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.

Acer Travelmate 8573T-254G50M

Does not start on USB sticks created using Tails Installer. Booting from DVD works fine.

Apple hardware

For the moment, Tails has a very limited support for Apple hardware.

Most recent Apple hardware does not boot without UEFI, and currently Tails does not start with UEFI. See the corresponding blueprint.

See also manual installation using Mac for more compatibility reports.

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).

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 E6430/0CPWYR

Does not start on USB sticks created using Tails Installer.

With BIOS versions A03 06/03/2012

Error message: Invalid partition table!

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.

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.

Dell Dimension 2400

Cannot start neither from USB nor from DVD. System crashes with a blank screen and locked up keyboard.

Clevo W258CU, ThinkPad X121e, X220, X230, T420i, T430, T410, T520, W520, T530, E325 and E530

These machines do not start on USB sticks created using Tails USB 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.

Toshiba Satellite C50-A-12K and C855D-S5106

Fails to start from a Tails USB unless forced to boot using CSM, and not UEFI, first, as advised on:

http://forums.toshiba.com/t5/Computer-Troubleshooting/System-does-not-have-any-usb-boot-optoon/td-p/406325

Problematic USB sticks

The following USB sticks have issues starting Tails. They 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, which is dangerous.

  • SanDisk Cruzer Edge 8GB
  • SanDisk Cruzer Extreme USB 3.0 16GB and 32GB
  • SanDisk Cruzer Fit USB 2.0 8GB and 16GB
  • 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
  • SanDisk Cruzer Facet
  • Staples Relay USB 2.0 16GB

SanDisk had begun the production of flash drives configured as fixed disk in 2012 to meet new requirements for Windows 8 Certification. 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 about should work with Tails.

See also ticket #6397.

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

Security issues

Tails might not erase all the system memory on shutdown

On rare systems (non-PAE with big amounts of memory), Tails does not consistently erase all system memory as it should.

After using Tails Installer, the "emergency shutdown" doesn't work

Tails Installer messes a bit too much with the USB devices for the "emergency shutdown on media removal" feature to continue working after using it. If you believe this feature is critical for the session you're running, we advice you to reboot Tails.

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.

(Ticket: fix DVD eject at shutdown)

Stream isolation inconsistency in Claws Mail

Claws Mail isn't using its dedicated Tor SocksPort for Tor hidden service IMAP/POP/SMTP servers (instead Tor's TransPort is used). This is just a deviation from Tails' design and should have no adverse real world consequences.

Tails fails to completely shutdown or restart

When stopping Tails on some hardware, the memory wipe procedure fails to complete: the display gets scrambled, but the computer doesn't completely shutdown or restart. Sometimes the caps-lock button light of the keyboard flashes.

When this happens, there is no guarantee that the memory is wiped entirely.

This issue has been reported on the following hardware:

  • Hewlett-Packard HP Pavilion dv6 Notebook PC
  • Lenovo ThinkPad X61, only on emergency shutdown when pulling out the USB stick
  • Toshiba Satellite C855D
  • Dell Inc. Studio 1458
  • Fujitsu Lifebook AH531/GFO, only on regular shutdown, emergency shutdown works

Fingerprint

Other issues

Connecting to FTP servers is not possible

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

YouTube videos are hard to get

HTML5 video are not easily seen on YouTube. When the message This video is currently unavailable appears, the video can actually be viewed. Right-click on the page, select NoScriptBlocked objects and Temporarily allow… the video.

Tails will never support videos which require Flash (those with ads).

"Connect automatically" for NetworkManager connections isn't persistent

When the "Network Connections" persistence feature is activated, the "Connect automatically" setting isn't saved for any connection. While this is a bug, it's actually a good one. NetworkManager itself enables this option by default for all new connections, and could result in users re-connecting to a previous network at times when they don't want that.

Tails fails to connect to certain Wi-Fi networks

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

Tails could behave better when run inside VirtualBox

Since 0.17.1, VirtualBox guest modules are not shipped anymore.

See the corresponding task for details.

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;

TorBrowser takes too long to shutdown

Since Tails 0.22, the browser sometimes takes too long to shutdown (ticket #6480). Waiting a few more seconds is usually enough to let it close itself correctly.