1. Chainloading Tails from GRUB
    2. Boot Loader Menu has display issues
    3. Connecting to FTP servers is not possible
    4. Tails fails to connect to certain Wi-Fi networks
    5. The desktop crashes when run with the default QEMU emulated processor
    6. Touchpad configurations
    7. Bluetooth devices don't work
    8. Tor Browser is translated in a limited number of languages
    9. Playing WebM videos in the Tor Browser fails on old hardware
    10. Tails does not boot after automatic upgrade
    11. Icons and information located on the top right corner of the screen disappeared
    12. Tor Browser search engine with security slider set to High requires a click
    13. Some languages do not have the correct keyboard layout set by default

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

SanDisk

Many SanDisk USB sticks are configured by the manufacturer as a fixed disk, and not as a removable disk. As a consequence, they require removing the live-media=removable boot parameter. See troubleshooting section about Tails not starting entirely on PC or Mac.

  • SanDisk Cruzer Edge 8GB
  • SanDisk Cruzer Extreme USB 3.0 16GB, 32GB and 64GB
  • SanDisk Cruzer Fit USB 2.0 8GB, 16GB, and 32G
  • SanDisk Cruzer Force 8GB
  • SanDisk Cruzer Glide 4GB, 8GB and 16GB
  • SanDisk Cruzer Switch USB 2.0 8GB and 32GB
  • SanDisk Cruzer USB 3.0 64GB
  • SanDisk Cruzer Blade 4GB, 8GB, and 32GB
  • SanDisk Cruzer Facet
  • SanDisk Cruzer Orbiter 32GB (hangs at installation time but boots fine afterwards)
  • SanDisk Ultra 16GB, 32GB

SanDisk had begun the production of flash drives configured as fixed disk in 2012 to meet new requirements for Windows 8 Certification, and ended it in mid-2014. The flash drives that comply with this certification will have the Windows 8 logo on their packaging. If a flash drive does not have the Windows 8 logo on its packaging, then that drive will function as a removable disk and should work with Tails.

See also #6397.

PNY

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

Aegis

  • 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.

Other vendors

Acer Travelmate 8573T-254G50M

Booting from DVD works fine, but does not start from USB sticks created using Tails Installer.

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

Acer Aspire 5315-ICL50 and Acer ES-1-331

Does not start on USB sticks created using Tails Installer.

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.

Compaq 615

You need to update the firmware to its latest version in order to start from a device installed using Tails Installer.

Dell Inc. Latitude E6430 and E6230

Does not start on USB sticks created using Tails Installer.

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.

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

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

Does not start on USB sticks created using Tails Installer.

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

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

http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/laptop/f/3518/p/19392884/20010995.aspx

Dell Inspiron 8100

The display panel will have the wrong resolution unless video=LVDS-1:1600x1200 nouveau.noaccel=1 is added to the boot command line. This problem might be corrected in Tails 1.1 and newer: please report your test results back to us.

Dell Dimension 2400

Does not start neither from USB nor from DVD. System crashes with a blank screen and locked up keyboard. This problem might be corrected in newer versions: please report your test results back to us.

Fujitsu Siemens Amilo A 1667G

Does not start on USB sticks created using Tails Installer.

HP Compaq dc5750 Microtower

Does not start Tails 1.2.3 created using Tails Installer.

HP Pavilion dv7

Since Tails 1.3, gets stuck at the Boot Loader Menu, whether Tails is installed manually or using Tails Installer.

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, E325, and E530

These machines do not start on USB sticks created using Tails Installer due to a firmware limitation.

A workaround for some of these machines is to use the manual installation process. Note, however, that this technique does not allow you to set up a persistent volume.

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

Mac

  • Some Mac need rEFInd installed to boot Tails from a USB stick.
  • Any Mac with 32-bit EFI may not succeed in booting Tails USB stick created by Tails Installer. You can check if a given Mac is 32-bit or 64-bit EFI on that list: http://www.everymac.com/mac-answers/snow-leopard-mac-os-x-faq/mac-os-x-snow-leopard-64-bit-macs-64-bit-efi-boot-in-64-bit-mode.html
  • MacBook Pro 5,5 does not boot with Tails in UEFI mode.
  • MacBook Pro 5,1 17" (Nvidia GeForce 9400M): one must add the nouveau.noaccel=1 boot parameter so that the display works properly.
  • MacBook Air 3,2 (A1369 EMC 2392) freezes when booting Tails in UEFI mode.
  • MacBook Pro (early 2011) fails to boot from DVD since Tails 1.1.
  • Mac Pro Tower and MacBook Pro 4,1 (both from early 2008) fails to boot from a USB stick created by Tails Installer.

Graphics issues

Tails Greeter fails to start with some AMD/ATI Radeon graphic adapters

Some computers cannot start Tails Greeter. This issue has appeared with the following graphic adapters:

  • AMD Radeon R9 390

Adding radeon.dpm=0 to the startup options fixes the issue.

