In this documentation we use the term bug to refer to a software error.

Reporting bugs is a great way of helping us improve Tails.

Remember that the more effectively you report a bug, the more likely we are to fix it.

Check if the bug is already known

Have a look at:

How to write a useful bug report

  • The first aim of a bug report is to tell the developers exactly how to reproduce the failure, so try to reproduce the issue yourself and describe how you did that.

  • If that is not possible, try to describe what went wrong in detail. Write down the error messages, especially if they have numbers.

  • Write clearly and be precise. Say what you mean, and make sure it cannot be misinterpreted.

  • Be ready to provide extra information if the developers need it. If they did not need it, they would not be asking for it.

You can also refer to the great How to Report Bugs Effectively, by Simon Tatham.

Use WhisperBack

WhisperBack is an application written specifically to report bugs anonymously from inside Tails. If you are not able to use WhisperBack, see the special cases.

WhisperBack will help you fill-up a bug report, including relevant technical details and send it to us encrypted and through Tor.

Start WhisperBack

To start WhisperBack, choose Applications ▸ System Tools ▸ WhisperBack Error Reporting.

Write the report

WhisperBack lets you give plenty of useful information about your bug:

  • Summary a summary of the bug, try to be short, clear and informative

  • Name of the affected software

  • Exact steps to reproduce the error

  • Actual result and description of the error

  • Desired result

You can also have a look at the technical details to include in your bug report. It will give us information about your hardware, your version of Tails and the startup process.

We are not able to answer every error report, so you might not receive a reply from us.

Take a screenshot

It might be helpful to include a screenshot with your bug report.

  • To take a screenshot of the entire desktop, press Print Screen.

  • To take a screenshot of a single window, press Alt + Print Screen.

  • To take a screenshot of an area you select, press Shift + Print Screen.

The screenshot will automatically be saved in the Pictures folder located in your Home folder. The file name will begin with the word Screenshot.

You can also take a screenshot using GNOME Screenshot.

To start GNOME Screenshot, choose Applications ▸ Utilities ▸ Screenshot.

You can upload the screenshot to an encrypted Up1 host such as the one available at:

Make sure to include in your bug report a link to the screenshot.

Optional email address

Giving us an email address allows us to contact you to clarify the problem. This is needed for the vast majority of the reports we receive as most reports without any contact information are useless. But note that it also provides an opportunity for eavesdroppers, like your email or Internet provider, to confirm that you are using Tails.

Optional OpenPGP key

You can also indicate an OpenPGP key corresponding to this email address. You can either give:

  • A key ID, if the key is available on public key servers

  • A link to the key, if the key is available on the web

  • A public key block, if the key is not publicly available

Send your report

Once you are done writing your report, send it by clicking the Send button.

Once your email has been sent correctly you will get the following notification: Your message has been sent.

If you cannot use WhisperBack

You might not always be able to use WhisperBack. In those cases, you can also send your bug report by email directly.

Note that if you send the report yourself, it might not be anonymous unless you take special care (for example, using Tor with a throw-away email account).

No Internet access

If you are not able to connect to the Internet from Tails, you can try following our instructions on troubleshooting Wi-Fi to fix your Internet connection.

WhisperBack won't be able to send your bug report if you are not connected to the Internet.

The following steps can be used as an alternative method to send your bug report:

  1. In Tails, start WhisperBack.

  2. In the bug report window, expand "technical details to include".

  3. Copy everything in the "debugging info" box.

  4. Paste it to another document (using the Text Editor for instance).

  5. Save the document on a USB stick.

  6. Boot into a system with Internet connection and send your report.

Tails does not start

For troubleshooting instructions in case Tails fails to start, refer to our installation instructions on:

Reproducing the bug in Debian (for advanced users)

It is very useful for us to know if your bug only affects Tails or also affects Debian, on which Tails is based.

Doing so takes much more time so, in doubt, report your bug as instructed earlier and wait for guidance from our help desk.

  • If your bug also affects Debian stable then it will have to be fixed in Debian directly and not in Tails.

  • If your bug affects Debian stable but not Debian testing then it might have been solved already in Debian.

Debian also distributes images (Debian live) that you can install on a USB stick using the same installation procedure as for installing Tails.

Debian stable

Images for the stable version of Debian, on which Tails is based, are available on:

Download the gnome+nonfree.iso image to have the GNOME desktop and all the non-free firmware for better hardware compatibility.

Debian testing

Images for the testing version of Debian are available on:

Download the gnome+nonfree.iso image to have the GNOME desktop and all the non-free firmware for better hardware compatibility.