Tails, the Linux distribution used by Edward Snowden

tails linux distribution uses snowden
tails linux distribution uses snowden

Last updated: July 3, 2022

Tails is a Gnu/Linux distribution based on Debian, specially designed to preserve the privacy and anonymity of those who use it.

Tails allows you to use the Internet anonymously anywhere on the net without leaving any trace of the actions performed. Besides, it is the distribution that uses Snowden and quite a few other activists to connect safely.

Tails is bootable on a USB stick, so you can use it whether you're at home, a friend's house, or at school. Once your USB drive is removed from the computer, it will restart on the usual operating system and will not keep any trace of Tails usage.


What I like about the Tails distribution is that it allows you touse the internet anonymously with any computer. All outgoing connections to the internet are required to go through the Tor network; it does not leave traces on the computer used. And it also contains cutting-edge cryptography tools to encrypt files, emails and instant messaging.

La linux distribution Tails contains all the tools you need to be completely anonymous and to protect your privacy on the Internet. Among these tools, we find:

  • Tor to surf the Internet without leaving any traces, as well as its Torbutton in order to protect itself from malicious JavaScript codes.
  • I2P, a decentralized and dynamic network allowing to surf and communicate in a secure way and in complete anonymity.
  • HTTPS Everywhere, an extension that forces your browser to only access the most popular and used websites in https mode.
  • GnuPG, the free version of PGP, the most popular and recognized email and file encryption software, which also allows you to sign your emails, and therefore authenticate them, to avoid any identity theft.
  • TrueCrypt, which allows you to encrypt a single file, an entire partition of a hard drive or a device, such as a USB key.
  • PWGen, a strong password generator.
  • A virtual keyboard allowing you to enter your passwords by clicking on boxes with your mouse rather than having to type them on your keyboard, in order to protect yourself from keyloggers which record everything you type on your computer keyboard.
  • FOOD: Metadata Anonymization Toolkit  to anonymize the metadata contained in the files; (creation and modification dates, GPS coordinates, identity of the computer or camera user, etc.).

For those who are used to the office Windows, tails offers the possibility by adding the option Windows XP at boot to have a desktop very similar to a Windows XP.


To go further and know how to install Tails on a USB key, I strongly advise you to read this document.

Download the Tails Linux distribution.