You need

1 USB stick

Only for Tails!

8 GB minimum

Your Tails

1 USB stick

8 GB minimum

All data will be lost!

Why?

X

It is currently impossible to manually upgrade a Tails USB stick while running from itself. This scenario requires creating an intermediary Tails on another USB stick, from which to upgrade your Tails.

Windows 7

or later

macOS 10.10

Yosemite
or later

Linux

any distribution

Debian

Ubuntu

or another derivative

another Tails

USB stick or DVD

2 GB of RAM

64-bit

Intel processor

not Apple M1 or M2

2 GB of RAM

64-bit

a smartphone

or a printer
to follow the instructions

1 hour in total

½ hour

¼ hour

1.3 GB to download

½ hour to install

½ hour to upgrade

Your steps

Download Tails

While you are downloading, we recommend you read the release notes for Tails 5.7 .  They document all the changes in this new version: new features, problems that were solved, and known issues that have already been identified.

or download using BitTorrent BitTorrent

5.7

Verify your download

Verify your download to make sure that it is safe and was not corrupted during download.

Your BitTorrent client will automatically verify your download when it completes.

The verification below is optional for a BitTorrent download.

You seem to have JavaScript disabled. To verify your download, you can either:

You seem to be using Internet Explorer. To verify your download, please use a different browser.

or verify using the OpenPGP signature

X

OpenPGP signature OpenPGP signature

If you don't know how to use the OpenPGP signature, click instead on the button Select your download… to verify your download with JavaScript.

OpenPGP signing key

Security analysis of the different verification techniques

Verifying $FILENAME

Verification successful! ($FILENAME)

Verification failed! ($FILENAME)

X

Most likely, the verification failed because of an error or interruption during the download.

The verification also fails if you try to verify a different download than the latest version, Tails 5.7 .

Less likely, the verification might have failed because of a malicious download from our download mirrors or due to a network attack in your country or local network.

Downloading again is usually enough to fix this problem. Otherwise, please try downloading from a different place or a different computer.

How does the verification work?

Please try to download again…

Please try to download again…

Error selecting image.

Make sure that you select a USB image that is readable by your browser.

Make sure that you select an ISO image that is readable by your browser.

Retry…

Error downloading checksum file from our website.

Make sure that your browser is connected to the Internet.

Retry…

Error reading image $FILENAME.

Make sure that $FILENAME is readable by your browser.

Retry…

Install balenaEtcher

In the following steps, you will install an intermediary Tails using the Tails USB image that you downloaded earlier.

  1. Click on the following button to download balenaEtcher:

    Download balenaEtcher for macOS

  2. Open the balenaEtcher download (DMG disk image).

  3. To install balenaEtcher, drag the balenaEtcher icon onto the Applications icon.

  4. Close the installation window of balenaEtcher.

    Optionally, eject the balenaEtcher disk image from the desktop.

Instead of installing balenaEtcher, you can also install Tails using dd on the command line.

  1. Make sure that your USB stick is unplugged.

  2. Open Terminal from Applications ▸ Utilities ▸ Terminal.app.

  3. Execute the following command:

    diskutil list

    It returns a list of the storage devices on the system. For example:

    /dev/disk0 #: TYPE NAME SIZE IDENTIFIER 0: GUID_partition_scheme *500.1 GB disk0 1: EFI 209.7 MB disk0s1 2: Apple_HFS MacDrive 250.0 GB disk0s2 3: EFI 134.1 GB disk0s3 4: Microsoft Basic Data BOOTCAMP 115.5 GB disk0s4

  4. Plug your USB stick in the computer.

  5. Execute again the same command:

    diskutil list

    Your USB stick appears as a new device in the list. Check that its size corresponds to the size of your USB stick.

