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


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, which is dangerous.

  • SanDisk Cruzer Edge 8GB
  • SanDisk Cruzer Extreme USB 3.0 16GB and 32GB
  • 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 32 GB

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 ticket #6397.


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


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.

Other vendors

Acer Travelmate 8573T-254G50M

Booting from DVD works fine, but does not start on 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.

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.

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

Cannot 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.

HP Compaq dc5750 Microtower

Cannot start Tails 1.2.3 created using Tails Installer.

HP ProBook 4330s

With UEFI enabled, when chosing a boot device, select Boot From EFI File and then Filesystem Tails and EFI/BOOT/bootx64.efi.

Lenovo IdeaPad Y410p

Cannot start Tails 1.1 from USB installed manually in Linux.

Lenovo IdeaPad z585

Goes back continuously to boot 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 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.

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


  • Some Mac need rEFInd installed to boot Tails from a USB stick.
  • Any Mac with 32-bit EFI won't 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:
  • MacBookPro5,5 does not boot with Tails in UEFI mode.
  • MacBook Air 3,2 (A1369 EMC 2392) freezes when booting Tails in UEFI mode.
  • MacBookPro (early 2011) fails to boot from DVD since Tails 1.1.
  • Mac Pro Tower and MacBook Pro 4,1 (both from early 2008) and MacBookPro late 2011 (8,2) fail to boot from a USB stick created by Tails Installer.

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

Other hardware issues

Broadcom BCM43224 802.11a/b/g/n wireless network adapter

The Broadcom Corporation BCM43224 802.11a/b/g/n wireless network adapter is known to not be able to spoof its MAC address. Tails enables MAC spoofing by default, and will disable any network adapter it fails to spoof. To make it work you must disable Tails' MAC spoofing feature; please read the documentation carefully and make sure you understand the consequences before doing so.

This network adapter can, for instance, be found in the MacBook Air 4,1, 4,2, 5,1 and 5,2.

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.

If no cold boot attack happens directly after shutdown, the RAM empties itself in minutes, and all data disappears.

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:

  • Apple when booting from a USB stick:
    • MacBook Air 5,1
    • MacBook Pro 7,1, 13-inch mid 2010
    • MacBook Pro 9,2, 13-inch mid 2012
    • MacBook Pro 8,1, 13-inch late 2011
    • MacBook Pro 10,2
    • MacBook Pro Retina 11,1, late 2013
  • Hewlett-Packard HP Pavilion dv6 Notebook PC
  • Lenovo ThinkPad X61, only on emergency shutdown when pulling out the USB stick
  • Lenovo ThinkPad X220
  • Toshiba Satellite C855D
  • Dell Inc. Studio 1458
  • Fujitsu Lifebook AH531/GFO, only on regular shutdown, emergency shutdown works
  • Samsung N150P
  • Acer Aspire e1-572


Other issues

Hard to exchange files with the I2P Browser

It is impossible to exchange files between the I2P Browser and the amnesia user. See ticket #8280. But you can do that with administration rights from the command line. The home directory of the I2P Browser is located in /var/lib/i2p-browser/chroot/home/i2pbrowser/.

You might have to check the permissions of the files that you want to exchange with the I2P Browser:

  • They need to belong to the i2pbrowser user to be accessible from inside of the I2P browser.
  • They need to belong to the amnesia user to be accessible from outside of the I2P Browser.

Boot menu has display issues

Since Tails 1.1, one some hardware (ThinkPad X230, MacBookPro8,1), the boot 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 the corresponding task 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.

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;

Bluetooth devices don't work

Bluetooth is not enabled in Tails for security reasons. To enable it anyway, see the documentation about wireless devices.

Tor Browser 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.

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.