Heads up, private penguins: Tails 4.0 is out. Security-conscious Linux gets updated apps, speed boost


& # 39; More changes than any version since years & # 39; in Tor-touting OS

  Tails is a Linux distribution aimed at privacy and anonymous browsing

Tails is a Linux distribution aimed at privacy and anonymous browsing

Tails has released version 4.0 of the Linux distribution focused on privacy, based on Debian 10, with numerous features and usability improvements.

Tails means "The Amnesic Incognito Live System". It usually starts from a USB stick and runs as a live operating system that, by default, is not persistent.

You can set up a "persistent volume", in which case Tails creates encrypted storage protected by a passphrase, where you can store things, including documents, emails and email settings, browser bookmarks, printer settings and some additional applications A persistent volume must be on removable media, such as free space on the USB memory where Tails is installed, and not on a desktop hard drive. Therefore, it is not suitable as a general purpose operating system.

Not all USB sticks or PCs work with Tails, so if you want to use it, check the known issues carefully.

Applications installed by default in Tails include Tor Browser, Onion Share (for secure file sharing), LibreOffice, KeePassXC password manager, Electrum Bitcoin wallet (only useful with persistent volume) and some other tools and utilities of productivity

The target audience could be journalists, political activists and anyone with good or bad reasons for wanting anonymity and security. Here the philosophy of Tails is explained in a "social contract".

We install Tails in a virtual machine, but this is not recommended for serious use since the host operating system may be unreliable and the virtual environment may leave traces of Tails Session on the host. You are expected to surf the web with Tor, although an "insecure browser" (and well-marked) is also included for the sole purpose of browsing the captive portals to obtain a public Wi-Fi connection.

New features to 4.0 include updated applications that include the Tor 9.0 browser, LibreOffice 6.1.5 and so on. It is said that Tails 4.0 starts 20 percent faster, requires 250 MB less RAM and is 47 MB ​​smaller to download. The image of Tails is 1.1GB. There is also an improved on-screen keyboard. Everything you need for things like encrypted emails, deleting document metadata and signing files so that recipients can verify that they have not been altered, is at your fingertips.

The future roadmap includes support for secure startup, automatic updates, better documentation, accessibility for blind users and general usability improvements.

The Tails team takes privacy seriously and reading the documentation and warnings gives you a good idea of ​​the many problems you should consider. It is a bit awkward to use, but, given the features offered, it is not difficult to use either. ®

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