tails

Tails 0.11 is out!

This new 0.11 release is an important milestone in Tails history.

Download it now.

Changes

Notable user-visible changes include:

  • Tails Greeter, the login screen which obsoletes the language selection boot menu. Tails Greeter also adds some new options:
    • Activating persistence (see below).
    • Setting a sudo password. Unlike earlier Tails releases, full sudo access via an empty password is not available any more. In fact, full sudo access is disabled per default, but can be enabled by setting this password. See the documentation for details.
  • Tails USB installer. This graphical user interface mostly obsoletes our old instructions of cat'ing the .iso directly onto a block device. All of the USB drive must be dedicated to Tails; a bit of extra space is reserved so that future Tails releases will fit when upgrading, and the rest can be used for persistence (see below) or manually formatted if the user so wishes. See the USB installation documentation for details.
  • Persistence can optionally be used when running Tails from a USB drive. Application configurations and arbitrary directories can be made persistent. See the persistence documentation for details.
  • iceweasel
    • Install iceweasel 10.0.4esr-1 (Extended Support Release).
    • Search plugins: replace Debian-provided DuckDuckGo search plugin with the "HTML SSL" one; add ixquick.com; remove Scroogle.
    • Enable TLS false start.
  • Vidalia: upgrade to 0.2.17-1+tails1
  • Internationalization
    • Install all available iceweasel l10n packages.
    • Add fonts for Hebrew, Thai, Khmer, Lao and Korean languages.
    • Add bidi support.
    • Don't purge locales anymore.
    • Don't remove any Scribus translations anymore.
  • Hardware support
    • Linux 3.2.15-1 (linux-image-3.2.0-2-amd64).
    • Fix low sound level on MacBook5,2.
    • Disable laptop-mode-tools automatic modules. This modules set often needs some amount of hardware-specific tweaking to work properly. This makes them rather not well suited for a Live system.
  • Software
    • Install GNOME keyring.
    • Install the Traverso multitrack audio recorder and editor.
  • Miscellaneous
    • NetworkManager is now started at PostLogin time by tails-greeter, rather than as a system service.
    • Pidgin: don't use the OFTC hidden service anymore. It proved to be quite unreliable, being sometimes down for days.
    • Do not display storage volumes on Desktop. This workarounds a usability issue when persistence is enabled, and paves the way towards GNOME3's empty Desktop.
    • Don't build hybrid ISO images anymore. They boot less reliably on a variety of hardware, and are made less useful by us shipping a USB installer from now on.

Plus the usual bunch of minor bug reports and improvements.

See the online Changelog for technical details.

Don't hesitate to get in touch with us.

Tails 0.10 is out

The Amnesic Incognito Live System (Tails), version 0.10, is out.

Changes

Notable user-visible changes include:

