GSoC 2011: tails-greeter - boot menu for TAILS

by tails | September 16, 2011

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

Throughout the summer I've been working on 'tails-greeter' ( project for TAILS ( live-cd. Essentially it's an implementation of 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 (…) 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 ( 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.


Please note that the comment area below has been archived.

September 16, 2011


hi..i have a question.torproject site is blocked in iran but the tor blog is not and without any limitation we can access it.yes i suspect to they want monitor the ip range and our activites of who connect to tor blog without any anti block application.for example ultrasurf sites in iran,they ,iranian goverment,redirect user to another fake site to download the infected version.but no anyone warn them!if my comment will araise some alert,please inform us that what you think about this subject.

September 18, 2011


Hi dear Tor and dear Blocker that read this!!it seems that THEY agian Block Tor from Iran!!
it is log message:
Sep 18 21:38:44.583 [Warning] Problem bootstrapping. Stuck at 10%: Finishing handshake with directory server. (DONE; DONE; count 1; recommendation warn)

September 19, 2011



I'm getting a 'We're missing a certificate from authority with signing key xxxxxxx : launching request.' error in the message log. Everything else seems normal.

The error is for two different keys and repeats once. That's it. There is no confirmation after that.

Tor-Browser-2.2.32-4_en-US running as relay.

September 20, 2011

In reply to arma


Thank you. I was thinking that a confirmation message of success or something like that would appear after the launch request. Thanks very much for the clarification.

September 20, 2011


I see no use for this in a live CD except if this is a way to load a custom torrc from USB.

September 21, 2011


Hi I was wondering when you are going to make a Tor that runs on Internet Explorer with Windows 7 64bit, because i have a hacker that visits my computer and the firewalls that I've tried has not stop him or her, I had to reinstall my windows 7 64bit application because this hacker screwed something up!!!

Tor is unlikely ever to choose to work with IE. I don't know what you're expecting Tor to do that would help you with the problems you're having. That sort of thing is something that needs to be addressed with /good/ firewalls, antivirus, anti-malware, etc. Not using IE anymore and switching to a browser with fewer vulnerabilities would be a help too.

September 22, 2011


the bridges are useless for access to INTERNET! it mean the bridges did not work!!
any explanation?

The likely answer is that the bridges you have are down. Bridges are run by volunteers typically on their home computers, and these computers turn off, move to new IP addresses, etc.

One of our long-term projects is to start sorting bridges by stability, so it's easier for users to get bridges that will still work a week later.

September 23, 2011

In reply to arma


thanks.but ii have used the bridges that i got via email and i test all new one that is available through the suggested and secure methods.thanks for answer.