1. Problems starting Tails
    1. Problematic USB sticks
      1. SanDisk
      2. PNY
      3. Aegis
      4. Kingston DataTraveler 2000, Kingston DataTraveler 100 G3
      5. Other vendors
    2. Mac
    3. PC
      1. "Soft lockup" error
      2. Acer Travelmate 8573T-254G50M
      3. Acer Aspire 5315-ICL50 and Acer ES-1-331
      4. ASUS VivoBook X202E
      5. Dell Chromebook LULU
      6. Dell Dimension 2400
      7. Dell Inspiron 8100
      8. Dell Latitude E5250
      9. Dell Latitude E6430 and E6230
      10. Dell XPS L702X/03RG89, Samsung RV520, Samsung Series 7 Chronos
      11. Fujitsu Siemens Amilo A 1667G
      12. HP Compaq dc5750 Microtower
      13. HP Compaq 615
      14. HP Compaq CQ60-214DX
      15. HP Pavilion 15-ab277ca
      16. HP Pavilion dv7
      17. HP ProBook
      18. Lenovo IdeaPad Y410p
      19. Lenovo IdeaPad z585
      20. Clevo W258CU, ThinkPad X121e, T420i, T410, T520, W520, T530, T60, E325, and E530
      21. 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
    2. Tails fails to completely shutdown or restart
  4. Other issues
    1. Chainloading Tails from GRUB
    2. Boot Loader Menu has display issues
    3. Tails fails to connect to certain Wi-Fi networks
    4. The desktop crashes when run with the default QEMU emulated processor
    5. Touchpad configurations
      1. Acer TravelMate B113 - ETPS/2 Elantech Touchpad
      2. Acer C720 - Cypress APA Touchpad
    6. Bluetooth devices don't work
    7. Tor Browser is translated in a limited number of languages
    8. Playing WebM videos in the Tor Browser fails on old hardware
    9. Tails does not boot after automatic upgrade
    10. Persistent folder disappears and persistent feature configurations do not load
    11. Tails behaves weirdly if an automatic upgrade is only partially applied
      1. Mount your Tails system partition in another Linux system
      2. Edit your Tails.module file
    12. Icons and information located on the top right corner of the screen disappeared
    13. Some languages do not have the correct keyboard layout set by default
    14. The OpenPGP passphrase prompt steals the keyboard and mouse focus
    15. Problems when the system clock goes backwards
    16. Lenovo ThinkPad 11e
    17. Acer Aspire One
    18. Electrum is outdated and cannot connect to servers
    19. 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

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, 16GB, and 32GB
  • 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.

Kingston DataTraveler 2000, Kingston DataTraveler 100 G3

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

Other vendors

Mac

  • Any Mac with 32-bit EFI might not start on Tails. You can check if a given Mac is 32-bit or 64-bit EFI on that list: https://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 2016 and 2017: the keyboard, trackpad and Touch Bar do not work.
  • 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.
  • Mac Pro Tower and MacBook Pro 4,1 (both from early 2008) fails to start on Tails.

PC

"Soft lockup" error

On some laptops, Tails starts with the following error:

soft lockup - CPU#N stuck for Ns

To make Tails start successfully, add the following options to the startup options:

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 and Acer ES-1-331

Does not start on USB sticks.

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

You need to add nomodeset to the startup options to make Tails start successfully.

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.

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 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.

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.

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

Fujitsu Siemens Amilo A 1667G

Does not start on USB sticks.

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 Pavilion dv7

Since Tails 1.3, gets stuck at the Boot Loader Menu.

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.

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.

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 tails-testers@boum.org (public mailing list) or tails@boum.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 may fail to discover Wi-Fi networks, may provide unreliable Wi-Fi connections, or may provide poor Wi-Fi performance.

Most such problems can be solved by adding startup options.

The exact combination of options that will work depends on the computer, so try the following instructions until you find a combination that works for you:

  1. Add rtl8723be.fwlps=0 rtl8723be.ips=0 to the startup options.
  2. Add rtl8723be.ant_sel=1 to the startup options.
  3. Add rtl8723be.ant_sel=2 to the startup options.
  4. Add rtl8723be.ant_sel=1 rtl8723be.fwlps=0 rtl8723be.ips=0 to the startup options.
  5. Add rtl8723be.ant_sel=2 rtl8723be.fwlps=0 rtl8723be.ips=0 to the startup options.

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.

Adding modprobe.blacklist=ideapad_laptop to the startup options fixes the issue.

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 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 Air 5,2
    • MacBook Air 6,2
    • 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)
    • MacBook Pro Retina 13-inch (early 2015)
  • Hewlett-Packard HP ENVY x360
  • Hewlett-Packard HP Pavilion dv6 Notebook PC
  • Hewlett-Packard HP ProBook 450 G0
  • Lenovo ThinkPad X61, only on emergency shutdown when pulling out the USB stick
  • Lenovo ThinkPad X220
  • Toshiba Satellite C855D
  • Dell Studio 1458
  • Fujitsu Lifebook AH531/GFO, only on regular shutdown, emergency shutdown works
  • Samsung N150P
  • Acer Aspire e1-572
  • Dell Latitude E6230
  • Microsoft Surface Pro 3

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.

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 core, 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.

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.

Tails behaves weirdly if an automatic upgrade is only partially applied

Tails might behave weirdly if an automatic upgrade is only partially applied. For example, your keyboard might not respond to key presses or you might be unable to connect to networks.

To fix this problem:

Mount your Tails system partition in another Linux system

  1. Start in another Tails or in a Linux system such as Debian or Ubuntu.

  2. Open GNOME Disks.

  3. Plug in your Tails USB stick that behaves weirdly.

  4. If a prompt appears to unlock the persistent volume on your Tails USB stick, click Cancel.

  5. Your Tails USB stick should appear in the left pane of GNOME Disks. Click on your Tails USB stick.

  6. In the right pane, click on the partition labeled Tails. It should be listed as Partition 1.

  7. Click on the Mount selected partition button to mount the Tails partition.

  8. Click on the link in the right pane to open the Tails partition in the Files browser. The link should look something like /media/username/Tails.

Edit your Tails.module file

  1. In the Files browser, open the live folder. Then open the file named Tails.module with a text editor, for example, GNOME Text Editor.

  2. Add the line x.x.squashfs to the end of the Tails.module file. Replace x.x with the Tails version you are upgrading to.

    For example, if you are upgrading to version 3.8, you would add 3.8.squashfs to the end of the Tails.module file.

    Your Tails.module file should look something like this, with different version numbers:

    filesystem.squashfs
    3.7.squashfs
    3.7.1.squashfs
    3.8.squashfs
    
  3. Save the Tails.module file.

  4. In the sidebar of the Files browser, click on the Eject button on the Tails label to unmount the partition. If your persistent volume shows in the sidebar, also click on the Eject button on the persistent volume label.

  5. Unplug your Tails USB stick.

Your Tails should now work properly.

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 intel_idle.max_cstate=1 to the startup options.

Acer Aspire One

If the sound output does not work on an Acer Aspire One laptop, add snd-hda-intel.model=acer-aspire to the startup options.

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 startup options:

    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.