Tails 3.5 Released. The Ultimate Free OS For Privacy.


TAILSTails is a version of Linux that's specifically designed to offer the ultimate in privacy and anonymity. Download it, burn it to a USB stick or a DVD, and you have a live operating system that you can use to boot any computer. It's built-in web browser ensures that everything goes via the Tor network. Emails and documents are automatically encrypted. When you turn off the computer and remove the Tails disk, no trace of your session gets left behind.

In fact, Tails stands for "the amnesic incognito live system", which pretty much sums up what it does.

If you're interested in trying it, head to https://tails.boum.org/install/win/usb-overview/index.en.html where you can download the latest version (3.5) that was released a few days ago. Be aware that the download is a rather hefty 1,800 MB (that's 1.8 GB). It's safe to try on any PC - simply remove the Tails disc and reboot in order to get back to Windows.

To use Tails properly, you'll want to burn it to a USB stick rather than a DVD, and then create a persistent storage area on that stick. This will ensure that you have somewhere to save files to when you're using Tails, and will effectively create a secure self-contained operating system that you can boot on any computer when you want to work in private. This is very handy if you often use computers in internet cafes, hotels and so on. The page at https://tails.boum.org/install/win/usb-overview/index.en.html explains how.

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"And you won't be locked out of your account, if you access your email using Tails or Tor. They just send a code to your phone or a backup email account. Enter that code, and you are done. It's not a risk, if the account is really yours. It's a simple security feature."

Been there: Done that!
I'm at my sister's home an hour away from my home.
I plug in Tails, use Thunderbird, and BINGO............. can't connect?????????
Alert message sent to my phone and backup email client...........
My phone is on my desk and the backup email client is Gmail on my desktop computer next to the phone.
Since I'm at my sister's home, caring for her children while she attends a Teachers Conference, for FOUR days, it will be four days before I can very verify my account.
Believe me, my friend, that's not a feature......... that's a PROBLEM!

OK, this is getting kind of stupid. If you have so much of a problem with Thunderbird being on Tails.... as I said in my previous post, write to Tails team and talk to them.

If you continue to post any more comments like these, I am afraid we will have to remove them, as this isnt getting anywhere.

- Site Moderator

PS: The "scenario" you posted really makes no sense. If it's real, then too. If you have a computer, on which you booted from Tails, then all you have to do is, boot the computer without Tails, and open your backup email and get the code, and access your account.

If the scenario is real, then you knew using Thunderbird on Tails will cause this problem for you, so, why do it?

I'm just wondering........ does anyone agree that Thunderbird should be removed from Tails?
Trying to use Thunderbird through Tor caused me more problems than I want to cope with and as far as I can see, there is no way to use an email client from Tor without really triggering an alert.
Tails, without Thunderbird, would be a cool tool to have on hand should a situation requiring anonymity and privacy arise but I'm reluctant to boot it up with it providing any possibility of locking me out of my email accounts. Removing Thunderbird, which is essentially useless there, would also lighten the download size a little???
I mounted the Tails iso so I could view the included files but removing Thunderbird that way is way above my pay grade.Hopefully the Tails developers will take another look and remove all possibilities of me screwing something up beyond repair. I would like to keep a copy of Tails handy "just in case" but not with the current dangers present.
Anyone agree???
Just wondering!

Why should Thunderbird be removed? There might be, and must be, a lot of people who would want to use Thunderbird in Tails. Why deprive them?

If you want to use Tails without using Thunderbird, then you can do so. Just don't use Thunderbird on it. Use the other software.

There is no danger in using Tails with Thunderbird on it. Just don't use Thunderbird. It's not like it will start up on its own and use your email.

Your comments lead me to believe you were part of the development team. If so you would certainly be qualified to explain how and under what circumstances Thunderbird could be used in Tor????????
So far I haven't been able to even imagine a scenario where I could use it. Please provide some instructions, specific instructions please, as I'm a little thick in the head!
To answer your question...... why should Thunderbird be removed, aside from the fact I can't make it work.
Here's why I think it's dangerous:
Teenager gets home from school with the knowledge that a program is available on the web that will allow him to login to a Russian porn site and download some free porn. The kid puts Tails together and logs in to the Russian site.
He has two hours before his parents get home from work so Mom and Pop will never know what he's up to! His new porn is all download to Tails and when he removes the flash drive all evidence of his activities. Great plan!
Before unplugging the drive he discovers Thunderbird and decides to become "big man on campus" by emailing all his buddies the url to get Tails. The only email account he has is Microsoft's "Live Mail" on Win10 on the family computer. He loads his account into Thunderbird and addresses a message to all his buddies. When he hits "Send" he gets an error msg saying they were unable to connect??
No problem! He pulls the drive and logs in to Windows. He will send an email to all his buddies from Windows Live............. only to find it locked.............
My imagination tells me that thing's go down hill from there............
SO, all we've accomplished is to contribute to the delinquency of a minor, with the evidence recorded for posterity on the Tails drive.
It all sounds a little dangerous to me...... I'm probably wrong???
Aside from breaking the law I would like to know HOW I can use Thunderbird??? Please???

