October 2012 has seen the highest activity on Tails development mailing list since it is publicly archived (September 2010). This reflects how much work is done to slowly make Tails better and better. More details follow.


Tails 0.14 is on its way. A first release candidate was released on the 12th with pretty good reactions so far. This new version will catch up with long awaited, unspectacular but important features, and fix an impressive amount of small bugs.

While testing the first release candidate, we found I2P unable to work properly. The source of the problem was ultimately determined to a random bit flip.

What should have been an easy update to the next "Entreprise Stable Release" of Iceweasel (Debian unbranded Firefox) left us cold with a half-working Torbutton. This required us to hurry on fixing this standing problem: we now have our own APT repository and a custom Iceweasel package which includes TorBrowser patches for anonymity.

This got included in the second release candidate, released on the 30th, together with translation updates. Unless a major issue shows up, Tails 0.14 should be released on November, 6th.


Tails has been started and successfully connected to the Tor network around 80.420 times in September. That makes a boot every 33 seconds on average. This number is an approximation from the requests made for the security announcements feed. The later is retrieved by Tails after being connected to Tor to eventually encourage users to update.

50 reports were received through WhisperBack.

The forum activity is still really intense: 1542 messages, 161 signed by Tails.


The bug that sometimes made Iceweasel open PDF with Gimp or MP3 with Audacity has been fixed.

Whisperback 1.6.1 fixed the inability to resend a bug after a network problem and some other minor issues.

Network Manager connections can now persist across sessions.

Default to use ftp.us.debian.org as a Debian mirror in the Vagrant build system.

Finally got to nail the issue with the current memory wipe system.

Meanwhile, a new solution was proposed using the hugetlbfs kernel mechanism.

Finally implemented support for multiple kernels meaning proper support for multiple CPUs and cores and more than 3 GB of memory. This also required a new version of liveusb-creator to fix some concurrency issues.

Support for public key encryption in gpgApplet has been merged, finally!

Yelp does not crash on internal links anymore.

Persistence for browser bookmarks is ready for Tails 0.15.

Add and get good reports for a Japanese input method, will be included in Tails 0.14.

Add an input system for Korean, should be included in Tails 0.15.

tordate was broken with Tor 0.2.3. A fix has quickly been found.

Display "Unsafe browser" instead of "Iceweasel" in the Unsafe browser.

Preliminary support for obfsproxy bridges.

Quite some work happened on setting up our own APT repository (Puppet modules hacking and documentation, among others).

Add our custom APT repository in Tails.

Get our own Iceweasel packages with TorBrowser patches and include them in Tails 0.14.

Get more test results for OpenPGP smartcards support.

Add vendor-specific dpkg origin information.

Do not use pdnsd anymore.

New progress has been made on Tails automated test suite.

Documentation and website

Document the upcoming Network Manager persistence.

Document the new support for public key encryption in the OpenPGP applet, and generally improve this part of the documentation along the way.

Fix links to the Universal USB Installer.

Consistently use long GnuPG key ID format in our examples.

Many improvements to French and Portuguese translations.

Documented more of Tails current development process: roles, processes and the release schedule.


Our own APT repository deb.tails.boum.org has gone live on the 24th. This already enables us to use big custom packages (Iceweasel). In the mid-term, we will be able to remove binary packages from our main Git repository. And on the long run, this will enable more control over our freezes, as well as proper source distribution.

In order to get commit announcements back on IRC, we have setup an instance of GitBot on #tails-dev. Unfortunately, this did not work as expected, and repo.or.cz admins explained us that they do not support commit notifications for mirror projects. Next steps are left to be determined.

On-going discussions

Is there any advantage in faking user agent in tordate?

How about authenticated NTP?

Mockups for a revamped Tails Greeter, resulting in several comments

Alan should be taking over maintainance of the Metadata Anonymization Toolkit

Is Tails interested in some boot scripts from Whonix?

Tails website license?

Which Pidgin protocols should be considered "safe"?

Dependencies between persistence options

Block/unblock wireless devices at boot time?

Disable FireWire et al. at boot time?

Tests of two-layered virtualized systems


Unfortunately, sponsor Bravo is not able to fund as much as promised earlier. There might still be funds for some hardware. We'll see how it goes.