A sizable update arrives in Tails 5.8, bringing Wayland support, newly redesigned persistence storage and more.
Tails, aka The Amnesic Incognito Live System, is a privacy-focussed Linux Distribution which uses the Tor network to protect you while browsing the web. Tails are based on Debian stable branch and come with many goodies such as an IRC client, Tor browser, email clients, and messengers to help you roam around on the web anonymously.
What’s New in Tails 5.8 Release
At a high level, Tails 5.8 includes significant redesigns of existing features, improved usability, and strengthened security. Also, bringing modern tech aligns with the changing times and needs of the hour.
The persistence storage module gets a complete redesign in this release. In the new version of Persistent Storage, you no longer have to restart after creating a Persistent Storage or activating a new feature. You can also change the password for your Persistent Storage from within the application. Additionally, you can now create a Persistent Storage directly from the Welcome Screen if you don’t already have one. The Persistent Storage had not been updated much since its initial release in 2012 due to challenges in modifying and improving the code.
The Tails team has also replaced the deprecated X.Org display system with Wayland. While you may not notice any visual changes, Wayland provides increased security for Tails by making it harder for a compromised application to compromise or misuse other applications.
For example, since Tails 4.8, the Unsafe Browser has been disabled by default due to a security vulnerability that could reveal your IP address and deanonymize you through the use of an invisible Unsafe Browser. Wayland addresses this vulnerability and makes it safe to enable the Unsafe Browser by default again. However, if desired, you can still disable the Unsafe Browser from the Welcome Screen.
In addition to addressing security concerns, Wayland also introduces new features that were previously not supported in the Unsafe Browser, including sound, file uploads and downloads, alternative input methods for non-Latin languages such as Chinese, and accessibility features like the screen reader and virtual keyboard.
The Tails team has also made it easier to enter new Tor bridges by allowing you to scan a QR code. You can obtain a QR code by sending an empty email to email@example.com from a Gmail or Riseup email address or by visiting https://bridges.torproject.org/ and printing the QR code on paper.
Furthermore, the entire Debian stable base is bumped up to the latest version, including pre-loaded apps.
A complete changelog is available here if you want to dive deeper into the changes.
Download and upgrade
If you are already running a prior version of the Tails 5.0 series, you should automatically get this update once you boot up Tails from the USB stick.
In addition, if you want to install Tails 5.8 fresh, grab the ISO files from the below links:
Via release announcement.