Tails 3.9 is a new version of the privacy-focused live operating system that is based on GNU/Linux. The new version of Tails includes security updates and major changes such as native VeraCrypt integration or usability improvements when installing additional software.
The best option to get started with Tails 3.9 is to head over to the Download page on the project’s website. There you find download links for the latest ISO image — with a size of 1.2 Gigabytes — and options to download it directly or by using Bittorrent instead.
Downloads can be verified using OpenPGP; details on how to do that are listed on the download page as well.
If you want to know more about Tails in general check out Mike’s first look at Tails here.
You can boot into the live operating system directly or install Tails 3.9 instead. Booting into the live system leaves no traces behind on the computer. The installation of Tails on the other hand unlocks new options such as installing new software applications or making modifications to the system that are permanent in nature.
Since you can put Tails on a USB Flash Drive, some of the options are also available when you run it as a live operating system.
Installation is straightforward and there are not any critical decisions that users need to make during installation.
The development team notes that Tails 3.9 is about twice as a slow when started from DVD than earlier versions. The known issue is being investigated right now and may be fixed in Tails 3.10 which is scheduled for a October 23 release.
Tails 3.9 changes
Tails comes with a set of carefully selected software programs. You may install additional software components in Tails and when you do, you do get the option now to install it only once or each time you run Tails.
Users of the new version of Tails can check installed software packages under Applications > System Tool > Additional Software.
Tails 3.9 has native VeraCrypt support. VeraCrypt is a encryption software to encrypt containers or entire disks. It is a cross-platform software program that is based on TrueCrypt, another encryption program that has been discontinued. See Mike’s guide on installing VeraCrypt on GNU/Linux systems for additional information about VeryCrypt on GNU/Linux systems.
Several software components included in Tails have been updated. Tails 3.9 features the upgraded Tor Browser 8.0 that is based on Firefox ESR 60.2. You can check out our review of Tor Browser 8.0 and the features that it includes here.
Other components that have been updated include the Thunderbird messaging client which was upgraded to version 60, Tor which was upgraded to 0.3.4.7-rc, and Electrum which was updated to 3.1.3.
Tails 3.9 includes updates for Intel and AMD microcode updates to address various Spectre-based vulnerability issues and an update to Linux 4.17 which fixes the Foreshadow attack.
Thunderbird 60 has been made the new RSS and Atom news feed reader in Tails in the release. It is still possible to install other apps to take over that part, however if you prefer that.
You can check out the full release notes here.
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