Tails OS just got a serious buff, and security experts such as Edward Snowden should be happy with the improved version of the operating system.
The Amnesic Incognito Live System, aka Tails, touts that its version 2.0 will bring a new level of security.
Tails 2.0 novelties include a services sandbox capability via the controversial systemd, a new Tor Browser and a novel desktop environment.
The developers featured Tails 2.0 with a more user friendly and intuitive installation process, which should expand its popularity. To summarize, you begin the new process in the web browser and get instructions that will assist you with the downloaded Tails ISO.
One of Tails' foundation concepts is to leave as little trails as possible. That is why the OS runs directly from an USB flash pen and does all it can to delete any trace of usage after shutting down.
Built-in encryption tools and a series of tricks aim to give Tails 2.0 users the sought-after anonymity. Among other ways, it achieves its goal by routing all Internet connections through the anonymous TOR (The Onion Router) network.
The Gnome shell desktop environment is the first new feature that the developers mention in the Changelog. The classic mode that furnishes Gnome 3.14 is crafted so that users will get a more basic, Gnome 2.0 feeling. The coders acknowledge that users were very attached to the classic Gnome mode and it modified the latest Tails consequently.
The latest Tails OS version works on Debian 8.0 (codenamed jessie), which has almost one year of stable release. The controversial systemd is another important part of Tails 2.0. Critics slammed systemd for being an inflexible piece of software which contradicts the fundamental Unix concept of tiny, independent utilities.
Tor Browser 5.5 is included in the Tails 2.0 menu, as well. Even if Firefox is at version 44, the security-focused browser relies on Firefox 38.06. This happens because where safety and secrecy is concerned, developers tend to take much more time before jumping on a new software variant.
Take note that using Tor could lead to some NSA-related consequences, as reports from last year pointed out.
The novel installation assistant will be right up new users' alley. The developers point out that the process was simplified enough to make the high security OS easier to get into for beginners.
Tails may not be the OS of choice for many, but when high-grade security is the criteria, there are few competitors.
For whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, such tools are invaluable.