Privacy and anonymity focused Linux distro Tails 4.0 released - gHacks Tech News

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Privacy and anonymity focused Linux distro Tails 4.0 released

A new version of the privacy and anonymity focused Linux distribution Tails has been released this week; Tails 4.0 is a major update of the Linux distribution that improves performance and usability, upgrades included components, and fixes security issues.

The new version is already available for download on the official Tails project website. The Tails 4.0 ISO image has a size of 1.1 Gigabytes. It can be burned to disc or put on a USB stick to boot into the environment. Note that existing distributions cannot be upgraded to Tails 4.0; a manual upgrade is necessary.

Tails was designed specifically to be run from USB or optical discs to run independently of operating systems installed on computer systems. It comes with Tor built-in and features several other tools and components to improve security and privacy.

Tip: check out Mike's first look at Tails for a general overview of the Linux distribution.

Tails 4.0

tails 4.0

Tails 4.0 is based on Debian 10. The release features impressive performance and usability improvements. The startup time of the distribution should be 20% faster according to the developers. Additionally, Tails 4.0 uses about 250 less Megabytes of computer memory  and is 47 Megabytes smaller than previous versions.

The new version supports devices that use Thunderbolt and USB tethering from Apple's iPhone is supported as well in the new version.

As far as software is concerned, the team replaced the password manager KeePassX with KeePassXC stating that the latter is more actively developed. Both are based on KeePass, a popular password manager for desktop systems.

The integrated Tor Browser was updated to version 9.0 which was released recently, and OnionShare, a file sharing software designed to share files over the Tor network, was updated to a new version as well.

The metadata scrubber MAT has no user interface anymore; its functionality was integrated in the right-click menu. Just right-click on a file and select the remove metadata option to scrub the information from the file.

Components such as Linux, Electrum, Enigmail, GIMP, LibreOffice, or Tor were updated as well in Tails 4.0.

Additional information about the new release is available on the official project website.

Closing Words

Tails 4.0 is a big update that improves RAM usage and startup performance significantly. Since it also includes security fixes, it is recommended to replace existing Tails distributions with the new version as soon as possible.

Now you: Have you tried Tails? What is your take on the distro?

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Privacy and anonymity focused Linux distro Tails 4.0 released
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Privacy and anonymity focused Linux distro Tails 4.0 released
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A new version of the privacy and anonymity focused Linux distribution Tails has been released this week; Tails 4.0 is a major update of the Linux distribution.
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Comments

  1. Cinikal said on October 26, 2019 at 10:34 am
    Reply

    0.0

  2. NOSYSTEMD said on October 26, 2019 at 6:44 pm
    Reply

    (Not so) funny that systemd (huge) implementation for DNS falls on GOOGLE DNS. Moreover, if a modified DNS setting does not work, POETTERING’S Systemd will fall – again – on Google DNS.

    1. John Fenderson said on October 28, 2019 at 3:51 pm
      Reply

      @NOSYSTEMD:

      I advise that you do what I do — use Heads instead of Tails. Heads is a fork of Tails, but omits systemd.

  3. Rolf said on October 26, 2019 at 10:01 pm
    Reply

    I like this OS, but how can I apply a dark theme? The windows are white and as you know LED blue light is harmful.

    1. valcik said on October 28, 2019 at 8:24 pm
      Reply

      Try getting any of dark themes for GTK3 from http://www.gnome-look.org and switching it via terminal or more comfortably via Gnome Tweaks + Shell Extensions tool.

  4. Dennis said on October 27, 2019 at 3:27 pm
    Reply

    Is Tails still a thing these days?

    I’ve heard that if one’s ISP detects a customer using this OS, it automatically triggers greatly heightened scrutiny of his online activity (at least in the USA) which rather defeats the purpose of using Tails in the first place!

    Anyways, I’ve always associated the use of Tails with certain elements of society whose online intentions may not be pure — the province of paedophiles or other such bad actors… Maybe it does have a legitimate use for some, but my threat model doesn’t call for it — yet — I think…

    In these divided, polarised, partisan times of duelling online political activism, it just might be useful. I don’t know…

    1. John Fenderson said on October 28, 2019 at 4:54 pm
      Reply

      @Dennis:

      Yes, Tails is very much a thing these days!

      “I’ve heard that if one’s ISP detects a customer using this OS, it automatically triggers greatly heightened scrutiny”

      By “OS”, do you mean that Tails distro? How does the ISP know that you’re using that? It seems more likely that they’d just be giving extra scrutiny to people using TOR.

      “I’ve always associated the use of Tails with certain elements of society whose online intentions may not be pure”

      I can’t help the associations that you have with Tails, but criminals do not appear to be the bulk of their userbase. A security-minded crook will be taking much greater precautions than that.

      Anecdotally, I know a handful of people who use Tails (or similar distros), and I use one myself. None of these people use it because they’re doing anything nefarious.

  5. Robert said on October 28, 2019 at 12:36 am
    Reply

    Tails is super great for whistle blowing. One can leak information to the news using a USB thumb drive. For extra security, one can also war drive for an open WiFi hot spot to leak information and then use a hammer afterwards to destroy the thumb drive. I have used Tails in the past and am glad to see it is still being developed!

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