Upgrade from 1.5.0 to 1.6.0

Automatic server upgrades

As with previous releases, your servers will be upgraded to the latest version of SecureDrop automatically within 24 hours of the release.

Updating Workstations to SecureDrop 1.6.0

Using the graphical updater

On the next boot of your SecureDrop Journalist and Admin Workstations, the SecureDrop Workstation Updater will alert you to workstation updates. You must have configured an administrator password on the Tails welcome screen in order to use the graphical updater.

Perform the update to 1.6.0 by clicking “Update Now”:


Performing a manual update

If the graphical updater fails and you want to perform a manual update instead, first delete the graphical updater’s temporary flag file, if it exists (the . before securedrop is not a typo):

rm ~/Persistent/.securedrop/securedrop_update.flag

This will prevent the graphical updater from attempting to re-apply the failed update and has no bearing on future updates. You can now perform a manual update by running the following commands:

cd ~/Persistent/securedrop
git fetch --tags
gpg --keyserver hkps://keys.openpgp.org --recv-key \
 "2224 5C81 E3BA EB41 38B3 6061 310F 5612 00F4 AD77"
git tag -v 1.6.0

The output should include the following two lines:

gpg:                using RSA key 22245C81E3BAEB4138B36061310F561200F4AD77
gpg: Good signature from "SecureDrop Release Signing Key"

Please verify that each character of the fingerprint above matches what is on the screen of your workstation. If it does, you can check out the new release:

git checkout 1.6.0


If you do see the warning “refname ‘1.6.0’ is ambiguous” in the output, we recommend that you contact us immediately at securedrop@freedom.press (GPG encrypted).

Finally, run the following commands:

./securedrop-admin setup
./securedrop-admin tailsconfig

Upgrading Tails

If you have already upgraded your workstations to the Tails 4 series, follow the graphical prompts to update to the latest version.


If you are still running Tails 3.x on any workstation, we urge you to update to the Tails 4 series as soon as possible. Tails 3.x is no longer receiving security updates, and is no longer supported by the SecureDrop team. Please see our instructions for upgrading to Tails 4.

These instructions will be removed from a future version of this documentation.

Backing Up the Tails Workstations

USB flash drives degrade over time and vary in quality. To ensure continued access to SecureDrop by administrators and journalists, we recommend backing up the Tails Workstations on the occasion of a new SecureDrop release, after you have completed the upgrade process for each drive.

You can use a single storage device for backups of multiple workstations. See our Workstation Backup Guide for more information.

V3 Onion Services

Due to security and anonymity improvements in v3 of the onion services protocol, support for v2 onion services will be removed from SecureDrop in March 2021. If your SecureDrop instance is still using 16-character v2 onion URLs, you should migrate to v3 onion services at the earliest opportunity, and contact us via the Support Portal if you require assistance doing so. For more information, see our migration documentation.

Getting Support

Should you require further support with your SecureDrop installation, we are happy to help!

  • Community support is available at https://forum.securedrop.org
  • If you are already a member of our support portal, please don’t hesitate to open a ticket there. If you would like to request access, please contact us at securedrop@freedom.press (GPG encrypted). Note that your ticket will be visible to all support portal users at your organization; if this is a concern, reach out by email to the above address or to a staff member directly.
  • The Freedom of the Press Foundation offers training and priority support services. See https://securedrop.org/priority-support/ for more information.