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06 January 2012, 17:02

Linux privacy distribution Tails updated to version 0.10

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Version 0.10 of Tails, the live distribution of Linux that aims to protect privacy and anonymity, has been released. Tails is essentially a Debian Linux, combined with Tor and other privacy or anonymity respecting applications, which can be booted and used from either a USB stick or CD. All internet traffic is routed through the Tor network, which should make all communications anonymous. Tails, an acronym for "The Amnesic Incognito Live System", was inspired by the now abandoned Incognito LiveCD.

The new version includes several software and hardware support upgrades. All internet connections used by Tails go through the Tor network, and Tor has been upgraded to The IceWeasel browser is upgraded to 9.0 with a new TorButton, version YouTube videos in HTML5 format can now be viewed. In order to have internet access, web apps now have to be explicitly configured to use Tor. Other software upgrades include Vidalia to 0.2.15, MAT to 0.2.2 and VirtualBox guest to 4.1.6. The Linux kernel has been upgraded to 3.1.6.

Internationalisation has been improved with the use of Scroogle in any language, not just English; support has also been added for Russian, Farsi and Vietnamese, and some Indic and Russian fonts have been added. Further details of changes in this version are available in the change log.

When booted from a CD or USB stick, Tails makes no use of the hard disk of the machine on which it runs. It uses only RAM for its data, which it attempts to delete on reboot and which is deleted anyway once the machine is turned off. No trace of the user's activity should remain, though a known issue exists where it is possible for the 2 GB to 4 GB memory range to not be erased when a machine is rebooted. Version 0.10 has changes which make this less likely but do not completely alleviate the problem.

Tails is available to download under the terms of the GPL3. All existing users are advised to upgrade as soon as possible.


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