Users of Linux "Tails"--Can you tell me about it?

I just found out about the supposedly ultra-private/secure Linux distro “Tails”–The Amnesic Incognito Live System.

I’m curious and considering trying it–can you tell me about your experiences? I’d use it mainly with a laptop on public Wi-Fi–any tips, gotchas, etc?

I’m only minimally familiar with Linux–

Thanks for info–

You don’t need to know anything about Linux to use tails – it will simply connect you to the internet through the Tor network and use a pretty standard Firefox browser . The hardest part is figuring out how to make a bootable USB drive (just be sure to follow the instructions to the letter … and try again when your first attempts fail).

If you’re using it for privacy in places like airports or hotels (a very good idea), it will make things like checking email or doing online banking private and safe; all your traffic will be encrypted, so even if someone intercepts it they will not be able to read it. You will have to solve a Captcha to access a lot of websites, and your bank will probably require you to answer your secret question or the like when you appear to be logging on from an unusual location. The Tor network is slow; expect to feel like you are back on dial-up.

The service provider will know that you are using Tor and if they really want to know, may be able to determine that you are using tails. They will not know which websites you are visiting. If you are in a location or situation in which using tails may be considered suspicious, look into “bride mode” in the tails documentation. Bridge mode can hide the fact that you are using Tor and makes it much more difficult to determine that you are using tails.

If you use public Wi-Fi, using tails is a fine idea. It protects your privacy and prevents malicious crap from being downloaded to your computer.

Thx for info–any recommendations for USB thumb drive?–like brand, size, features, etc? …wondering if the USB drive should be encryptable, password-protectable, etc?

This is the kind of thing that, for me, seldom goes smoothly–so I want to eliminate as many newbie mistakes as I can… such as choosing a wrong USB drive–

The problem with USB drives is the auto-executing crapware that many of come with. Try to find one that doesn’t have software already on it if you can – otherwise you just have to figure out how to stop whatever the thing starts when you insert it. They’re pretty cheap – you might want to buy a few different brands to try.

Get small, cheap ones to start; once you have one version of Tails up and running it is a lot easier to make a bigger, better one because the system is designed to be installed from a working Tails USB drive. You may (or may not) have to first burn a DVD of Tails and use that to install it onto a USB drive.

It’s been a long time since I had to go through the initial start up process and I am not a Linux user, so can’t really provide much in the way of how-to details. This is what I used to make my first Tails drive:
Universal USB Installer

Under the first drop-down box, scroll down to find Tails.

If at first you don’t succeed, etc., etc.

Once you have the first install done, it is simple … you’re just using a standard browser.

Good luck & have fun. :slight_smile:

If this is a problem just format the thing from File Explorer