Want a bit of privacy? Got a USB stick? Welcome to TAILS 3.12

Linux distro image seeks USB drive for private liaison. Discretion assured

Scared looking office consultant hides under desk
Shhh. Nobody knows I am here

The Linux distro for the security-conscious has been updated with a fresh USB installation method.

Hot on the heels of Apple's latest privacy blunder, The Amnesic Incognito Live System (TAILS) has emitted version 3.12.

The big news this time around is the arrival of a USB image alongside the usual ISO. ISOs, handy for burning to a DVD or spinning up a virtual machine, are not so good when it comes to one of TAILS' strengths – running Linux without a trace.

The faff of needing a couple of USB sticks and around three hours of spare time is gone with this release. A single 8GB USB stick is sufficient to handle the 1.2GB download and TAILS reckons that the whole process should take an hour and a half.

A swift download and burn to USB using Etcher and a user is up, running and able to enjoy the discretion afforded by the Debian-based distro and the Tor network.

As well as the overhauled set-up process, which will please those put off by the complexities of earlier versions, TAILS 3.12 updates Linux to 4.19, gaining Intel and AMD microcode fixes as well as support for a plethora of new hardware. The Tor Browser is also upped to version 8.0.5 and Thunderbird is bumped to 60.4.0.

The TAILS gang warned that a USB stick loaded with 3.12 might fail to boot a second time but helpfully provides a command to deal with the issue (although tinkering with partition tables via sgdisk may not be for the faint of heart).

Automatic upgrades from 3.10, 3.10.1 and 3.11 should do the trick for existing users (as well as those hardy souls who took 3.12rc1 out for a spin) and TAILS promised that 3.13 will put in an appearance in March. ®

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