First off, I am running Tails live off of a USB drive on a MacBook Retina.

Everything boots up fine, but the display resolution is way to high for my screen and everything looks so small. When I try to adjust the resolution, my screen goes black and I can't see what is going on anymore, until I restart my computer and boot back in.

I have also tried using xrandr to adjust the resolution but the screen goes black with that as well.

My next problem is trying to set up a persistent drive. I have installed Tails on my USB following their Mac USB installation guide exactly, but when I try to create a persistent drive I get this error message: Device /dev/sdb was not created using Tails installer. Could somebody help me to solve these problems?

  • Know that you can and should prolly get Tails support from the Tails folks directly. Although I suppose this here too works. I can't help you with your resoltion issue. I'm sure the Tails team know all about it, and so if you strike out here - go ask them. I am aware that MacBooks are known to have graphical issues with Tails - at least previous versions of Tails. There might not be a fix at the moment, but don't take my word for it. Be happy that your system works at all! Many people, including myself, had to go through a number of computers to get one to boot Tails properly. Every time I get
    – Toraclease
    Mar 6, 2016 at 3:50

1 Answer 1


Did you install Tails from the first Tails USB media into the second USB media?

As of August 2018, Tails requires 2 USB media in order to end up with a secure installation. With the first USB medium you can boot a minimal Tails system which works "ok" but has several limitations and is a bit relaxed about some security settings. So from there you need to run the installer which will install the final Tails on the second USB medium.

Hope it's clear. Anyway if you read the installation guide carefully, everything is explained with excellent detail.

Hope it helps, cheers!

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