Tails = The Amnesic Incognito Live System. It is a ‘security-focused Debian-based Linux distribution aimed at preserving privacy and anonymity.‘ If you’ve never tried Linux then Tails may be an easy way for you to test it.
On my ‘KM&T‘ Blog ‘Hub‘ page dropdown menu there is the Linux ‘Hub‘ listed, and that link leads to my old Linux Newbie – since 1996 blog. Lots of handy Linux info there so I have made it a ‘Hub‘ to this new self-hosted KM&T blog. At that old Linux blog is a page located on the sidebar – Special *PURPOSE* Linuxes. There are some interesting ‘Specialty‘ Linuxes listed in the articles there.
No one knows Linux like Linus Torvalds, and he says – ‘One of the problems Desktop Linux has is it’s not made for normal people, and by normal people I mean, obviously nontechnical people…‘ (NOTE: ‘Technical people‘ are defined as Developers, Programmers, Sysadmins, IT Specialists, Maintainers, etc.); however, there are plenty of Specialty Linux OSes that normal people can find very helpful, e.g., some Russian male hiding from Putin’s ‘Press Gangs‘ who are feeding Russian conscripts into the ‘Meat Grinder‘ – OR – maybe you’re cheating on your wife ‘n don’t want her to know how many women you’re are cheating wid.
Portability is the most useful Use of Linux, IMHO, and definitely a ‘Specialty‘ that most Linux OSes offer…including Tails. The Portability of Tails on a USB drive offers you the option of using it most anywhere ‘n on most any computer.
Avoid surveillance, censorship, advertising, and viruses – ‘Tails uses the Tor network to protect your privacy online and help you avoid censorship. Enjoy the Internet like it should be‘.
Digital security toolbox – ‘Tails includes a selection of applications to work on sensitive documents and communicate securely. Everything in Tails is ready-to-use and has safe defaults‘.
How Tails works
Leave no trace on the computer…
Your secure computer anywhere
To use Tails, shut down the computer and start on your Tails USB stick instead of starting on Windows, macOS, or Linux.
You can temporarily turn your own computer into a secure machine. You can also stay safe while using the computer of somebody else.
Tails works on most computers less than 10 years old. You can start again on the other operating system after you shut down Tails.
You don’t have to worry about the computer having viruses because Tails runs independently from the other operating system and never uses the hard disk.
Tails always starts from the same clean state and everything you do disappears automatically when you shut down Tails.
Tails never writes anything to the hard disk and only runs from the memory of the computer. The memory is entirely deleted when you shutdown Tails, erasing all possible traces.
Leave no trace on the Internet
Everything you do on the Internet from Tails goes through the Tor network. Tor encrypts and anonymizes your connection by passing it through 3 relays. Relays are servers operated by different people and organizations around the world.
Avoid online surveillance and censorship
Tor prevents someone watching your Internet connection from learning what you are doing on the Internet.
You can avoid censorship because it is impossible for a censor to know which websites you are visiting.
- (NOTE: The Tails site is loaded wid info ‘n lots of help! Maybe you’re on vacation ‘n need to use your Host’s computer, but don’t want to interfere wid their ‘stuff‘ or leave your ‘stuff‘ on that computer. I will offer some briefs, but their site offers it all.)
#1 How I do it
I use Ventoy to store ‘Thangs that I don’t use much, but I want them handy when I need them, e.g., Clonezilla, GParted, Tails, etc. Just copy the img or iso to the Ventoy USB, boot Ventoy, then select the ‘Thang you need from the menu, and it will boot right into the desktop.
Before I boot into Tails, I save copies of my bookmarks and also a LibreOffice Writer copy of the “Bridges for Tor” that I will need to a Data USB. I get that “Bridges for Tor” by selecting Step 2 “Get Bridges” and then “Just give me bridges!” on the next page…that leads to an image with characters you enter into the box, and then you get the bridge lines, which I copy to Writer:
After booting into Tails, you get a popup window, but I ignore it until I copy the LibreOffice Tor Bridges.odt from the Data USB to the Tails’ Home folder:
Then, I do the same wid bookmarks, but add one more step – move the bookmarks that are now in the Home folder to the Tor Browser folder located in the same Home folder:
Yes, there are probably easier ways, but that is how I figured out how to get the Tor Browser to add the needed bookmarks…enough said. 😕 Hey, it’s Linux, a secure Linux, and I don’t argue wid it. 😉
OK…back to the original popup window that was ignored briefly:
Both options seemed to work OK, but the Connect to Tor automatically might be faster; however, at home or another private computer I prefer to use the Hide to my local network that I’m connecting to Tor. I’m no Tor expert, but that is choice that I use.
That takes you to the next window:
I’m also no expert wid a Smart Phone ‘n have never tried scanning anything wid it (?!?!?! 😉 ), which is why I use copy the “Bridges for Tor” & Step 2 “Get Bridges” and then “Just give me bridges!” method. 😳 OK, now enter one of the Bridges that you made a copy of, into the Enter a bridge that you already know option:
Click Connect to Tor:
That’s what it looks like if successful. Remember, the Tor connection is using 3 relays so it might not connect at first if the circuits are busy, and it might be slow connecting. Point is, you are using Tails’ Tor Browser because you don’t want the usual people who are spying on you all the time to see what you are doing now – OR – maybe you are camping and don’t want new people spying on what you are about to do, e.g., getting ready to cheat on your wife…again.
Here’s the About info on Tails:
#2 How I do it
#2 method involves installing the Tails’ img file to a USB. Using Windows 11 Pro, I created the bootable media wid balenaEtcher. This way, after copying my bookmarks & the Writer copy of Tor Bridges.odt I was able to save them to the Persistent Storage option.
Persistent Storage didn’t save my switched primary & secondary buttons on the mouse, and another setting or two, but I didn’t need to copy from the Data USB anymore since bookmarks and Tor Bridges.odt were saved. Oh, it also saved the bridge that I had entered during configuring.
Maybe I missed something in the instructions, but I don’t use Tails enough to tweak it further. I’m not a Russian trying to avoid Putin’s ‘Press Gangs‘, and have no wife to cheat on, so I can probably do without Persistent Storage and just keep Tails on Ventoy wid other ‘Thangs.
I’ve tested Tails before, but found this new version easier to use ‘n move around in.
Great guides & documentation, which makes it very User Friendly for any interested Windows 10 & 11 users.
- Attention Windows users: