Anonymizing Linux: Tails 5.1 improves connection wizard

The anonymizing Linux distribution Tails is now available in version 5.1. In particular, it improves the Unsafe Browser and the connection wizard.

 Anonymizing Linux: Tails 5.1 improves connection wizard

In version 5.1 of the anonymizing Linux distribution Tails, the developers primarily screwed on the connection assistant and the unsafe browser. They have also updated the most important core components. Waiting for the Tor browser 11.0.14, which was enriched with security patches, had delayed the expected release of Tails by around a week.

The developers explain that the Tor connection assistant now automatically corrects the computer clock if the option is selected to automatically connect to the Tor network. This should make it easier to circumvent censorship, especially for people in Asia.

Correct Time

Tails gets the current time through a connection to Fedora’s captive portal detection service. Most Linux distributions use this, the Tails makers explain in the release notes. This connection does not go through the Tor network and is an exception to the guideline of only connecting to the Internet through the Tor network.

The time displayed in the top navigation bar is based on the time zone specified in the time settings selected in the Tor connection wizard. In the future, all users should be able to change the time zone from the desktop and store it in persistent storage.

Insecure Browser

Tails includes the Unsafe Browser for unencrypted connections. This should also visually stand out from the normal, anonymizing Tor browser. The Unsafe Browser makes sense, for example, if users can only activate the Internet connection by visiting a captive portal – which is common, for example, in hotel networks.

The developers have written a new start page for the Unsafe Browser, which is displayed if the network connection is not yet available. It is intended to make it easier to understand how to connect to a network using a captive portal.

Tails now asks for confirmation before restarting if the unsafe browser was not activated in the welcome screen. This is to prevent losing work in progress. Furthermore, the Tails maintainers have now linked the KDE certificate manager Kleopatra with OpenPGP files by default, so that .gpg files can be decrypted with a double-click. In addition, Kleopatra is now part of the Favorite Applications menu.

Other core component updates include Tor version, Tor Browser 11.0.14, Thunderbird 91.9, and Linux kernel 5.10.113. It is supposed to provide support for newer hardware such as graphics cards or WLAN adapters.

The Tails developers also link the installation packages or ISO files in the release notes. In order not to lose the content of the persistent memory, we recommend updating from the running system. However, installing using the instructions provided destroys the persistent memory.

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