Is it okay to install Tails OS on my hard drive?

Hey guys,

I want to use Tails OS and I cannot always keep it in my USB stick. So is it ok if I partition my disk and install tails OS?

according to their website this is not an option:

Can I install Tails permanently onto my hard disk?

This is not possible using the recommended installation methods. Tails is designed to be a live system running from a removable media: USB stick or DVD.

This is a conscious decision as this mode of operation is better for what we want to provide to Tails users: amnesia, the fact that Tails leaves no traces on the computer after a session is closed.

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If you’re game - there’s probably nothing stopping you using dd to clone the USB thumb drive to a hard drive… or maybe clonezilla could do it?

Before you do any crazy stuff like cloning the USB drive, etc… (I’ve been through that and could never recommend doing such thing), you should install another OS that is made to be not only a live medium.

What’s your goal?
There are several OSs that could achieve your goals much better.
For example, one of my favourites:

But there a enough other alternatives you could look for.
Search and find here

@Akito I wanted to test if it leaves any digital fingerprint if it was installed on a hard drive

By definition it leaves a footprint, as it is installed on a statically installed storage medium.

But they claim that it erases all the traces from the device when shutdown. So it should not matter if I live boot it or not right?

As @01101111 has shown you, Tails is not meant to be installed. So they can’t claim features for a situation they do not account for.

If you buy a phone that is waterproof, according to IP68, and you dismantle the phone, making the PCB in it naked, do you expect it to be waterproof, still?

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Alright. I think i understand your point. Thanks.

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Basically, to make the claim real, they would need to wipe your entire hard drive by writing zeros to it. Even then, it would be possible for someone with $20k equipment to restore the information. That means you would need to wipe it like 36 times with zeros, to be really sure you can’t restore the data from it, anymore.
So that would mean that on every shutdown of Tails, you would need several hours, or in the worst case, days to sanitize the hard drive. Not to mention the unnecessary wear and tear on the hard drive…

Basically, it does not make sense to install Tails, if you want to have the same amount of security it claims to provide under expected circumstances.

If you take this example and substitue “HDD” by “SSD”, this makes the whole situation EVEN worse…!

That said, all this is hypothetical and if you aren’t a journalist in North Korea, another guerilla fighter or Snowden, you would never need such amount of security, because the people who would have the means to afford this kind of persecution would not waste their time on some random dude trying out Tails.


I have installed Tails in VB on my Ubuntu system from an Tails ISO, for testing. that is working fine

Normally I use Tails from USB stick