  • Tor: upgrade to 0.2.2.35-1.
  • Iceweasel
    • Install Iceweasel 9.0 from the Debian Mozilla team's APT repository.
    • Update Torbutton to 1.4.5.1-1.
    • Support viewing any YouTube video that is available in HTML5 format.
    • Use Scroogle (any languages) instead of Scroogle (English only) when booted in English. Many users choose English because their own language is not supported yet; let's not hide them search results in their own language.
    • Install the NoScript Firefox extension; configure it the same way as the TBB does.
    • Disable third-party cookies. They can be used to track users, which is bad. Besides, this is what TBB has been doing for years.
  • Do not transparently proxy outgoing Internet connections through Tor. Instead drop all non-Torified Internet traffic. Hence applications has to be explicitly configured to use Tor in order to reach the Internet from now on.
  • Software
    • Upgrade Vidalia to 0.2.15-1+tails1. This version will not warn about new Tor versions (this is handled by Tails security check instead).
    • Upgrade MAT to 0.2.2-1~bpo60+1.
    • Upgrade VirtualBox guest software to 4.1.6-dfsg-2~bpo60+1, built against the ABI of X.Org backports.
    • Upgrade I2P to 0.8.11; the start script (which was broken in Tails 0.9) is now fixed.
    • Install unar (The Unarchiver) instead of the non-free unrar.
    • Install Nautilus Wipe instead of custom Nautilus scripts.
  • Hardware support
    • Upgrade Linux kernel to 3.1.6-1.
    • Upgrade to X.Org from squeeze-backports.
    • Install more, and more recent b43 firmwares.
    • Upgrade barry to 0.15-1.2~bpo60+1.
  • Internationalization
    • Add basic language support for Russian, Farsi and Vietnamese.
    • Install some Indic fonts.
    • Install some Russian fonts.
    • Add Alt+Shift shortcut to switch keyboard layout.
  • Miscellaneous
    • Support booting in "Windows XP-like camouflage mode".
    • Do not fetch APT translation files. Running apt-get update is heavy enough.
    • Add MSN support thanks to msn-pecan.
    • Add custom SSH client configuration:
      • Prefer strong ciphers and MACs.
      • Enable maximum compression level.
      • Explicitly disable X11 forwarding.
      • Connect as root by default, to prevent fingerprinting when username was not specified.
    • Replace flawed FireGPG with a home-made GnuPG encryption applet; install a feature-stripped FireGPG that redirects users to the documentation, and don't run Seahorse applet anymore.
    • Blank screen when lid is closed, rather than shutting down the system. The shutdown "feature" has caused data losses for too many people, it seems. There are many other ways a Tails system can be shut down in a hurry these days.
    • Fix bug in the Pidgin nick generation that resulted in the nick "XXX_NICK_XXX" once out of twenty.
    • Pre-configure the #tor IRC discussion channel in Pidgin.
    • Reintroduce the htpdate notification, telling users when it's safe to use Tor Hidden Services.
    • Various htpdate improvements.

Plus the usual bunch of minor bug reports and improvements.

See the online Changelog for technical details.

I want to try it / to upgrade!

See the Getting started page.

Known issue

The memory erasure on Tails shutdown cannot guarantee that all memory in the 2 GB to 4 GB region is wiped. The improvements made in Tails 0.10 should at least make the situation better than previously.

Tails 0.9 Released

The latest version of the anonymous operating system Tails is now available.

Notable user-visible changes include:

## Tor
- Upgrade to 0.2.2.34. This fixes CVE-2011-2768 and CVE-2011-2769 which prompted for manual updates for users of Tails 0.8.1.
- Suppress Tor's warning about applications doing their own DNS lookups. Some users have reported concerns about these warnings, but it should be noted that they are completely harmless inside Tails as its system DNS resolver is Torified.

- Linux 3.0.0-6, which fixed a great number of bugs and security issues.

## Iceweasel
- Upgrade to 3.5.16-11 ((fixes CVE-2011-3647, CVE-2011-3648, CVE-2011-3650).
- Torbutton: upgrade to 1.4.4.1-1, including support for the in-browser "New identity" feature.
- FireGPG: upgrade to 0.8-1+tails2. Users are notified that the FireGPG Text Editor is the only safe place for performing cryptographic operations, and these operations has been disabled in other places. Performing them outside of the editor opens up several severe attacks through JavaScript (e.g. leaking plaintext when decrypting, signing messages written by the attacker).
- Replace CS Lite with Cookie Monster for cookie management. Cookie Monster has an arguably nicer interface, is being actively maintained and is packaged in Debian.

## Software
- Install MAT, the Metadata Anonymisation Toolkit. Its goal is to remove file metadata which otherwise could leak information about you in the documents and media files you publish. This is the result of a Tails developer's suggestion for GSoC 2011, although it ended up being mentored by The Tor Project.
- Upgrade WhisperBack to 1.5~rc1. Users are guided how to send their bug reports through alternative channels upon errors sending them. This will make bug reporting easier when there's no network connection available.
- Upgrade TrueCrypt to 7.1.

## Miscellaneous
- The date and time setting system was completely reworked. This should prevent time syncing issues that may prevent Tor from working properly, which some users have reported. The new system will not leave a fingerprintable network signature, like the old system did. Previously that signature could be used to identify who is using Tails (but not deanonymize them).
- Erase memory at shutdown: run many instances of the memory wiper. Due to architectural limitations of i386 a process cannot access all memory at the same time, and hence a single memory wipe instance cannot clear all memory.
- Saner keyboard layouts for Arabic and Russian.
- Use Plymouth text-only splash screen at boot time.

