Tails OS is now based on Debian 10 and ships major Tor Browser update

The team behind the Tails Operating System have announced the availability of Tails 4.0, the first major released to be based on Debian 10. With the re-basing of the operating system, new software is included – two important software packages that were updated are the Linux kernel which adds support for new hardware, and the Tor Browser which was bumped to version 9.0 and stops websites identifying you based on the size of the browser windows using a technique called letterboxing.

Other software packages that were updated include KeePassXC which has replaced KeePassX, OnionShare has been upgraded to 1.3.2 bringing usability improvements, the metadata cleaner tool, MAT, has been upgraded to 0.8.0 and loses its graphical interface and now appears in the right-click menu instead, Electrum has been upgraded to 3.3.8 and works in Tails again, Enigmail was updated to mitigate OpenPGP certificate flooding, and Audacity, GIMP, Inkscape, LibreOffice, git, and Tor all received upgrades too.

Another major change is to the Tails Greeter. With this update, languages which have too little translations to be useful have been removed, the list of keyboard layouts has been simplified, the options chosen in the Formats settings are now applied because they weren’t before, and finally, it’s now possible to open help pages in other languages than English, when available.

The final thing worth mentioning about this update pertains to performance and usability improvements. Tails 4.0 starts 20% faster, requires 250MB less RAM, has a smaller download footprint, adds support for Thunderbolt devices, the on-screen keyboard is easier to use, and USB tethering from iPhone is now supported.

Unfortunately, users on previous version will have to perform a manual update to Tails 4.0 but it shouldn’t take too long to do, you can find out more information on the Tails install guide.

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