about.mdwn 7.69 KB
Newer Older
1
[[!meta title="About"]]
2

3
> **amnesia**, *noun*:<br/>
Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
4 5 6 7 8
> forgetfulness; loss of long-term memory.

> **incognito**, *adjective & adverb*:<br/>
> (of a person) having one's true identity concealed.

9
Tails is a live system that aims to preserve your privacy and anonymity. It
10
helps you to use the Internet anonymously and circumvent censorship almost anywhere you go and on any
11
computer but leaving no trace unless you ask it to explicitly.
12

13
It is a complete operating system designed to be used from a DVD, USB stick, or SD card
14
independently of the computer's original operating system. It is [[Free
Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
15
Software|doc/about/license]] and based on [[Debian GNU/Linux|http://www.debian.org/]].
16

Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
17
Tails comes with several built-in applications pre-configured with security in
18 19
mind: web browser, instant messaging client, email client, office suite, image
and sound editor, etc.
Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
20

Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
21 22
[[!toc levels=1]]

Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
23 24
<a id="tor"></a>

25 26
Online anonymity and censorship circumvention with Tor
======================================================
Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
27

28 29
Tails relies on the Tor anonymity network to protect your privacy
online:
Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
30

31 32 33
  - all software is configured to connect to the Internet through Tor
  - if an application tries to connect to the Internet directly, the
    connection is automatically blocked for security.
Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
34 35 36 37

Tor is free software and an open network that helps you defend against a form of
network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential
business activities and relationships, and state security known as traffic
Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
38
analysis.
Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
39 40 41 42 43 44

Tor protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of
relays run by volunteers all around the world: it prevents somebody watching
your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, and it prevents the
sites you visit from learning your physical location.

45 46 47 48 49 50 51
Using Tor you can:

  - be anonymous online by hiding your location,
  - connect to services that would be censored otherwise;
  - resist attacks that block the usage of Tor using circumvention tools
    such as [[bridges|doc/first_steps/startup_options/bridge_mode]].

Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
52 53 54
To learn more about Tor, see the official [Tor
website](https://www.torproject.org/):

Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
55
- [Tor overview: Why we need
Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
56
  Tor](https://www.torproject.org/about/overview.html.en#whyweneedtor)
Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
57
- [Tor overview: How does Tor
Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
58 59
  work](https://www.torproject.org/about/overview.html.en#thesolution)
- [Who uses Tor?](https://www.torproject.org/about/torusers.html.en)
Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
60 61
- [Understanding and Using Tor — An Introduction for the
  Layman](https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/wiki/doc/TorALaymansGuide)
Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
62

63 64 65
To learn more about how the usage of Tor is enforced, see our [[design
document|contribute/design/Tor_enforcement]].

Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
66 67
<a id="amnesia"></a>

Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
68
Use anywhere but leave no trace
Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
69
===============================
Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
70 71

Using Tails on a computer doesn't alter or depend on the operating system
72
installed on it. So you can use it in the same way on your computer, a
73
friend's or one at your local library. After shutting down Tails,
Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
74 75
the computer can start again on its usual operating system.

76 77 78
Tails is configured with special care to not use the computer's hard-disks,
even if there is some swap space on them. The only storage space used by Tails is
the RAM, which is automatically erased when the computer shuts down. So
Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
79 80 81 82 83
you won't leave any trace neither of the Tails system nor of what you did on
the computer. That's why we call it "amnesic".

This allows you to work on sensitive documents on any computer and protect you
from data recovery after shutdown. Of course, you can still explicitly save
84
some documents to another USB or external hard-disk and take them away for
Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
85 86
future use.

87 88
<a id="cryptography"></a>

Tails developers's avatar
Typo.  
Tails developers committed
89
State-of-the-art cryptographic tools
90 91 92 93 94
====================================

Tails also comes with a selection of tools to protect your data using strong
encryption:

Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
95 96
  - [[Encrypt your USB sticks or external
    hard-disks|doc/encryption_and_privacy/encrypted_volumes]] using <span
97 98 99
    class="definition">[[!wikipedia LUKS]]</span>, the Linux standard for
    disk-encryption.

Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
100
  - Automatically encrypt with HTTPS all your communications to a number of
101 102
    major websites using [HTTPS
    Everywhere](https://www.eff.org/https-everywhere), a Firefox extension
Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
103
    developed by the [Electronic Frontier Foundation](https://www.eff.org).
104

105
  - Encrypt and sign your emails and documents using the *de facto* standard
106
    <span class="definition">[[!wikipedia OpenPGP]]</span> either from Tails
Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
107
    email client, text editor or file browser.
108 109 110 111 112 113

  - Protect your instant messaging conversations using <span
    class="definition">[[!wikipedia Off-the-Record_Messaging
    desc="OTR"]]</span>, a cryptographic tool that provides encryption,
    authentication and deniability.

Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
114 115 116 117 118 119
  - [[Securely delete your files|doc/encryption_and_privacy/secure_deletion]]
    and clean your diskspace using [[Nautilus
    Wipe|http://wipetools.tuxfamily.org/nautilus-wipe.html]].

[[Read more about those tools in the documentation.|doc/encryption_and_privacy]]

120 121 122 123 124
What's next?
============

To continue discovering Tails, you can now read:

125
  - the [[warning page|doc/about/warning]] to understand better the security limitations of Tails and Tor,
Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
126
  - more details about the [[features and software|doc/about/features]] included in Tails,
127
  - our [[documentation|doc]] explaining in detail how to use Tails,
Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
128
  - some hints on why [[should you trust Tails|doc/about/trust]],
129
  - our [[design document|contribute/design]] about Tails specification, threat model and implementation.
Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
130

Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
131
Press and media
132 133
===============

Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
134
See the [[Press and media information|press]].
135

136 137
Acknowledgements
================
Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
138

139
  - Tails could not exist without [[Debian|http://www.debian.org/]], [[Debian Live|http://live.debian.net]], and [[Tor|https://www.torproject.org/]]; see our [[contribute/relationship with upstream]] document for details.
140
  - Tails was inspired by the [[Incognito LiveCD|http://web.archive.org/web/20090220133020/http://anonymityanywhere.com/]]. The Incognito author declared it to be dead on March 23rd, 2010, and wrote that Tails "should be considered as its spiritual successor".
141
  - The [[Privatix Live-System|http://mandalka.name/privatix/]] an early source of inspiration, too.
142
  - Some ideas (in particular [[tordate|contribute/design/Time_syncing]] and
143 144
    improvements to our [[contribute/design/memory_erasure]] procedure) were
    borrowed from [Liberté Linux](http://dee.su/liberte).
145
  - Portions of Tails are based on TrueCrypt, freely available at [[http://www.truecrypt.org/]].
146 147 148 149

Related projects
================

150 151 152
Feel free to contact us if you think that your project is missing, or
if some project is listed in the wrong category.

Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
153
## Active projects
154

Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
155
* [Freepto](http://www.freepto.mx/)
156 157
* [IprediaOS](http://www.ipredia.org/)
* [JonDo Live-CD](https://anonymous-proxy-servers.net/en/jondo-live-cd.html)
Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
158
* [Lightweight Portable Security](http://www.spi.dod.mil/lipose.htm)
159
* [Whonix](https://www.whonix.org/)
160

Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
161
## Discontinued, abandoned or sleeping projects
162 163

* [Anonym.OS](http://sourceforge.net/projects/anonym-os/)
164
* [ISXUbuntu](http://www.isoc-ny.org/wiki/ISXubuntu)
165
* [ELE](http://www.northernsecurity.net/download/ele/) (dead link)
127.0.0.1's avatar
127.0.0.1 committed
166
* [Estrella Roja](http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=estrellaroja)
167
* [The Haven Project](https://www.haven-project.org/) (dead link)
168
* [The Incognito LiveCD](http://web.archive.org/web/20090220133020/http://anonymityanywhere.com/)
169
* [Liberté Linux](http://dee.su/liberte)
170 171 172 173 174 175 176
* [Odebian](http://www.odebian.org/)
* [onionOS](http://jamon.name/files/onionOS/) (dead link)
* [ParanoidLinux](http://www.paranoidlinux.org/) (dead link)
* [Phantomix](http://phantomix.ytternhagen.de/)
* [Polippix](http://polippix.org/)
* [Privatix](http://www.mandalka.name/privatix/)
* [Ubuntu Privacy Remix](https://www.privacy-cd.org/)
177
* [uVirtus](http://uvirtus.org/)