How can I get a version of Tails (Tails or TAILS?) without the desktop GUI environment installed? If I can't, then how can I manually uninstall the desktop?

  • 2
    Can clarify why you want/need this? You can load a terminal once Tails is booted if you need command-line utilities. Dec 2, 2015 at 19:35
  • why would you want to do this? It removes most of the OS's key features' functionality. you would have to build a headless linux distro and then compile first as the os isn't persistant once you put it on a usb.
    – michael g
    Dec 13, 2015 at 23:27
  • To answer your question, it doesn't remove functionality for someone who is experienced with the console. In response to you second remark, TAILS is based off of Debian, and I have personally used a non-desktop version of that operating system.
    – Krii
    Dec 14, 2015 at 1:45
  • I want this because I am thinking of running an onion site and want a secure, anonymous server.
    – Krii
    Dec 14, 2015 at 1:46
  • 3
    I stumbled across this table on the whonix website, which says that Tails is not meant to be used as a server (yet). Is seems to be true, I have never come across Tails without a GUI, and when I tried to log into a virtual console, root can't log in and it wouldn't let me log in as amnesia (even though I made a password and could open a root terminal in the GUI) that could cause a problem if you do manage to uninstall the GUI. Right now I don't think you can do this using the ISO from the website not in a way it still works.
    – Joey
    Dec 16, 2015 at 2:46

1 Answer 1


Currently it seems not possible to do this. Tails is thought to be a live operating system for an end user. While you can remove all the GUI features (apt purge …), they'll be present at the next reboot.

As one of the commenters wrote tails is thinking about a tails server. If they realise this feature, you'll be able to use it headless as a secure server.

However at the moment you can't get such a version of tails.

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