Tails 2.0 Gets GNOME Shell As Default Desktop Environment And Debian 8 “Jessy” Upgrades And More

Tails 2.0 released uses GNOME shell

Tails 2.0 is one of the most popular Linux distributions based on Debian. Tails is Live CD/USB that aims to provide freedom by making its users anonymous on the web. All the applications’ traffic such as Internet browser, email client, IM, etc. is sent through the Tor network that is very hard to trace. Recently Tails team released Tails 2.0 with some major changes, some security fixes and lots of other improvements.

Tails (The Anonymous Incognito Live System) is a Linux distribution based on Debian. Tails are designed to be for users who want privacy on the Internet. By default, Tails comes with many applications such as Internet browser, email client, IM, IRC client, etc. All the applications are configured to send all the users traffic through the network called the Tor network. Tor network makes it very hard to trace the traffic and know the users personal information such as users’ location etc.

You can know more about Tails network here.

What’s New In Tails 2.0?

Yesterday Tails team announced Tails 2.0 with some new features, security fixes and improvements that make it more user-friendly, secure and more stable.

Tails 2.0 Uses GNOME Shell As Default Desktop Environment

The major change/feature in Tails 2.0 is that the Tails uses GNOME Shell in the classic mode as default desktop environment. If you have used Fedora then you are already familiar with GNOME desktop environment. I think the reason for implementing GNOME in Tails is that it is faster and stable.

Tails gnome shell

Gnome Shell application menu

Debian 8 “Jessy” Upgraded

Tails 8 is based on Debian 8 “Jessy” upgrades. There are new upgraded packages in this Debian upgrade and many system improvements.

  • Many core GNOME utilities from 3.4 to 3.14: Files, Disks, Videos, etc.
  • LibreOffice from 3.5 to 4.3
  • PiTiVi from 0.15 to 0.93
  • Git from 1.7.10 to 2.1.4
  • Poedit from 1.5.4 to 1.6.10
  • Liferea from 1.8.6 to 1.10

Tor 5.5

Tails 2.0 now has Tor 5.5 which is based on Firefox 38.6.0 ESR that added Japanese support.

Removed Windows Camouflage

Sadly the team had to remove Windows Camouflage from Tails 2.0. Windows Camouflage makes Tails to look like Windows. This way people around you think that you are using Windows. Currently, Windows Camouflage is broken for GNOME shell so the team had to remove it but the team has started working on it to fix it. It is expected to come back soon.

Other Changes

  • Change to systemd as init system and use it to:

Sandbox many services using Linux namespaces and make them harder to exploit.
Make the launching of Tor and the memory wipe on shutdown more robust.
Sanitize our code base by replacing many custom scripts.

  • Tails 2.0 has replaced Icedove with Claws Mail, a rebranded version of Mozilla Thunderbird.
  • Update most firmware packages which might improve hardware compatibility.
  • Notify the user if Tails is running from a non-free virtualization software.


  • HiDPI displays are better supported. (#8659)
  • Remove the option to open a download with an external application in Tor Browser as this is usually impossible due to the AppArmor confinement. (#9285)
  • Close Vidalia before restarting Tor.
  • Allow Videos to access the DVD drive. (#10455#9990)
  • Allow configuring printers without administration password. (#8443)


Overall the team has implemented major features, changes, and fixes. The implementation of GNOME shell is a major change which I love the most. I am sure people will love this too especially users who use Fedora, OpenSuse and other Linux distros who provide GNOME version of their distros. Give us your opinion. Tell us what you love the most in this release. Take the below poll and comment in the comment section below.

LinuxAndUbuntu hosting is sponsored by massiveGRID

Leave a Comment

* By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this. Thank you! Ok Read More