    /dev/disk0 #: TYPE NAME SIZE IDENTIFIER 0: GUID_partition_scheme ∗500.1 GB disk0 1: EFI 209.7 MB disk0s1 2: Apple_HFS MacDrive 250.0 GB disk0s2 3: EFI 134.1 GB disk0s3 4: Microsoft Basic Data BOOTCAMP 115.5 GB disk0s4 /dev/disk1 #: TYPE NAME SIZE IDENTIFIER 0: FDisk_partition_scheme *8.0 GB disk1 1: Apple_HFS Untitled 1 8.0 GB disk1s1

  6. Take note of the device name of your USB stick. In this example, the USB stick is 8.0 GB and its device name is /dev/disk1. Yours might be different.

    If you are unsure about the device name, you should stop proceeding or you risk overwriting any hard disk on the system.

  7. Execute the following commands to copy the USB image that you downloaded earlier to the USB stick.

    Replace:

    • tails.img with the path to the USB image

      If you are unsure about the path to the USB image, you can insert the correct path by dragging and dropping the icon of the USB image from Finder onto Terminal.

    • device with the device name found in step 6

      You can try adding r before disk to make the installation faster.

    diskutil unmountDisk device

    dd if=tails.img of=device bs=16m && sync

    You should get something like this:

    dd if=/Users/me/tails-amd64-3.12.img of=/dev/rdisk9 bs=16m && sync

    If no error message is returned, Tails is being copied on the USB stick. The copy takes some time, generally a few minutes.

    If you get a Permission denied error, try adding sudo at the beginning of the command:

    sudo dd if=tails.img of=device bs=16m && sync

    If you get an invalid number ‘16m’ error, try using 16M instead:

    dd if=tails.img of=device bs=16M && sync

    The installation is complete once the command prompt reappeared.

  1. Open Finder and choose balenaEtcher in Applications.

    Open the balenaEtcher download.

    At the security warning, confirm that you want to open balenaEtcher.

    balenaEtcher starts.

    If balenaEtcher does not start, restart Windows and try again.

Install an intermediary Tails using balenaEtcher

  1. Plug in the USB stick on which you want to install Tails. the intermediary Tails.

    The Persistent Storage of your Tails USB stick will not be copied to the temporary Tails.

  2. Click the Flash from file button.

    Choose the USB image that you downloaded earlier.

    Make sure that the USB image has an .img file extension.

    If the image has an .iso file extension, it is not the correct image. Please go back to the download step. download step. download step. download step.

  3. Click the Select target button to select your USB stick.

    All the data on this USB stick will be lost.

  4. Click Flash.

    Enter your password if you are asked for it.

    The installation takes a few minutes.

    After installing Tails, balenaEtcher verifies the installation.

    If the verification of balenaEtcher fails, try to install again or try using a different USB stick.

  5. Close balenaEtcher.

    If a notification about the USB stick not being readable appears, click Eject to eject the USB stick.

Well done!

You have installed Tails on your USB stick.

In the next step, you will make your computer start on this USB stick.

Tails might not work on your computer, so good luck!

If you already started on the other Tails, go directly to step 3: Verify that the other Tails is up-to-date.

Open these instructions on another device

In the next step, you will shut down the computer. To be able to follow the rest of the instructions afterwards, you can either:

  • Scan this QR code on your smartphone or tablet:

  • Print these instructions on paper.

  • Take note of the URL of this page:

    https://tails.boum.org/install/windows?back=1 https://tails.boum.org/install/mac?back=1 https://tails.boum.org/install/linux?back=1 https://tails.boum.org/install/expert?back=1 https://tails.boum.org/install/clone/pc?back=1 https://tails.boum.org/install/clone/mac?back=1 https://tails.boum.org/upgrade/tails?back=1 https://tails.boum.org/upgrade/windows?back=1 https://tails.boum.org/upgrade/mac?back=1 https://tails.boum.org/upgrade/linux?back=1 https://tails.boum.org/upgrade/clone?back=1

Restart on the intermediary Tails

Restart on the other Tails

Restart on your Tails USB stick

Make the computer start on the USB stick

  1. Make sure that you have installed Tails using either:

  2. Click on the Start button.

  3. Press and hold the Shift key while you choose Power ▸ Restart.

  4. In the Choose an option screen, choose Use a device.

    If the Choose an option screen does not appear, refer to the instructions on starting Tails using the Boot Menu key.

