Tails not starting at all

Mac

This section lists known problems with specific hardware.

See our instructions on starting Tails on Mac for general troubleshooting tips.

Let us know if you discover a new issue or workaround.

Tails does not start at all on Mac models that use the Apple M1 chip and on many other Mac models.

Apple does not prioritize collaborating with Free Software projects. Their newest hardware is usually very hard for Free Software developers to get working with Linux, and thus Tails. PC hardware tends to be more open and work better with Linux.

PC

This section lists known problems with specific hardware.

See our instructions on starting Tails on PC for general troubleshooting tips.

Let us know if you discover a new issue or workaround.

Dell Latitude E5250

Does not start on Tails USB sticks.

Dell Latitude E6430 and E6230

Does not start on USB sticks.

With BIOS versions A03 06/03/2012 (and A09, A11, and A12)

Error message: Invalid partition table!

Workaround (at least with BIOS versions A09, A11, and A12): just hit enter and it will continue with the boot.

HP Compaq CQ60-214DX

Tails 3.3 does not start.

HP Notebook BCM943142HM

Does not start Tails 4.13.

HP Pavilion 15-ab277ca

Tails 3.3 restarts during startup and never starts successfully.

HP ProBook

With UEFI enabled, when choosing a boot device, select Boot From EFI File and then Filesystem Tails and EFI/BOOT/BOOTX64.EFI.

That workaround applied to, at least, the following HP ProBook:

  • 5330m
  • 4330s
  • 6560b

System76 Oryx Pro

This machine does not start from a Tails USB stick: the Linux kernel included in at least Tails 3.11 to 3.13.1, inclusive, does not support the hardware USB controller.

Tails not starting entirely

Mac

This section lists known problems with specific hardware.

See our instructions on starting Tails on Mac for general troubleshooting tips.

Let us know if you discover a new issue or workaround.

MacBook Air Retina 2018 and 2019

To start Tails successfully, add the following boot option when starting Tails:

modprobe.blacklist=thunderbolt

Still, the trackpad and keyboard might not work. You can use an external mouse and keyboard.

MacBook Pro 8,3 17" (AMD Radeon HD6770M and Intel HD Graphics 3000)

If Tails fails to start, add the following boot option when starting Tails:

radeon.modeset=0

MacBook Pro 16,1 (A2141)

The computer freezes then automatically restarts. An error message appears saying that the computer was restarted because of a problem.

To prevent this from occurring, add the following boot option when starting Tails:

amdgpu.dpm=0

PC

This section lists known problems with specific hardware.

See our instructions on starting Tails on PC for general troubleshooting tips.

Let us know if you discover a new issue or workaround.

"Soft lockup" error

On some laptops, Tails starts with the following error:

soft lockup - CPU#N stuck for Ns

To start Tails successfully, add the following boot option when starting Tails:

acpi_rev_override=1 nouveau.modeset=0

Dell Chromebook LULU

To start Tails successfully, add the following boot option when starting Tails:

nomodeset

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

The keyboard and mouse do not work on this laptop. If you find a workaround, please let us know.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

The keyboard and mouse do not work on this laptop. If you find a workaround, please let us know.

Problematic USB sticks

Aegis Secure Key 3.0

To start Tails, remove the live-media=removable boot option. See our instructions on modifying the boot options using the Boot Loader.

Kingston DataTraveler 2000, Kingston DataTraveler 100 G3

Starting Tails from a Kingston DataTraveler 2000 or DataTraveler 100G3 might not work.

Networking issues

Wi-Fi not working

See troubleshooting Wi-Fi not working.

Problematic Wi-Fi interfaces

Check in this section if there is a workaround to get your Wi-Fi interface work in Tails.

To know the model of your Wi-Fi interface:

  1. Open Terminal and execute the following command:

    lspci -v | grep "Network controller"
    

88W8897 [AVASTAR] 802.11ac Wireless

On some computers with a Marvell Avastar 88W8897 Wi-Fi adapter, such as some Microsoft Surface Pro models, Tails fails to connect to Wi-Fi networks.

If you experience this problem, you can try to disable MAC address anonymization that sometimes fixes it.

RTL8723BE PCIe Wireless Network Adapter

On some computers with a RTL8723be Wi-Fi adapter, Tails might fail to discover Wi-Fi networks, provide unreliable Wi-Fi connections, or have poor Wi-Fi performance.

