This job ad has been posted over 40 days ago! (*)

Privacy loving Linux generalist Full-time

Published at 2020-03-08 - Viewed: 3979 times - Tails (Worldwide/Remote)


Tails, a portable operating system that protects your privacy and avoids censorship, is looking for a Linux generalist to strengthen our Foundations Team. The Foundations Team is responsible for maintaining the core Tails system.

About Tails

Tails is a non-profit organization whose mission is to empower people worldwide by giving out an operating system that protects from surveillance and censorship.

We make digital security tools accessible to everyone, whenever they need it: activists, journalists, freedom fighters, and ultimately, you, whenever you need extra privacy in this digital world.

The Tails project was started in 2009 and has now more than 25 000 daily users.

Read more about our mission and values.


We put our users first, not profits.

Free Software

All our work is published as Free Software and we work closely with related projects (Debian, GNOME, Tor, etc.).

Small team

We are a small team that values transparency, autonomy, and horizontal decision-making.

Remote and international

We are a fully remote team and our team members can work from anywhere they want around the world. We have workers in 8 different countries.

Flexible commitment

People work for Tails full-time, part-time, or as consultants.
If you like flexibility, Tails is a place for you.

Equal opportunity, equal pay

We are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all. We have a transparent compensation scheme where everybody enjoys comparable pay and benefits.


Role description

You are a Linux generalist who likes analyzing and solving technical problems in many different areas of a GNU/Linux system.

You will join our Foundations Team, whose many responsibilities are divided among its members. We do not expect any single member to take all these responsibilities themselves — it’s a team effort!

Our main activity is what we call “plumbing”: gluing things together without necessarily understanding in depth every individual part.

You can dedicate at least 16 hours a week to Tails, although 20 hours a week or more award bonus points.

You will primarily use asynchronous communication channels to work remotely with other Foundations Team members and Tails people, who live across different time zones and have various degrees of involvement. We will meet in person a few times every year and will try to coordinate and remotely work together at the same time.

You will be part of the Tails community, that includes paid workers and volunteer contributors. Together we are in charge of maintaining not only an operating system, but also this community. Together, we will discuss, design, and implement changes about various social and organizational aspects of the Tails project.


We encourage you to apply if you:

  • Have significant experience with GNU/Linux, and system administration basics. Ideally this would be on Debian or one of its derivatives. If your experience is about other Linux environments, that’s fine: be ready to learn lots of Debian-specific stuff!
  • Are interested in how a group of humans communicate, express & hear needs & feelings, handle crisis & conflicts, organize work, and make decisions.
  • Have a bit more than beginner level at:
    • one programming language among Python, Ruby, and Perl
    • POSIX-like shell scripting, such as Bash
  • Have good skills in English, both written and verbal.
  • Have guts feelings or ethical reasons to be interested in online privacy.
  • Like to learn new stuff: Tails is big and you probably don’t know everything yet — nobody does!

Working conditions

Given how Tails work is organized, you will:

  • Work primarily remotely and asynchronously with other people, who may live in a different time zone. We use GitLab, email, Jabber/XMPP, and voice calls. We also meet in person a few times a year.
  • Be responsible to organize your work and time with the project’s priorities in mind.
  • Participate in self-organizing a team whose members have varying degrees of involvement and complementary skill sets. For example: attend remote and face to face team meetings, triage bugs together, collectively build a roadmap.

If you are part of a group that is under-represented in Free and Open Source Software communities, we particularly encourage you to apply. We acknowledge that our project and team are not as diverse as we would like them to be. We understand that we’re part of the problem. We want to be part of the solution.

How to apply

Send an email to

Include as much of the following information as you want:

  • CV: Feel free to not include your legal name, gender, or photo in your CV.
  • Cover letter: We are particularly curious why online privacy is important to you.
  • Links to other contributions to free software, GitHub, or GitLab accounts
  • Links to your personal website and portfolio
  • References

Mention the name of the job offer clearly in the body of your email.

Recent jobs at Tails:

« More jobs in programmers