The team behind the privacy-oriented operating system, Tails, has released version 3.0 of the OS. The release is based on Debian 9 which itself is due for release in three days. The release brings updates to GNOME and includes a new startup and shutdown experience. If you’re on an old version of Tails you should update as quickly as you can because the release patches many security issues.
In the announcement, the Tails team write:
“We are especially proud to present you Tail 3.0, the first version of Tails based on Debian 9 (Stretch). It brings a completely new startup and shutdown experience, a lot of polishing to the desktop, security improvements in depth, and major upgrades to a lot of the included software.”
One of the biggest changes that users will notice right away is the Tails Greeter, the pop up on boot, has been changed to include all options from a single window with language settings being displayed first for the benefit of international users. The new greeter is the culmination of three years of work by volunteers.
The shutdown sequence is now more reliable and more discrete as it used to crash on various computers or had unpredictable results. In old releases there would be text on shutdown explaining what was happening, now the shutdown screen will be totally black to make it look less suspicious.
Tails 3.0 will only work on 64-bit computers, by dropping 32-bit machines the Tails developers can make it more secure and reliable. Most computers since 2005 are 64-bit so only a few users will be negatively affected by the change.
Aside from the changes listed above, the Tor Browser is now on version 7.0, based on Firefox 52 ESR which supports multi-process. KeePassX, LibreOffice, Inkscape, Audacity, Enigmail, MAT, Dasher and git have also received upgrades.
Users looking to upgrade should perform a manual upgrade or download a fresh copy of Tails and install that to their USB device.