You can try to add the following boot options when starting Tails until you find a combination that works for you. The exact combination of options that works depends on the computer:

  • rtl8723be.fwlps=0 rtl8723be.ips=0

  • rtl8723be.ant_sel=1

  • rtl8723be.ant_sel=2

  • rtl8723be.ant_sel=1 rtl8723be.fwlps=0 rtl8723be.ips=0

  • rtl8723be.ant_sel=2 rtl8723be.fwlps=0 rtl8723be.ips=0

Broadcom Wi-Fi network interface needing broadcom-sta-dkms

Some Broadcom Wi-Fi interfaces require the wl driver, provided by the broadcom-sta-dkms Debian package, to work in Tails.

The wl driver is not included in Tails because it is proprietary.

Your device requires the wl driver if it is in the list of devices supported by the broadcom-sta-dkms package on the corresponding Debian wiki page. If you find your device in the list of supported devices, then it is impossible to use your Wi-Fi card in Tails.

Lenovo Legion Y530

Wi-Fi adapter does not work.

To fix this issue, add the following boot option when starting Tails:

modprobe.blacklist=ideapad_laptop

RTL8821CE

The Realtek RTL8821CE Wi-Fi adapter is not supported in Linux yet.

This problem is tracked by Debian bug #917941.

Problems connecting to the Tor network

See troubleshooting connecting to Tor.

Other hardware issues

Touchpad configurations

Acer C720 - Cypress APA Touchpad

synclient FingerLow=5;
synclient FingerHigh=5;

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 Touchpad

This touchpad does not work by default. To fix this problem, add the following boot option when starting Tails:

pci=nocrs

Lenovo ThinkPad 11e

Tails might be unstable and stop working regularly on some Lenovo ThinkPad 11e laptops, such as the 2015 model.

To fix this problem, add the following boot option when starting Tails:

intel_idle.max_cstate=1

USB devices are not working on some GIGABYTE motherboards

To workaround this issue, you can try to:

  • Use other USB ports. For example, use USB 2 ports instead of USB 3 ports and vice versa.

  • Enable these 3 options in the BIOS

    • xHCI handoff
    • EHCI handoff
    • IOMMU controller
  • Add the following boot option when starting Tails:

    amd_iommu=on iommu=pt
    
  • Disable IOMMU in the BIOS then enable it again.

Some of these workarounds might disable some of the USB ports.

Graphics corruption in Tor Browser and Thunderbird

On some computers, Tor Browser and Thunderbird are displayed incorrectly:

  • The application window is initially empty and white.
  • The icons and menus only appear when hovered by the mouse.
  • The contents of the window is only displayed in stripes when scrolling.

To workaround this issue, add the following boot option when starting Tails:

intel_iommu=off

This problem affects at least the following computers:

  • MacBookPro11,5
  • other MacBooks with a Radeon R9 graphics adapter

Acer Swift 3

In order to allow Tails to use all available memory, start Tails from the F2 EFI setup firmware entry.

Other issues

Bluetooth devices don't work

Bluetooth is not enabled in Tails for security reasons.

Tails fails to start or behaves weirdly after an automatic upgrade

Sometimes, after an automatic upgrade, your Tails might either:

  • Fail to start. Often after the message:

    Loading, please wait...
  • Behave weirdly. For example, your keyboard does not work or you cannot connect to a network.

To fix this problem, you can update your Tails manually.

Persistent folder disappears and data of the Persistent Storage is unavailable

Sometimes, the Persistent folder is missing and all the data of the Persistent Storage is unavailable.

Most likely this means that the persistence.conf file has disappeared. However, the files in the Persistent folder and all the other data in the Persistent Storage should still exist.

If you encounter this problem, you can either:

  • Turn on again the feature of the Persistent Storage that you need:

    1. Unlock the Persistent Storage in the Welcome Screen when starting Tails.

    2. Choose Applications ▸ Tails ▸ Configure persistent volume.

    3. If you are asked to enter a passphrase, enter the same passphrase that you use to unlock your Persistent Storage.

    4. Turn on the features of the Persistent Storage that you had turned on previously.

    5. Click Save, then restart Tails.

    Your Persistent folder and all the data of the Persistent Storage should be restored.

  • Restore the persistence.conf file from its backup:

    1. Unlock the Persistent Storage and set up an administration password when starting Tails.

    2. Execute the following command in a Terminal:

      sudo cp -a /live/persistence/TailsData_unlocked/persistence.conf{.bak,}
      

If neither of the above instructions fixes the problem, you might need to fix the ownership of TailsData_unlocked.

To fix the ownership of TailsData_unlocked, set an administration password and execute the following command in a terminal:

sudo chown root:root /live/persistence/TailsData_unlocked

Tails does not erase video memory

Tails doesn't erase the video memory.

When you restart your computer after using Tails, it might briefly display the last screen that was displayed in Tails.

If you shut down your computer instead of restarting it, the video memory will erase itself automatically after some time.

See Erase video memory on shutdown.