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

Privacy loving Linux generalist Full-time

Published at 2023-08-31 - Viewed: 1597 times - Tails (Worldwide/Remote)


The Foundations Team at Tails is hiring a Linux generalist. Tails is a portable operating system that protects against surveillance and censorship. The Foundations Team is responsible for maintaining, releasing, and improving Tails. We work remotely, and do not have a traditional office space.

About Tails

Tails makes 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 30 000 daily users.

Read more about our mission and values


We put our users first, not profits.

Equal opportunity, equal pay

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

Small team

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

About this position

Role description

You are a Linux generalist who likes analyzing and solving technical problems in many different areas of a GNU/Linux system. You can dedicate at least 20 hours a week to Tails, although 30 hours a week would be ideal.

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 will be responsible for releasing Tails once every 2 months. Managing Tails’s release is a 2-day shift during which you will work a bit more than usual, and at unusual times. We plan this shift in advance, and rotate this responsiblity within the team.

You will be a Core Worker. Core Workers are in charge of maintaining not only an operating system but also the good health of the project as a whole. Together, we continuously discuss and improve organizational and strategic aspects of the 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!
  • You are somewhat familiar, or at least excited about, modern Linux desktop and GNOME technologies,such as D-Bus, GTK, Flatpak, systemd, etc.
  • You have intermediate familiarity with:
    • one programming language among Python and Ruby
    • POSIX-like shell scripting, such as Bash
    • as a bonus: JavaScript or Object-oriented Perl with Moo
  • You like to learn new stuff: Tails is big and you probably don’t know everything yet — nobody does!
  • You have good verbal and written communication skills in English.
  • You are self-organized, systematic, able to set priorities and manage timelines.
  • You are interested in how groups of people communicate, express & hear needs & feelings, handle crisis & conflicts, organize work, and make decisions.
  • You are enthusiastic about our mission and values, motivated by social impact.
  • You have some experience working fully remote, primarily with asynchronous communication.
  • You can work comfortably at least 3 hours during the peak of Tails activities: between 10:00 and 17:00 Europe/Berlin.

Working conditions

Given how Tails work is organized, you will:

  • Primarily work remotely and asynchronously with other people, who may live in a different time zone.
  • Use GitLab, email, Jabber/XMPP, and video calls.
  • Also meet in-person a few times a year.
  • 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 identify as being part of a group that is under-represented in Free and Open Source Software communities, we particularly encourage you to apply. Tails is not as diverse as we would like it to be. For example, paid workers at Tails are currently all cis-males, predominantly white. We are committed to creating a more inclusive and respectful work environment, which would be
welcoming to more diverse people.

Compensation and benefits

Pay scale is 40–90 k€ per year for 20-30 hours a week, including medical coverage.

The exact number depends solely on:

  • How much time you work
  • Your tax situation
  • Cost of medical coverage

On top of this, Tails pays for:

  • Exceptional health expenses not covered by your policy
  • Computer equipment
  • Travel expenses to work events

How to apply

Send an email to

Recent jobs at Tails:

« More jobs in programmers