Tails Linux USB with Persistence (Be invisible online in 7 minutes)Aug 28, 2023
In this video, I'll show you how to install Tails on a USB flash drive. It's actually a very simple installation and the documentation on the Tails website is very good, but the big question is why would you want to do this? The author of this book recommends Tails: Extreme Privacy, What It Takes to Go Away, recommended by others including Edward Snowden, the co-founder of the Tor project and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Now, if you already know what Tails is and all you're interested in seeing is the installation process, skip to this timestamp, but what is Tails?
It is essentially a portable operating system that runs on a USB flash drive when you turn off the computer, everything is lost. It is an ephemeral operating system, in other words, all information is loaded into memory or RAM when the power is turned off or the computer is turned off. is lost, now you can create some
persistenceon the flash drive if you want. So on the Tails website, I explain this very well and they tell you that this leaves no trace on your computer and allows you, as an example, to use someone else's computer. This is a Windows laptop, but maybe I don't trust Windows.
Windows could have done it. virus in it, it could have a key registry, it could have some other type of software running, so I start up in Tails it runs in RAM when the computers shut down, everything is lost. So as they show you on the website, it has Amnesia, everything you do disappears once you turn off the computer, but you can have persistent storage, for example, why would you want to do that? Because you want to maintain the
persistenceof your documents, for example. or your Wi-Fi passwords or your browser bookmarks, you don't need to do that, but the problem with persistent storage is that it is encrypted, only someone who knows the password of that encrypted storage can access those persistent documents and you don't have to use them.
If you don't want the browser to show, here's Tor, all your traffic is sent through Tor, going through three relays. The idea here is to make your traffic anonymous so that people can't see what you are doing. Tails allows you to bypass
onlinesurveillance and censorship. Who would be interested in using this? Well, perhaps anyone who is interested in greater privacy in today's world, where we attract so many other examples, would be activists, journalists and their sources, survivors of domestic violence. Basically Tails is great if you want a secure operating system that is ephemeral where everything is lost once you restart your computer, as an example I will turn off this computer, everything is gone I can take this out and then if I turn my computer back on, once it is reboot it boots into windows as you can see there it's booting up and we've booted into windows so
tailsruns completely from this usb flash drive it's ephemeral everything is lost when you reboot ok but enough is enough let me show you how to install Tails. .
Ok, I started Windows. I went to Tails' website. What I need is a USB flash drive that I have here. I'll use the same one I installed Tails on. We will simply overwrite the information. on the flash drive, click on the Tails installed menu option in my example. I am using Windows to install. You could install using Mac OS or Linux as an example or Terminal, but I'm just going to use Windows for this. For example, because most of the people who watch my videos use Windows, I personally use Windows, Mac, Linux, different operating systems, because they all have advantages and disadvantages, so we tell you that you need a USB stick, you need Windows 7 or later, you need at least. two gigs of RAM and they say you need a smartphone, but you don't actually need it for the installation and then what we're going to do first is download Tails, so we're going to download the image which is about 1.3 gigs in size. so I will download it.
I actually downloaded it earlier just in preparation for this video and I was running it on this USB flash drive before, so let's see how long it takes to download it. Now we are warned that Tails is safe, but he is not. magic you have to realize that there are limitations in the tour network, there are certain things you should not do, so take a look at its warnings, don't do stupid things, don't make these beginner mistakes and you will lose all of Tails' power so that you can read it in your time, the next thing we need to do is verify the download.
So once you've downloaded Tails, they want you to verify that it's actually a good install, so I'm going to do that using the file that I downloaded earlier, so click open and that will basically verify your download to make sure it hasn't been So. It is corrupted so we told you that there is a problem with the download and that is because it is an old download notice. Here the verification also fails if you try to verify a different download than the latest version of Tails, so the version I downloaded yesterday and failed. verification process, so what I will do now is select my new version, so that it is actually this version 516, click open and that's it, the verification was successful, so we were able to prove that we actually downloaded the correct version of Tails, now what we do.
What we're going to do is download Etcher so we can write the image to our flash drive and then we basically told it to open up Etcher to do the installation. Okay, there you have it, etcer laptop has downloaded, so I'll open the app, I picked up the SanDisk USB flash drive, so that's the device I'm going to write to. I'm going to flash this new version of Tails, so 516 at the time of this recording, click open and click Flash and that will basically flash it to the USB flash drive. You can see it's about 17% right now.