Plus the usual bunch of minor bug reports and improvements. The full technical changelog is available.

The full version of this release is available at http://tails.boum.org/news/version_0.9/.

Download from here, http://tails.boum.org/download/index.en.html

October 2011 Progress Report

The October 2011 Progress report is available in PDF and text formats. It contains details of the six major releases, new censorship events in China, and results of a concerted effort to work on hiding Tor's network signature, amongst other progress.

Tails Live System version 0.8 released

On September 21, Tails anonymous live system version 0.8 was released.

Notable user-visible changes include:

Tor 0.2.2.33
I2P 0.8.8
Linux 3.0.0
Iceweasel 3.5.16-9
Torbutton 1.4.3-1
HTTPS Everywhere 1.0.1-1
More random looking nicks in Pidgin.
Replace the onBoard virtual keyboard with Florence.
PiTIVi non-linear audio/video editor.
Support arbitrary DNS queries.
Use XZ compression to get much smaller ISO images and a bit faster boot.

Plus the usual bunch of minor bug reports and improvements.

The original announcement is at http://tails.boum.org/news/version_0.8/

You can download it via https://archive.torproject.org/amnesia.boum.org/tails/stable/tails-i386-..., bittorrent, or http://tails.boum.org/download/index.en.html

GSoC 2011: tails-greeter - boot menu for TAILS

This is a guest post from our 2011 Google Summer of Code student, Max:

Throughout the summer I've been working on 'tails-greeter' (https://tails.boum.org/todo/TailsGreeter/) project for TAILS (https://tails.boum.org) live-cd. Essentially it's an implementation of boot-menu (https://tails.boum.org/todo/boot_menu/) in a form of GDM's greeter (that little program which asks your login and password before you see your desktop).

The initial proposal (http://www.google-melange.com/gsoc/proposal/review/google/gsoc2011/mx/20...) was adjusted as the project developed but major ideas remained the same: to implement an extensible boot menu which is easy to include into live-cd and maintain.

This posed several challenges: limit on dependencies I can use (has to be in Debian Squeeze or in backports), mastering Debian packaging, working with git (which sometimes does things in... non-obvious ways). Last but not least, tails-greeter is actually only 3rd consumer of GDM's greeter API besides GDM's own greeter and gdm-commmunity-greeter (https://launchpad.net/gdm-commmunity-greeter). Because of that many things about the interaction with GDM are not very well documented.

Nevertheless, with the help from community, tails-greeter is ready to perform its duties: request language & layout information, set password for user and perform login. The project is rather easy to understand (581 source lines of code according to sloccount) so it can (and probably will) be extended in the future to request more information to adapt TAILS for user needs before login.

There are several things which could be improved, both user-visible (data representation) and internal (login procedure). I plan to stay in touch with the community to help to make tails-greeter ready for the inclusion into TAILS.

Tails 0.7.2 Released

An update to the fully anonymous operating system, Tails, is now available. Version 0.7.2 includes notable user-visible changes include:


* Iceweasel
o Disable Torbutton's external application launch warning. ... which advises using Tails. Tails is running Tails.
o FoxyProxy: install from Debian instead of the older one we previously shipped.

* Software
o Upgrade Linux kernel to Debian's 2.6.32-34squeeze1: fixes tons of bugs, closes a few security holes at well.
o haveged: install an official Debian backport instead of a custom backport.
o unrar: install the version from Debian's non-free repository. Users report unrar-free does not work well enough.

Plus the usual bunch of minor bug reports and improvements. It can be downloaded from http://tails.boum.org/download/ or via bittorrent to save everyone some bandwidth.

The fully detailed changelog can be found here, http://git.immerda.ch/?p=amnesia.git;a=blob_plain;f=debian/changelog;hb=...

tails anonymous operating system, version 0.7 released

The latest in the series, tail 0.7 livecd/liveusb anonymous operating system is released. The Amnesic Incognito Live System, version 0.7, is built on top of Debian Squeeze. The full changelog is available at https://tails.boum.org/news/version_0.7/

Highlight include updated Tor, better hardware and 3G modem support, https everywhere, more anonymity and privacy fixes, debian squeeze-based for updated software all around.

You can get it at https://tails.boum.org/download/index.en.html

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