The privacy-protecting Tails operating system has been updated to version 3.6; the release comes with several improvements to make the overall experience better, as well as newer versions of included softwares, and fixes an issue which caused an alarming error message to show up during the boot process, something the team promised to fix. Additionally, the documentation on the desktop now opens again.
The headline feature of this release is the ability to lock the screen. While that might not sound like much, it’s quite useful to have if you need to leave your Tails computer unattended for some reason or other when you don’t want people to snoop. The lock feature can be found in the upper right-hand menu, if you set an administration password during set up then you use that to unlock the machine again, however, if you didn’t create an admin password then you’re given the option to create a new one on the fly.
The additional software persistence feature has been radically improved too. In the past you had to wait while additional software installed, now it will install the software in the background, even if you’re offline. Overall, your system will be up and running and ready to use much quicker than before.
Two other changes include an error message indicating the name of the graphics card if Tails fails to start the GNOME desktop, and a PDF metadata cleaner has also been bundled. The pdf-redact-tools is a command line tool that lets you clean metadata and redact PDF files by converting them to PNG images.
Some notable software upgrades include Electrum going from 2.7.9 to 3.0.6; Linux being upgraded to 4.15.0; Tor being upgraded to 0.3.2.10; and Thunderbird being bumped to 52.6.0.
If you have an older version of Tails, you will not be able to do an automatic upgrade, instead, you’ll have to upgrade manually. The next iteration, Tails 3.7, is due out on May 8th.