Tails Linux – Best Linux Distro To Keep Anonymity Online

Tails is a live operating system that can be used from Live USB, SD card or DVD disc having size more than 4 GB. Tails is the best Linux distro for anonymity and security or even better than VPN service and that is the reason why Edward Snowden chose tails for leaking NSA documents.

Tails Best Linux distro For Online Annonymity

Tails helps in using the Internet anonymously and beat censorship; all connections to the Internet are forced to go through the Tor network.

  • leave no trace on the computer you are using unless you ask it explicitly.
  • use state-of-the-art cryptographic tools to encrypt your files, emails and instant messaging.

Tails 2.5 is based on Debian Jessie 8(stable) and Kernel version 3.16. It is available in only 32-bit architecture. Tails can be download from here (https://tails.boum.org/install/download/index.en.html).

Before downloading iso file can be verified through Firefox add-on. Bootable Usb can be made on Windows by using YUMI or Rufus. And on Linux, this can be done with the help of Unetbootin.

What’s new In Tails 2.5 That Makes It a best Linux distro for Anonymity?

1. Tor browser upgraded to 6.0.3 and it is based on Firefox 45.3
2. Upgrade to Icedove 45.1
3. Bug fixes

Tails Pre-installed Tools

Tails uses Gnome 3 in classic mode as a window manager and ships with many pre-installed tools –

1. Tor Browser and Onion Circuits.
Tor includes Torbutton, NoScript, HTTPS everywhere and Adblock Plus.
2. I2p Network
3. Network Manager
4. Icedove as an email client.
5. Gobby for collaborative text writing.
6. Electrum, an easy-to-use bitcoin client.
7. Libre Office
8. Unsafe Browser to access internet without using anonymity.
9. Poedit
10. Simple Scan
11. LUKS and Gnome disks to install and use encrypted storage devices
12. GnuPG, the GNU implementation of OpenPGP for email and data encryption and signing
13. MAT to anonymize metadata in files.
14. PWGen, a strong password generator.
15.KeePassX a password manager.

A Brief Review of Tails Tools

After booting tails from live CD/USB you will be asked to setup advanced settings or just continue with simple or pre-configured settings.

tails welcome screen

If you choose “No” you will be directly logged into tails but it has a disadvantage you cannot do anything as root.

If you choose “Yes” then a screen will appear which lets you set up a password, Mac Spoofing and to change network settings.

tails advanced setup

Mac Spoofing helps to hide you on a Network you are connected. Setting up password helps to get root access.

After connecting to Wi-Fi when I start browsing the Internet through Tor I can check my connection details in Onion Circuits.

tails onion circuit

Tor Browser works like a charm and it is now getting better with new Firefox 45.0.3 support and new extensions. Adblock plus is added to block annoying ads in the recent update.

Add-ons which are included in Tor.

tor browser in tails linux

KeyPassX is included with Tails in order to save the password in encrypted databases which can only be unlocked by master key. KeePassX better for saving passwords if you are using tails as a persistent volume. If using Tails as a persistent volume the data which is saved in USB can be encrypted using LUKS.

Tails includes the IceDove email client with OpenGPG for email encryption and the instant messaging client Pidgin with an OTR Cryptography tool that encrypts your IM conversations.

Tails also includes Libre Office Suite, Gimp, Audacity, Pitivi and other software which are used for every day. Ports in tails are by default blocked for security reasons. If you are using Electrum it is strongly recommended that to use it with persistent volume so data can be saved.

There is an option of installing Tails using one USB drive to the other USB drive. This option simply copies the Tails installed on one drive to the other drive. There is an option of persistent volume included which can be used if the bootable USB is made using Tails Installer.

The Gnome classic mode in Tails is not much smooth and it feels sometimes buggy. Sometimes switching between different windows doesn’t work well. A little bug which I encountered was that mouse cursor was always rotating. Hardware related issues can occur. Hardware related issues can be checked at Tails website (Known Issues).

Tails feel like a nice way to beat censorship and remain anonymous on the Internet but always depend on users to take safety measures to make them more secure. These tools just help to get privacy and security.

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