Software update: Tails 4.0

Tails stands for “The amnesic incognito live system” and is a live Linux distribution that focuses on privacy and anonymity. It uses Debian GNU / Linux as a base and adds a Gnome environment with Tor, Tor Browser, Pidgin, Thunderbird, Electrum, LibreOffice, GPG and KeePassXC. For more information, we refer to this page. The development team released version 4.0 a few days ago with the following announcement:

Tails 4.0 is out

We are especially proud to present you Tails 4.0, the first version of Tails based on Debian 10 (Buster). It brings new versions of most of the software included in Tails and some important usability and performance improvements. Tails 4.0 introduces more changes than any other version since years.

This release also fixes many security issues. You should upgrade as soon as possible.

Major changes to included software

  • Replace KeePassX with KeePassXC, which is more actively developed.
  • Update OnionShare from 0.9.2 to 1.3.2, which includes a lot of usability improvements.
  • Update Tor Browser to 9.0.
  • Update MAT from 0.6.1 to 0.8.0
  • Update Linux to 5.3.2. This should also improve the support for newer hardware (graphics, Wi-Fi, etc.).
  • Update Electrum from 3.2.3 to 3.3.8. Electrum works again in Tails.
  • Update Enigmail to 2.0.12 and gnupg to 2.2.12, which mitigate OpenPGP certificate flooding.
  • Upgrade most other software, for example:
    • Audacity from 2.1.2 to 2.2.2
    • GIMP from 2.8.18 to 2.10.8
    • Inkscape from 0.92.1 to 0.92.4
    • LibreOffice from 5.2.7 to 6.1.5
    • git from 2.11.0 to 2.20.1
    • Tor to
  • Remove Scribus. You can install Scribus again using the Additional Software feature.

Usability improvements to Tails Greeter

We improved various aspects of the usability of Tails Greeter, especially for non-English users:

  • To make it easier to select a language, we curated the list of proposed languages ​​by removing the ones that had too little translations to be useful. We also clarified how Chinese is listed by having different entries for simplified and traditional Chinese.
  • We simplified the list of keyboard layouts.
  • We fixed the Formats setting, which was not being applied.
  • We prevented additional settings to be applied when clicking on Cancel or Back.
  • We fixed the opening of help pages in other languages ​​than English, when available.

Performance and usability improvements

  • Tails 4.0 starts 20% faster.
  • Tails 4.0 requires about 250 MB less of RAM.
  • Tails 4.0 is 47 MB ​​smaller to download than Tails 3.16, despite all these changes.
  • Add support for Thunderbolt devices.
  • The screen keyboard is easier to use.
  • Make it possible to show the password of the persistent storage when creating one.
  • Add support for USB tethering from iPhone.

New documentation pages

  • How to securely erasing an entire device, including USB sticks and SSDs.
  • How to backup your persistent volume.

Other changes

  • Use the default bookmarks from Tor Browser instead of our own default bookmarks. (# 15895)
  • Remove the Home launcher from the desktop. (# 16799)
  • Remove the default accounts in Pidgin. (# 16744)

Fixed problems

  • Allow opening persistent volumes from other Tails USB sticks. (# 16789)
  • Fix the delivery of WhisperBack reports. (# 17110)

Version number 4.0
Release status Final
Operating systems Linux
Website Tails
License type Conditions (GNU / BSD / etc.)