Upgrade from 1.7.1 to 1.8.0


You must migrate your SecureDrop servers to Ubuntu 20.04 before April 30, 2021 to keep your SecureDrop instance operational. This migration will require physical access to the servers. Please see our migration guide for instructions.

Updating Servers to SecureDrop 1.8.0

Your servers will be updated to the latest version of SecureDrop automatically within 24 hours of the release.

Updating Workstations to SecureDrop 1.8.0

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 1.8.0 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 1.8.0

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 1.8.0


If you do see the warning “refname ‘1.8.0’ 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

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.

Updating Tails

Check the version of Tails on your Admin and Journalist Workstations (Applications ▸ Tails ▸ About Tails). If your workstations are running Tails version 4.14 or earlier, you will not receive an update notification due to a bug. Perform a manual update, or reinstate automatic updates by following the steps in the Tails advisory.

If you are running Tails 4.15 or later, follow the graphical prompts to update to the latest version.

Migration to Ubuntu 20.04 and to v3 onion services

The operating system running on your Application and Monitor Servers, Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial), reaches its end-of-life for security updates on April 30, 2021. You must migrate your servers to Ubuntu 20.04 before April 30, 2021 to remain secure. Please see our migration guide for detailed instructions.


If your servers are running Ubuntu 16.04 after April 30, 2021, the Source Interface will be automatically disabled as a security precaution.

Because v2 onion services are deprecated, SecureDrop does not support enabling them on Ubuntu 20.04. If you are not already running v3 onion services (easily recognizable by their 56 character .onion addresses), you can enable them prior to the migration to Ubuntu 20.04, or as part of the same maintenance window.

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.