No, I was not part of the development team of Tails.

I think you should contact Tails team directly for your queries and suggestions. They should provide you with all answers.

You can find their contact here:


This is their support page:


And you won't be locked out of your account, if you access your email using Tails or Tor. They just send a code to your phone or a backup email account. Enter that code, and you are done. It's not a risk, if the account is really yours. It's a simple security feature.

After a little more thought and assessing the possibilities I think I'm going to drop this project.
This is about Tor, anonymity, and privacy. I'm really not all that interested in any of them.
The idea of an email client on a stick was what intrigued me. I have an old Linux "Live CD" on the premises somewhere and I'm wondering if a person could use the Tails idea and make a bootable flash drive using that?
If the security issue is unique to Microsoft Mail maybe gmail and a current Linux distribution could be combined to form an email client on a stick and satisfy this sudden curiosity I've developed???
Boot time and lag time.......... I didn't spend much time playing with the browser and only booted the drive a couple of times but I don't really think either boot or lag would be an issue if you are engaged in an activity requiring anonymity and privacy.
The encryption feature I didn't test. I loaded Tails on just one drive because I don't remember an instance where I encrypted a drive and then managed to decrypt it! I avoid it like the plague....... I've had a shot for that!

There are a whole lot of Linux flavors which you can try... and all modern Linux OS can be written on a flash drive, and then you can use that flash drive to boot your PC and use Linux without installing it on your hard drive.

But yes, you obviously cannot boot the computer of a cyber cafe with it, because they won't allow it. Same is with computers of others.

Thanks for the wake-up call!
Fifty-nine years ago I had a professor who used the expression "they're lost like a ball in the tall grass". I just realized that I'm still lost!
Make a list of the people and places that will allow you to boot their computer with a flash drive. Long list?
Mine is empty! Including me! I wouldn't allow a complete stranger, or even a neighbor, to boot one of my machines with anything. Flash drive, CD, DVD, no matter. The idea is unacceptable and would be to anyone with any smarts.
Thanks for the input but I think I'm going to move along and maybe find someplace else to start trouble.

And, I recommend that the developer remove Thunderbird from the Tails program. The idea of using email with TOR is another case of "lost in the tall grass".

Besides, where are you going to find a machine, other than your own, that you will be allowed to boot and you already have an email client?
Just wondering?

Im a little lost too
I think these basic facts need to be provided before recommending this TAILS/TOR operating system:

1)Say you are at a local cafe - how do you modify a computer that isnt your own, to boot off a USB drive ?
Does the local cafe or library allow you to adjust the BIOS settings ?
2)Is a cafe or other establishment, say a library, happy for you to be restarting their computer, and booting off a USB drive ?
- When you leave, you are restarting that computer, and the staff probably have to log in that computer for you after your have gone
3)Using TAILS/TOR, you are given a foreign country IP address - is it a random country, or is it USA/UK/Europe, or other?
4)Someone suggested using yahoo and gmail is not affected by using a foreign IP address - is this confirmed ?
5)There is a risk you can be locked out of your accounts. So how to you verify your account when this happens ?
I dont have a mobile phone number linked to my account for privacy reasons. An internet company once asked me to fax my photo to them
I do not want to be locked out of my accounts, and thanks for the warning that this is a possibility

And users who have tried this:
How bad is the lag? How long does TAILS/TOR take to boot up, and how slow is the lag when using the internet ?

1) I dont think a cyber cafe or a library will allow you to boot from your USB drive. Why would they? And you shouldn't do it too.

2) Yes, if they do allow that, then yes, that computer has to be rebooted for normal operation to proceed on it.

3) The IP is random.

4) Every email service's security feature will be triggered if you try to open it using TOR, which uses IP of a foreign country.

5) You don't need to have a phone. But, you might have a backup email address associated with that email address. So, a mail will be sent to that email address, usually, with a code, which you can put into the security alert and then you can open your account.

You're in trouble!
I read your post on Tails and thought it was the perfect solution to an age old problem......communications. An email client on a flash drive that will fit in your vest pocket and you can take it with you when you walk away............ sounds like a great plan!
I downloaded the iso, installed TAILS, cranked up Thunderbird email client and tried to send an email to myself using my Microsoft account at outlook.com.
Things immediately went to hell in a basket!!!
Microsoft sent me a message to my desktop advising me that someone was messing with my account from a strange location and I had to verify that it was me using that account before they would unblock the address, contacts, etc.
Had I been at a local cafe with TAILS on a flash drive I would not have received that email message and could not have verified my account. MS would not have unblocked my account and I would be sitting in the cafe exactly where I was last week....... incommunicado!
Now Sir! I assume a solution to this little niggle was part of your plan. I'll need instructions, please?

