Tails 5.9 has been released with an apology from the developers behind the project. They said that Tails 5.8 users had been affected “badly” by issues but they’ve now addressed most of them in this update. To be fair, the 5.8 update was one of the largest since the project began, so it’s not surprising, with so many moving parts, that issues were detected.
For those unaware, Tails is an operating system that boots from your USB stick. It's designed not to leave a trace on your computer and connects all your internet activity through Tor. When you switch off your computer, it will even wipe the RAM to protect against certain types of attacks.
The list of changes and updates in this update is quite small but the list of fixed issues and known issues is a bit more lengthy, they are as follows:
Changes and updates
- Update Tor Browser to 102.7.
- Update the Tor client to 0.4.7.13.
- Simplify the error screen of the Tor Connection assistant when connecting automatically.
- Improve the wording of the backup utility for the Persistent Storage.
- Remove the confirmation dialog when starting the Unsafe Browser.
- Fix support for some graphics cards:
- Update the Linux kernel to 6.0.12. This improves the support for newer hardware in general: graphics, Wi-Fi, and so on.
- Remove from the Troubleshooting Mode 2 boot options that break support for some graphics cards: nomodeset and vga=normal.
- Please let us know if the support for your graphics cards has been fixed or is still broken.
- Fix starting AppImages that use the Qt toolkit like Feather and Bitcoin-Qt.
- Fix clipboard encryption and decryption in Kleopatra.
- Fix at least 2 cases of Persistent Storage not activating:
- When activation takes longer
- When the Dotfiles feature includes symbolic links
- Please keep reporting issues with the new Persistent Storage. We give them top priority!
- Fix 3 clipboard operations with KeePassXC:
- Copying a passphrase to unlock a database
- Using the auto-type feature
- Clearing passwords automatically from the clipboard after 10 seconds
- Fix the display of the applications menu that was broken in some GTK3 applications installed as Additional Software.
- Localize the homepage of Tor Browser when started from the Tor Connection assistant.
Please keep reporting issues with the new Persistent Storage and when starting on graphics cards that used to work with Tails.
Tor Browser has no minimize and maximize buttons
To work around this:
- Right-click on the Tor Browser tab in the window list at the bottom of the screen.
- Choose Minimize or Maximize.
Welcome Screen and Tor Connection don't fit on 800×600
The top of the Welcome Screen and some button of the Tor Connection assistant are cut out on small displays (800×600), like virtual machines.
You can press Alt+S to start Tails.
Progress bar of Tor Connection gets stuck around 50%
When using a custom Tor obfs4 bridge, the progress bar of Tor Connection sometimes gets stuck halfway through and becomes extremely slow.
To fix this, you can either:
- Close and reopen Tor Connection to speed up the initial connection.
- Try a different obfs4 bridge.
This issue only affects outdated obfs4 bridges and does not happen with obfs4 bridges that run version 0.0.12 or later.
While these known issues are a bit annoying, users won’t have too much of an issue upgrading to the latest release. When you boot Tails 5.0 or later, you’ll receive a message letting you know that an upgrade is available. It should download and install without issue but if you want to do a manual update, follow the instructions here.