These instructions explain how to back up your Persistent Storage to another Tails USB stick.

If your Tails is broken and you are trying to rescue your Persistent Storage, see our instructions on rescuing your Persistent Storage from a broken Tails.

Create a new Tails to store your backup

In these instructions, we recommend you to create another Tails to store your backup. This way, if your Tails is lost or damaged, you will be able to replace it immediately with your backup Tails.

Your backup Tails must be version 4.14 or newer.

  1. Install Tails on a new USB stick on which you want to create your backup Tails. For detailed instructions, see how to install Tails from another Tails. Make sure that this new USB stick is at least as large as your current Tails USB stick.

  2. We recommend making your backup Tails USB stick look different than your current Tails USB stick to avoid using your backup Tails by mistake.

  3. Shutdown and unplug your current Tails USB stick.

  4. Restart on your backup Tails and create a Persistent Storage on it. For detailed instructions, see how to create & configure the Persistent Storage.

    We recommend using the same passphrase as your current Tails so that the passphrase is easier to remember.

  5. When the Persistent Storage settings shows the list of possible features, click Save and exit.

    The backup process described below overrides the configuration of the Persistent Storage. So, it does not matter which features you turn on when creating the Persistent Storage.

  6. Shutdown and unplug your backup Tails USB stick.

Create or update your backup

  1. Start on your current Tails, set up an administration password, and unlock the Persistent Storage.

  2. Choose Applications ▸ Accessories ▸ Files to open the Files browser.

  3. Plug in your backup Tails USB stick.

  4. If your backup Tails is outdated, you should upgrade it by cloning your current Tails using Tails Installer. For detailed instructions, see how to manually upgrade from another Tails.

  5. A new encrypted volume appears in the sidebar of the Files browser. Click on it and enter the passphrase of your backup Tails to unlock the volume.

    Your backup shows up as TailsData.

  6. Wählen Sie Anwendungen ▸ Systemwerkzeuge ▸ Root Terminal aus, um ein Terminal mit Administrationsrechten zu öffnen.

  7. Execute the following command to backup your Persistent Storage:

Make sure to execute this command from the Tails that you want to back up: your current Tails. If you run this command from your backup Tails instead, you will delete the Persistent Storage on your current Tails.

rsync -PaSHAXv --del /live/persistence/TailsData_unlocked/ /media/amnesia/TailsData

When the command finishes, it displays a summary of the data that was copied. For example:

sent 32.32M bytes  received 1.69K bytes  21.55M bytes/sec
total size is 32.30M  speedup is 1.00

Each time you update your backup, only the files that have changed are copied.

You can now eject the TailsData volume in the Files browser and unplug your backup Tails USB stick.