Previously known as Incognito Live CD/USB, Tails is a live-only Linux operating system that provides users with a perfect computing environment for surfing the Internet anonymously. It is based on the Debian GNU/Linux and Tor technologies.
Distributed as a 32-bit Live CD
Dubbed “The Amnesic Incognito Live System,” Tails is an open source Linux distribution delivered as a single Live CD ISO image that supports only 32-bit instruction set architectures. It can be deployed to a SD card, USB thumb drive, or CD/DVD discs.
The boot medium comes with only two options, to start the live environment with default settings or in failsafe mode (just in case the first option won’t work for you). Pressing Enter on the first option will start the live environment.
Users will be greeted by a welcome message that allows them to login into the live session or change various other options, such as to add a root (system administrator) password, camouflage the system to look like a Windows XP machine, as well as to spoof all MAC addresses.
In addition, you can choose to connect directly to the Tor network (default option), or configure the bridge, firewall, and proxy settings for a censored, filtered and proxified Internet connection.
It encrypts your Internet communications
When using Tails, all your Internet communications will be encrypted and anonymized through the Tor network, leaving no trace on the host computer, unless you instruct it otherwise. It uses state-of-the-art and open source cryptographic software to encrypt your entire network communication, including emails, instant messaging, as well as personal files.
Uses the GNOME desktop environment and popular open-source apps
The live session is powered by a traditional GNOME desktop environment bundled with well known open source applications, such as Apache OpenOffice, Iceweasel web browser, Claws Mail email client, Liferea feed reader, Pidgin instant messenger, GIMP image editor, Inkscape SVG graphics editor, Audacity audio editor, PiTiVi video editor, and Synaptic Package Manager.