  5. In the Use a device screen, choose Boot Menu.

    Windows shuts down, the computer restarts, and a Boot Menu appears.

    Plug in your Tails USB stick shortly after choosing Boot Menu and while Windows is shutting down.

    In the future, we We recommend that you only plug in your Tails USB stick while Windows is shutting down. Otherwise, a virus in Windows could infect your Tails USB stick and break its security.

    Such an attack is possible in theory but very unlikely in practice. We don't know of any virus capable of infecting Tails. See our warning on plugging Tails in untrusted systems.

    The Boot Menu is a list of possible devices to start from. The following screenshot is an example of a Boot Menu:

  6. In the Boot Menu, select your USB stick and press Enter.

  7. If the computer starts on Tails, the Boot Loader appears and Tails starts automatically after 4 seconds.

    Black screen ('GNU GRUB') with Tails logo and 2 options: 'Tails' and 'Tails (Troubleshooting Mode)'.

    • The Troubleshooting Mode entry disables some features of the Linux kernel and might work better on some computers. You can try this option if you think you are experiencing hardware compatibility errors while starting Tails.

    • The External Hard Disk entry makes it possible to start from an external hard disk and some problematic USB sticks.

Most computers do not start on the Tails USB stick automatically but you can press a Boot Menu key to display a list of possible devices to start from.

If Windows 8 or 10 is also installed on the computer, you can refer instead to the instructions on starting Tails from Windows 8 or 10. Starting Tails from Windows is easier than using the Boot Menu key.

The following screenshot is an example of a Boot Menu:

This animation summarizes how to use the Boot Menu key to start on the USB stick:

The following instructions explain in detail how to use the Boot Menu key to start on the USB stick:

  1. Make sure that you have installed Tails using either:

  2. Shut down the computer while leaving the USB stick plugged in.

    Shut down the computer and plug in the Tails USB stick.

    Shut down the computer.

    Plug in the other Tails USB stick that you want to install upgrade from.

    Unplug your Tails USB stick while leaving the intermediary USB stick plugged in.

  3. Identify the possible Boot Menu keys for the computer depending on the computer manufacturer in the following list:

    ManufacturerKey
    AcerF12, F9, F2, Esc
    AppleOption
    AsusEsc
    ClevoF7
    DellF12
    FujitsuF12, Esc
    HPF9
    HuaweiF12
    IntelF10
    LenovoF12
    MSIF11
    SamsungEsc, F12, F2
    SonyF11, Esc, F10
    ToshibaF12
    others…F12, Esc

    On many computers, a message is displayed very briefly when switching on that also explains how to get to the Boot Menu or edit the BIOS settings.

  4. Switch on the computer.

    Immediately press several times the first possible Boot Menu key identified in step 2.

  5. If the computer starts on another operating system or returns an error message, shut down the computer again and repeat step 3 for all the possible Boot Menu keys identified in step 2.

    If a Boot Menu with a list of devices appears, select your USB stick and press Enter.

  6. If the computer starts on Tails, the Boot Loader appears and Tails starts automatically after 4 seconds.

    Black screen ('GNU GRUB') with Tails logo and 2 options: 'Tails' and 'Tails (Troubleshooting Mode)'.

  1. Make sure that you have installed Tails using either:

  2. Shut down the computer.

    Shut down the computer while leaving the USB stick plugged in.

    Plug in the other Tails USB stick that you want to install from.

  3. Plug in your Tails USB stick.

  4. Switch on the computer.

    Immediately press-and-hold the Option key (Alt key) when the startup chime is played.

    Hold the key pressed until a list of possible startup disks appears.