Tails Greeter fails to start on computers with NVIDIA Maxwell graphic cards

Some computers cannot start Tails Greeter. This may appear with the following graphic adapters:

  • GeForce GTX (660 Ti, 745, 750, 750 Ti, 840M, 845M, 850M, 860M, 950M, 960M)
  • Quadro K620, K1200, K2200; GRID M30, M40
  • GeForce 830M, 840M, 930M, 940M[X]
  • GeForce GTX Titan X
  • GeForce GTX (970, 980)
  • GeForce GTX (950, 960)

We think this problem has been fixed in Tails 3.2. If Tails Greeter still does not start for you:

  1. Add nouveau.noaccel=1 or nouveau.modeset=0 to the startup options.
  2. Report a bug.

Black screen with switchable graphics computers

Some computers with switchable graphics (such as Optimus) fail to choose a video card and end up on a black screen. This has been reported for MacBook Pro 6,2, MacBook Pro 10,1 Retina, MacBook Pro 15-inch (early 2011) and might affect many others.

There are two possible workarounds for this issue:

  • For the Mac computers, it is possible to use a third-party application, http://gfx.io/, to force integrated graphics only through OS X. Then restart in that special mode that works with Tails.

  • Expert Linux users can also do the following:

    1. Add the i915.modeset=0 rootpw=pass option in the Boot Loader Menu.

    2. Create a file /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/switchable.conf with the following content:

      Section "Device"
          Identifier "Device0"
          Driver "nouveau"
          BusID "1:0:0"
      EndSection
      
    3. Restart X with the command:

      service gdm3 restart
      
    4. After the GNOME session has started, change again the root password with the command:

      sudo passwd
      

For more details, see our ticket on Video is broken on dual-graphics-card apple hardware.

Cannot start GNOME session with switchable graphics computers

On some computers with switchable graphics, Tails 2.10 and later fails to start the GNOME session and keeps returning to Tails Greeter.

Starting in Troubleshooting Mode works, as well as adding the modeprobe.blacklist=nouveau to the startup options.

Laptops with Intel 855GM graphic card

Laptops with graphic card Intel 855GM (as Dell Inspiron 510M) crash after Tails Greeter.

See relevant bug report for more information.

Laptops with Intel GM965/GL960 graphic card

Laptops with graphic card Intel GM965/GL960 crash while running Tails. Add video=SVIDEO-1:d on the boot command line to work around this problem.

See Linux bug #187001 for more information.

Systems with Intel graphic cards

The graphical interface fails to start on some Intel graphics adapters. If this happens to you:

  1. Add the xorg-driver=intel option in the boot menu.
  2. If this fixes the problem, report to tails-support-private@boum.org the output of the following commands:

      lspci -v
      lspci -mn
    

    … so we get the identifier of your graphics adapter and can have this fix applied automatically in the next Tails release.

  3. If this does not fix the problem, try Troubleshooting Mode and report a bug. Include the exact model of your Intel graphics adapter.

Wi-Fi issues

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.

To find out if your Wi-Fi interface requires the wl driver:

  1. Execute the following command in a terminal:

    lspci -nn | grep Network
    
  2. Verify if your device 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.

Intel Atom Cherry Trail tablets

Tails can be started on tablets with an Intel Atom Cherry Trail system on chip (SoC) but the Wi-Fi interface and sound card doesn't work.

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 can see what has been displayed on the screen within Tails.

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

See Erase video memory on shutdown.

Tails DVD eject failure

Pressing the DVD eject button does not trigger emergency shutdown. Also, the "normal" (non-emergency) shutdown procedure does not eject the DVD anymore.

See Fix DVD eject at shutdown.

Browser fingerprint

There are currently no known differences between the fingerprints of Tor Browser inside and outside of Tails.

Other issues

Chainloading Tails from GRUB

To workaround problems in booting Tails on laptops with UEFI support, it is possible to chainload the syslinux on the ISO image from another boot loader that is already working on the laptop, like GRUB. Be careful not to modify at all the options of syslinux in the process.

The following commands, run from the GRUB shell, might be helpful:

set root=(hd1)
chainloader +1
boot

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.

Connecting to FTP servers is not possible

Public FTP servers on the Internet are not reachable using Tails. See Fix FTP support for more details.

Tails fails to connect to certain Wi-Fi networks

This might be related to the introduction of wireless regulation support in Tails 0.13.

The desktop crashes when run with the default QEMU emulated processor

Due to a bug in llvmpipe, when Tails runs in a QEMU virtual machine with the default emulated CPU, the GNOME desktop crashes after login.

To workaround this problem, pass @-cpu host@ on the QEMU command-line. If you use libvirt, choose Copy host CPU configuration in virt-manager's processor configuration screen.

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.

Tor Browser is translated in a limited number of languages

Since Tails 1.2, the web browser is based on Tor Browser which is translated in less languages than before. You can see the list of languages available in Tor Browser from the Tor Browser homepage.

Playing WebM videos in the Tor Browser fails on old hardware

On systems that only have one CPU code, WebM videos may fail to play in the Tor Browser, and show the error message: "Video can't be played because the file is corrupt". You can work around this by downloading the video and watching it in the Totem video player.

Tails does not boot after automatic upgrade

Sometimes, after an automatic upgrade, Tails gets blocked when booting, often after the message 'Loading, please wait...'.

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

Note that your Persistent Volume will be safely preserved.

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.

Tor Browser search engine with security slider set to High requires a click

The custom search engine plugin shipped in Tails to localize the search engine in Tor Browser is still using disconnect.me, while upstream Tor Browser has switched to duckduckgo.com by default.

Until we update the search engine plugin, users that set their Tor Browser security slider to High and use the search box in Tor Browser will end up after a redirection from disconnect.me on a page on duckduckgo.com asking them to click on a link to see their result without JavaScript.

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.