Okay, it's already written and now it's being validated. You get the idea Okay, there you have it, flash completed, they tell us we're done on the Tails website, they tell us we're done, but something I didn't mention is that your flash drive will be overwritten. so keep in mind that if you have something important on that flash drive, you should make a backup because it will be erased and then overwritten. Well, we're done. Now they tell us that we can do other things, but we don't. We don't really need to do this, we can click Start and use Shift at the same time when restarting the machine to allow us to select it to boot from the USB flash drive.
I'm not going to do that for this example. I'll just click Restart and then what I'll do is press F2, which is the key combination to get this laptop to boot into BIOS. This really depends on the laptop. We have created some PDF documentation that you can download that helps. maybe you set up this install, but it's actually a very simple install and the Tails website is very good, so I pressed F2 and now you should be able to boot from the USB flash drive. Notice what happens: It doesn't show the USB flash drive and This is because it is recommended that you don't insert the USB flash drive when Windows is on and it actually ejects itself if you want, so what I have to do is redo this, so I'm going to save. and I exit and then I'm going to press F2 again after inserting the USB flash drive again to make sure it boots from that USB flash drive and I notice that it's now lifted up so I'm going to move the flash drive to position one.
Your BIOS will obviously vary, so you need to check your laptop settings and BIOS settings. Something else to note in advanced mode, you may need to go to security and disable secure boot, so it's already disabled on my laptop because I've already done that before, but you may have to disable the Secure boot and what I'm going to do is save my changes, click OK and hopefully now it should boot into Tails and that's it, we can boot directly into Tails or use other options. We'll just let it go to the default value, so when it starts up you have several options, you can specify your language, keyboard layout, etc. and one of the options is to create persistent storage, so if you want persistent storage, you can specify it here and then.
Click Start Tails and then you'll need to specify a password for your persistent storage. I'll use a very bad password, obviously you'll want to use something much better than that, but the idea is that you use a password to encrypt. You don't have to create your persistent storage, but that allows you to, for example, keep your Wi-Fi passwords and your documents, etc. As mentioned, when Tails starts up, it also asks you about your Tor connection. Do you want to connect? to Tor automatically and in my case you can also have it use a Tor bridge and if you're not sure what these options are it tells you what they are here so Tor bridges are secret Tor relays so use this as your first Tor Relay if connections to Tor are blocked, for example in some countries by some public networks or by some parental controls.
I don't have any problem here because this is my own network. I haven't actually connected to Wi-Fi. I'm connecting to a physical Ethernet cable, so I'm actually connected using this USB Ethernet connection. You have to decide for yourself if you want to use Wi-Fi, obviously in some places you need to do that and you may want to have extra privacy and security, so check that option and you can also hide on your local network that you are using Tor, so that if you think someone is monitoring the local network for Tor connections you can use that, that's not really relevant to my example.
I'll connect to Tor and return to the persistent storage prompt. You can specify various options on your persistent storage. I'm happy with the defaults and as you can see here, we've now successfully connected to Tor so we can start Tor. browser, you want to wait for the connection to succeed before launching Tor, but voila, we have Tails installed on this USB flash drive on this Windows laptop. I started Tails which gives me a secure operating system, so if I'm worried about viruses or keyloggers or other malware on this laptop. I can start Tails and not have to worry about my connections being secure in Tails because I'm running everything through Tor, it's obviously going to be a lot slower and you might have trouble connecting to certain websites.
For example, if I search for Social Blade and I notice that it's using DuckDuckGo instead of Google for this much more privacy-oriented search engine, but now I go to Social Blade and I've had problems. In fact, on Social Blade in the past I had no problems sharing, which is great to see, but some websites can block Tor, but as an example, I can search for myself and see the analytics of, for example, my YouTube channel on Social Blade and there it is. Wow, you can see the number of views in the last 28 days of information related to my YouTube channel, but the point is that I am using Tor on a safe operating system if I am worried about something and need to shut down my computer.
I can just turn it off and everything is lost except the persistent storage because Tails is running in memory so everything is gone now and if I take it out and turn on the computer it will reboot into Windows and that's it. Now I'm back to Windows because I took out the USB flash drive. I hope you enjoyed this video, if so please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel and clicking the bell to receive notifications. I'm David Bombal and I want to wish you all the best, stay safe and private, thank you.
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