    'Option' or 'alt' key in the bottom left of Mac keyboard

  5. Choose the USB stick and press Enter. The USB stick appears as an external hard disk and might be labeled EFI Boot or Windows like in the following screenshot:

    Screen with the logo of an internal hard disk labeled 'Macintosh HD' and an external hard disk labelled 'Windows' (selected)

    If the USB stick does not appear in the list of startup disks:

    1. Wait a few minutes. Some USB sticks need some rest after installing.
    2. Make sure that you have installed Tails using either:

    3. Make sure that you have verified your download of Tails.

    4. Make sure that you have verified your download.

    5. Try installing again on the same USB stick.

    6. Try installing on a different USB stick.

    7. Try using the same USB stick to start on a different computer.

    If your computer still does not display the Boot Loader, it might currently be impossible to start Tails on your computer.

  6. If your Mac displays the following error:

    Security settings do not allow this Mac to use an external startup disk.

    Then you have to change the settings of the Startup Security Utility of your Mac to authorize starting from Tails.

    To open Startup Security Utility:

    1. Turn on your Mac, then press and hold Command(⌘)+R immediately after you see the Apple logo. Your Mac starts up from macOS Recovery.

    2. When you see the macOS Utilities window, choose Utilities ▸ Startup Security Utility from the menu bar.

    3. When you are asked to authenticate, click Enter macOS Password, then choose an administrator account and enter its password.

    Startup Security Utility

    In the Startup Security Utility:

    • Choose No Security in the Secure Boot section.

    • Choose Allow booting from external media in the External Boot.

    To still protect your Mac from starting on untrusted external media, you can set a firmware password, available on macOS Mountain Lion or later. A firmware password prevents users who do not have the password from starting up from any media other than the designated startup disk.

    If you forget your firmware password you will require an in-person service appointment with an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider.

    Read more on Apple Support about:

  7. If the computer starts on Tails, the Boot Loader appears and Tails starts automatically after 4 seconds.

    Black screen ('GNU GRUB') with Tails logo and 2 options: 'Tails' and 'Tails (Troubleshooting Mode)'.

    • The Troubleshooting Mode entry disables some features of the Linux kernel and might work better on some computers. You can try this option if you think you are experiencing hardware compatibility errors while starting Tails.

    • The External Hard Disk entry makes it possible to start from an external hard disk and some problematic USB sticks.

Troubleshooting

Starting the computer using a Boot Menu key can be faster than starting the computer on Windows first and then on Tails. We recommend you learn how to start Tails using the Boot Menu key if you use Tails regularly.

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.

Welcome to Tails!

Starting Tails

  1. After the Boot Menu, a loading screen appears.

  2. One to two minutes after the Boot Loader and the loading screen, the Welcome Screen appears.

    Welcome to Tails!

  3. In the Welcome Screen, select your language and keyboard layout in the Language & Region section. Click Start Tails.

    If your keyboard or touchpad doesn't work, try using a USB keyboard or mouse.

  4. After 15–30 seconds, the Tails desktop appears.

    Tails desktop

Install Tails by cloning

Upgrade your Tails by cloning

In this step, you will upgrade your Tails from the other intermediary Tails using Tails Installer.

  1. Plug the new your Tails USB stick in the computer.

    All the data on this USB stick will be lost.

  2. Choose Applications ▸ Tails ▸ Tails Installer to start Tails Installer.

    Tails Installer: 'Clone the current Tails' Tails Installer: 'Clone the current Tails'

  3. Choose the new your USB stick in the Target USB stick drop-down list.

  4. To start the installation, click on the Install button. upgrade, click on the Upgrade button.

    The Persistent Storage of your Tails USB stick will be preserved.

    The Persistent Storage of the other Tails will not be copied.

  5. Read the warning message in the confirmation dialog. Click Yes to confirm.

    The installation upgrade takes a few minutes.

    The progress bar usually freezes for some time while synchronizing data on disk.

  6. After the installation finishes, close Tails Installer.

You are done upgrading Tails. You can now shutdown and restart on your Tails USB stick.

Thank you for staying safe!