The problem is your misunderstanding of the whole concept of Tails. Tails is based on anonymity and privacy. To achieve that, it routes your traffic through Tor. Now, what's Tor. Read about Tor here:


So, when you use Tails, it routes your traffic through Tor, and so your IP will appear to be from some other country. And since, it is from a very different location that you normally access your email from, the security of Microsoft mail was triggered, and it sent you a message. It is quite normal, and will happen with any other email service too. It's a security feature. And if you have a backup email added to your Microsoft email, an email must have gone to that account too, about this alert.

So, if you use your email using Tails, this issue will always arise.

Got it!
I'm not particularly interested in anonymity nor privacy but thought that an email client on a stick was a great idea. Another snag came to mind too. Tails isn't going to boot every machine you come across so it's really not the best tool for the job that I imagined.
My next question is am I going to find such a tool?
Has anyone ever developed such an animal? I realize the boot problem will always exist but is an email client on a flash drive even possible without fighting the security problem? Just wondering???

If you want an email client on a flash drive, look for portable versions of the software. You can take a look here:


Sounds like this solution is for the use on your own computer

There are other options, which may or may not be as good as TAILS
These following can be used in any combination:

1)Sandbox program - Sandboxie, which is reviewed on TechSupportAlert
- open an internet browser from within Sandbox, so all internet activity files are quarantined in a sandbox, for later deletion
2)CCleaner - remove internet browsing traces including cookies
3)VPN subscription
4)Opera browser with VPN feature (from the Opera website) - can change your IP address so it originates from the US, UK or Europe

I dont use a foreign IP address when checking my email, as I dont want the risk of being locked out of my email account

Sandboxie doesn't assure privacy or anonymity, as any traffic will still be with your real IP. Main use of Sandboxie is to isolate the computer from malware, which might attack while browsing, or during execution of a program, etc.

You can use a private window or tab, if you don't want any internet history or activity.

CCleaner is again to just delete internet history, cookies, etc. Again, not associated with privacy or anonymity.

VPN does hide your real IP.

This is a known issue specific to Microsoft/Outlook and not TAILS. You will find numerous threads about this in the Microsoft support forums. Gmail and Yahoo accounts are not affected and no doubt other clients as well. MC - Site Manager.

Following your link- Which operating system are you installing Tails from? Why would one want to immediately install Tails? Try clicking the homepage link at the top of their webpage, left side. For more explanation.
Using Bing search, and Google URL shortener, you travel to this Softpedia page "https://goo.gl/QSd3PS". Where it tells a bit more about Tails. Only thing bothered me there was that Softpedia does not provide a MDChecksum. Unless it's provided in the download. And the download size is 1.1 GB. In the past all software downloaded from Softpedia has worked and malware free. I tend to trust them. And having used an older Tails live disc version in the past, thought it was simple and worked when booted from. My 2 cents.

Great little O/S, thanks.
Here's what happened with me. Downloaded Tails ,created bootable USB as instructed. I have 3 computers,all Acer . 2 desktop,1 laptop.
Attempted to boot Tails to my laptop ,got security lockout because the BIOS is UEFI. One of my desktop PC's is older with legacy BIOS,
Booted with no problem.
Changed my laptop BIOS to Legacy and I couldn't even boot to internal Windows 10. I fixed that problem but Tails will not boot to my PC's with UEFI BIOS.
What do you guys think?

I'm no expert on BitTorrent, but from what little I have read, it seems that it is not a private way of downloading files. The only way that I can see on the Tails website to download the file is through BitTorrent. Does that not seem like it goes against their premise of "... preserving your privacy and anonymity..."?

No expert here either, but anonymity is a choice. Those concerned with privacy know how to preserve it, especially torrent users. Education is key. With the way the future is looking, I would suggest to any and everyone, educate yourself about how to be or become anonymous on the Internet, how to get off the radar. I don't think their goal is to keep the program private, but to provide a way to BE private, for those who seek it.

And Rob, thank you for this post. I find it extremely valuable and appreciate it. I have learned much from this site over the years. This is the first time I have posted. It's also the first time I felt I knew enough about the topic to say anything.

Thanks for the opportunity, dlines!!

Great post sea siren, and your words are wise indeed.
Anonymity will fast become essential in the near future.
There is now readily accessible software that takes peoples photos (obtained from the internet or other sources) and superimposes them on other videos. Scary stuff.
Keeping all personal photos off the internet is my approach