Contains instructions and scripts to create a TAILS live cd that will boot on OSX without any additional software installed (no REFIT, etc.)
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ATTENTION This guide has not been updated in a long time. TAILS now supports natively EFI bootloaders, so if you are interested in using TAILS on a macOS computer you should follow the official guide here:

Following this guide you will be able to create a TAILS image that will work on OSX without requiring any REFIT or bootloader modifications to the target system.


In order to create a TAILS disk image for OSX you will need the following dependencies:

The easiest way to install these is with homebrew:

brew install git gpg

If you want to build the EFI bootloader yourself you will also need:


git clone

Create the EFI bootloader (optional)

You can build the EFI bootloader directly from Mac OSX (given you have installed vagrant and virtualbox) by running:

vagrant up

This is basically running this command from inside a linux box:

grub2-mkimage -d /usr/lib/grub2-efi/x86_64-efi/ -o BOOTX64.efi \
-O x86_64-efi --prefix /efi/boot part_gpt part_msdos lvm fat ext2 \
chain boot configfile normal minicmd linux reboot halt search \
gfxterm gfxmenu efi_gop efi_uga video loadbios gzio video_bochs \
video_cirrus echo true loadenv

Build the image


You will be asked to select a volume that will be formatted and will contain the TAILS live cd.

The script will then proceed to fetch TAILS, verify the signature, mount the iso, move some files in the ISO over to the USB disk and then configure grub properly.

Once you have finished this you will have a usb disk you can boot by holding down the alt-option key at startup.

TAILS official documentation

New versions of TAILS support UEFI bootloaders out of the box. This means that in the near future this procedure will no longer be needed.

If you would like to use their method for setting up TAILS instead of running this script you should follow their instructions at the following address:


Mainly inspired by:

Misc links: