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Tails RSS Feed DistroWatch.com: Tails


Last Update: 2023-09-05 13:53 UTC

The Amnesic Incognito Live System (Tails) is a Debian-based live DVD/USB with the goal of providing complete Internet anonymity for the user. The product ships with several Internet applications, including web browser, IRC client, mail client and instant messenger, all pre-configured with security in mind and with all traffic anonymised. To achieve this, Incognito uses the Tor network to make Internet traffic very hard to trace.

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Average visitor rating: 4.81/10 from 16 review(s).

Tails Summary
Distribution Tails (The Amnesic Incognito Live System)
Home Page https://tails.net/
Mailing Lists --
User Forums --
Alternative User Forums
Documentation https://tails.net/doc/index.en.html
Screenshots DistroWatch Gallery
Download Mirrors https://tails.net/install/index.en.htmlDistroWatch Torrent Archive
Bug Tracker https://gitlab.tails.boum.org/tails/tails/-/issues/
Related Websites Wikipedia
Reviews 5.x: DistroWatch
4.x: DistroWatch
3.0: LinuxFR (French)
2.0: LWNDistroWatch
1.x: DistroWatchComputerworldderStandard (German)
0.x: DistroWatchLWN
Where To Buy or Try Shells.com

Recent Related News and Releases
  Releases announcements with download links and checksums:
 • 2023-05-16: Distribution Release: Tails 5.13
 • 2023-03-20: Distribution Release: Tails 5.11
 • 2022-12-20: Distribution Release: Tails 5.8
 • 2022-08-25: Distribution Release: Tails 5.4
 • 2022-05-03: Distribution Release: Tails 5.0
 • 2021-12-08: Distribution Release: Tails 4.25
 • 2021-09-07: Distribution Release: Tails 4.22
 • 2021-07-13: Distribution Release: Tails 4.20
 • 2021-03-23: Distribution Release: Tails 4.17
 • 2021-01-26: Distribution Release: Tails 4.15
 • 2020-10-20: Distribution Release: Tails 4.12
 • 2020-08-25: Distribution Release: Tails 4.10
 • More Tails releases...

 • 2023-06-06 Tails seeks to improve usability
 • 2022-07-11 Tails publishes June newsletter
 • 2022-06-23 Tails publishes hot fix for Tor
 • 2022-06-09 Tails publishes May monthly newsletter
 • 2021-02-11 Tails improves onion-grater
 • 2021-01-28 Tails publishes updated media to address sudo bug
 • 2021-01-09 Tails plans more censorship circumvention
 • 2020-12-16 Tails improves Wayland support and persistent storage
 • 2020-12-10 Tails changes ISO verification process
 • 2020-08-11 Tails introduces and fixes welcome window issues
 • More Tails headlines...

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  • Colour scheme: green text = latest stable version, red text = development or beta version. The function determining beta versions is not 100% reliable due to a wide variety of versioning schemes.
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Feature 5.17 4.29 3.16 2.12 1.8.2 1.0.1 0.6 Feature
Release Date 2023-09-05 2022-04-05 2019-09-04 2017-04-19 2016-01-10 2014-06-10 2010-10-22 Release Date
End Of Life               End Of Life
Price (US$) Free Free Free Free Free Free Free Price (US$)
Image Size (MB) 1200-1300 1100-1200 1100-1200         Image Size (MB)
Free Download ISO, IMG ISO, IMG ISO, IMG ISO ISO ISO ISO Free Download
Installation -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Installation
Package Management DEB DEB DEB DEB DEB DEB DEB Package Management
Release Model Fixed Fixed Fixed Fixed Fixed Fixed Fixed Release Model
Office Suite -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Office Suite
Processor Architecture x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 i386 i386 i386 i386 Processor Architecture
Init Software systemd systemd systemd systemd systemd SysV SysV Init Software
Journaled File Systems -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Journaled File Systems
Multilingual de, en, es, fr, it, pt de, en, es, fr, it, pt de, en, es, fr, it, pt de, en, es, fr, it, pt de, en, es, fr, it, pt de, en, es, fr, it, pt de, en, es, fr, it, pt Multilingual
Asian Language Support ar, fa, kr, vn, zh_CN ar, fa, kr, vn, zh_CN ar, fa, kr, vn, zh_CN ar, fa, kr, vn, zh_CN ar, fa, kr, vn, zh_CN ar, fa, kr, vn, zh_CN ar, zh_CN Asian Language Support
Full Package List 5.17 4.29 3.16 2.12 1.8.2 1.0.1 0.6 Full Package List
Reader Ratings
Reader supplied reviews for Tails

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from 16 review(s)
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Past reviews - sort by:

Version: 5.11
Rating: 8
Date: 2023-04-06
Votes: 5

Some of the aspects I like:

Privacy and Anonymity: Tail OS routes internet connections through the Tor network by default, which helps users maintain their privacy and anonymity online. It prevents websites from tracking user activities and location, and it encrypts all internet traffic, making it difficult for third parties to intercept or monitor online activities.

Security: Tail OS is designed with a strong focus on security, as it is built on a Linux foundation and incorporates various security measures, such as kernel-level firewall, automatic data encryption, and secure file deletion. It also provides a hardened environment for browsing, email, and other online activities, reducing the risk of malware and other cyber threats.

Portable and Live System: Tail OS is a live system, which means it can be run from a USB drive or DVD without installation on the computer's hard drive. This makes it easy to carry and use on any computer, while leaving no traces of user activity on the host system. It's particularly useful for users who need to use public computers or want to protect their data while using a borrowed or shared device.

Free and Open Source Software (FOSS): Tail OS is free to use and is based on open source software, which means that its source code is publicly available for inspection and auditing by the community. This enhances transparency, security, and trust in the software, as it can be independently verified for any backdoors or vulnerabilities.

User-Friendly Interface: Tail OS comes with a user-friendly interface that makes it accessible even for users with limited technical expertise. It provides pre-configured applications for secure browsing, email, messaging, and file management, making it easy for users to adopt secure practices without extensive technical knowledge.

Was this review helpful? Yes No
Version: 5.11
Rating: 6
Date: 2023-03-21
Votes: 0

Tor Browser is great for private/anonymous browsing and to have it combined with an OS on a bootable USB seemed like a really interesting idea. Well, the OS is clunky and outdated, and the Persistent Storage feature just doesn't work. Nothing ever gets saved into it. I spent a couple of hours fiddling with the configuration and rebooting and trying again. Persistent Storage is essential, otherwise you have to set your configuration every time you start and you can't retain bookmarks and file downloads from session to session.

Was this review helpful? Yes No
Version: 5.8
Rating: 2
Date: 2023-01-01
Votes: 16

I used Tails quite a bit back in the day. After a while I just got tired of the promises and the endless glacial improvements. I have moved on.

But despite that, I grabbed the 5.8 version the other day. I loaded it on a old slow USB drive. At first, it seemed to go ok.

Where I ran off the rails was with trying to get and use bridges. It was suggested that I have the system send bridges to my 'gmail' account. I don't have a gmail account and won't get one. Anyone wanting to improve their privacy knows Google is not the place to start. For bridges, go directly to TOR. So I got the bridges, but Tails repeatedly refused to use them. In the past, bridges worked without a blink of complaint. Not for me, not this time.

Bridges are a great help in unsafe environments. Not being able to get them safely and use them is not good for users.

Tails still can't complete randomize the MAC address on start up. Yet, after start up one can go in to the network setting and completely randomize the MAC address after every connection! Really?

The unsafe browser was another issue. I connected to the internet in a public setting with a border manager. Fine. I attempted to start the unsafe browser. It told me to connect first. So, to make sure I had a good connection, I reconnected yet again, only to get the same complaint. WAT???? In a public setting, the Unsafe browser is absolutely needed to connect. If the unsafe browser will not start, you are DIW...'dead in the water.' Meaning Tails is USELESS!

*** The whole point of Tails is for it to work dependably while keeping the user reasonable safe in unsafe circumstances.***

Also, ifconfig is gone. To manually change the MAC address, one has to wander through the IP command.

Nothing about this thing is intuitive.

Tails has great potential. However, the folks running the show there will never, ever realize that potential. Creeping, creaking development is not the solution either.

My solution; I restarted my laptop, started Mint and applied a vigorous treatment of gparted to the Tails USB drive. Done!

Was this review helpful? Yes No

See all 16 reader reviews of Tails...

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