Many of you are probably familiar with the privacy oriented Tor browser, but you may not have heard of Tails OS. Tails takes the Tor browser and places it in a secure operating system environment which can be run from removable media such as USBs or DVDs. The team behind this OS has now released the first release candidate for their next major version - Tails 2.0.
Tails 2.0 is now based on Debian 8 instead of Debian 7. As a result, Tails will inherit systemd and by extension Linux namespaces which strengthen the OS. In terms of end-user software, Icedove - a rebranded version of Thunderbird - replaces Claws Mail. As for the Tor browser, it has been bumped to version 5.5a6.
Another benefit of moving to Debian 8 is that a new kernel will be used. New kernels in Linux usually bring more support for hardware, so if you have any hardware that doesn't work on Tails - such as sound or Wi-Fi - it may work in Tails 2.0. Thanks to backported software, recent chips such as Intel's Broadwell HD Graphics will also work.
The desktop environment has also been changed; Tails 2.0 now uses GNOME Shell in Classic mode to replace the aging GNOME "Flashback". GNOME Shell also has better support for touchscreens, which we're increasingly seeing on laptops.
You can download and read the complete release notes on the Tails website. For those who prefer stable releases, the Tails roadmap suggests that Tails 2.0 is slated for release on the 26th of January, so there's not too long left to wait for its arrival.