Tails, a Linux distribution focused on security and anonymity, has reached version 5.4, hardening several aspects of the Linux kernel.
Tails (The Amnesic Incognito Live System) is a Debian-based distro that differs from all other Linux distributions in that it is a live system solely focused on privacy.
However, keep in mind that it is not a daily driver OS. In other words, Tails isn’t something you’ll want to go if you’re a Windows or Mac user looking to switch to Linux for your everyday jobs.
The distribution is intended for security paranoids looking for maximum personal security and anonymity on the Internet. But, of course, this has its drawbacks.
For example, because it is primarily designed to run from a USB stick, the changes you make don’t get saved. Therefore, as soon as you reboot, everything goes to default.
On top of that, because Tails is pre-configured to run everything through the Tor network, the speed of operations requiring a network connection is much slower than on a standard Linux distribution.
Having made all these clarifications, let’s look at what’s new in Tiles 5.4, which was just released.
Tails 5.4 Highlights
Tails 5.4 hardens several aspects of the Linux kernel 5.10.136 with which this version ships. For example, the sysctl parameter
dev.tty.ldisc_autoload is now set to
0 by default, which protects you from exploits like this.
Moreover, the page allocator freelist randomization is now also enabled by default. As a result, it improves performance on some CPUs and security regardless of whether the hardware can benefit from the speedup.
Moving on with the changes, the HTTPS-only mode in the Unsafe Browser has been disabled in Tails 5.4 for user convenience, making it easier to connect to Wi-Fi networks.
Of course, there can’t be a new version of Tails without one of its main tools, Tor, being updated. Tails 5.4 is no exception. So, the Tor Browser was updated to version 11.5.2, while the Tor service was also bumped to 0.4.7.10.
As previously stated, this version includes a Linux kernel upgraded to 5.10.136. This improves support for newer hardware such as some graphics cards, Wi-Fi, and so on while also bringing vulnerability fixes.