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Feature #16906

Use USB images instead of ISO images in Tails Installer

Added by sajolida 9 months ago. Updated 4 months ago.

Status:
Confirmed
Priority:
Normal
Assignee:
-
Category:
Installation
Target version:
-
Start date:
Due date:
% Done:

0%

Feature Branch:
Type of work:
Code
Blueprint:
Starter:
Affected tool:
Installer

Description

Right now we have:

( ) Use a downloaded Tails ISO image

Since we distribute USB image, ISO images are only advertized for DVD and virtual machines. To be consistent with both USB images and Tails Installer being for USB sticks only, it should accept USB images instead of ISO images.

It could also accept both USB images and ISO images and detect which is which. I don't know how much more complicated this would be.

This feature of Tails Installer now only makes sense:

  • To do a manual upgrade to the latest version: as a simpler way than GNOME Disks to create the intermediary Tails.

This is the manual upgrade scenario that we recommend as "more secure", so it's important. Endless upgrades will make it less common but it will still happens sometimes, for example when changing Debian version or when automatic upgrades break.

Right now, it's better to keep documenting GNOME Disks for manual upgrade inside Tails because we want to avoid these people possibly getting confused about ISO vs USB images.

  • To do a manual upgrade to another version: for example, someone upgrading a USB stick to a beta or testing version, with some Persistence on it (for testing).

My guess is that this is not so common.

  • To install a new Tails: as a simpler way than GNOME Disks to create another Tails. This would only make sense when manipulating 2 different versions, for example when installing a new version from an old version or installing a beta or testing version. Otherwise people might just clone.

My guess is that this is not so common.


Related issues

Related to Tails - Feature #14544: Spend software developer time on smallish UX improvements In Progress 08/31/2018
Related to Tails - Feature #16721: Adapt the UX of Tails Installer to USB images Resolved
Related to Tails - Feature #16907: Rename Tails Installer as Tails Cloner Confirmed
Blocks Tails - Feature #17292: Instruct people to use Tails Installer to create an intermediary Tails instead of GNOME Disks Confirmed

History

#1 Updated by sajolida 9 months ago

  • Description updated (diff)

#2 Updated by sajolida 9 months ago

  • Related to Feature #14544: Spend software developer time on smallish UX improvements added

#3 Updated by sajolida 8 months ago

  • Related to Feature #16721: Adapt the UX of Tails Installer to USB images added

#4 Updated by intrigeri 4 months ago

sajolida wrote:

  • To upgrade (keep the Persistence): as a shortcut to using an intermediary Tails. I don't really see this being used to update Tails to it's latest official version but more to update USB sticks to beta or testing versions.

My guess is that both of these use cases are not so common.

FWIW, I only have a tiny bit of anecdotal evidence, but I still see the viral/collective upgrade pattern commonly used around me, i.e. in a group, one person upgrades their Tails somehow, and then use it to upgrade the Tails sticks of a bunch of their friends. So I've asked around and heard a few reasons mentioned to upgrade like this (sometimes combined), instead of everyone doing an automatic upgrade:

  • Long-time users have always done it this way (since the days before we had automatic upgrades), are used to it, and don't see incentives to change their habits.
  • Automatic upgrades take a while on slow Internet connections.
  • Automatic upgrades eat bandwidth on metered Internet connections. At the end of the months this can cause trouble or cost money.
  • People have been burnt by broken automatic upgrades in the past (#14754). We've fixed some of the root causes of these problems but not all of them yet, and regardless, past problems lowered users' confidence in this feature :(
  • People are used to rely on their local tech-savvy person for this sort of things.

I don't know if these reasons apply to lots of our users.
I can imagine Riou upgrading their friends' Tails like this.

#5 Updated by sajolida 4 months ago

  • Description updated (diff)

#6 Updated by sajolida 4 months ago

  • Description updated (diff)

It's cool to see you reflect based on personas :) Indeed, Riou would do viral upgrades a lot. Kim won't have this change. Cris might get it from other more techie friends sometimes only.

This ticket is about the feature of Tails Installer to "use a downloaded Tails ISO image" and how important it is to change it to "use a downloaded Tails USB image".

Do these people using an image or do the clone when doing these viral upgrades?

When in the process would they choose "use a downloaded Tails ISO image" instead of clone?

#7 Updated by sajolida 4 months ago

  • Description updated (diff)

#8 Updated by sajolida 4 months ago

  • Related to Feature #16907: Rename Tails Installer as Tails Cloner added

#9 Updated by sajolida 4 months ago

  • Blocks Feature #17292: Instruct people to use Tails Installer to create an intermediary Tails instead of GNOME Disks added

#10 Updated by sajolida 4 months ago

I updated the description after realizing that fixing this would make manual upgrades from Tails much easier and could prevent data loss. See #17292.

#11 Updated by intrigeri 4 months ago

This ticket is about the feature of Tails Installer to "use a downloaded Tails ISO image" and how important it is to change it to "use a downloaded Tails USB image".

Do these people using an image or do the clone when doing these viral upgrades?

They clone.

When in the process would they choose "use a downloaded Tails ISO image" instead of clone?

Nowhere. My previous comment was actually off-topic. Sorry for the noise!

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