Finnix 89.0 Released

Finnix is a small, self-contained, bootable Linux CD distribution for system administrators, based on Debian testing. Today marks the release of version 89.0 for the x86 (and now AMD64), PowerPC, and UML/Xen platforms.

Finnix 89.0 features Linux 2.6.18, a new "finnix64" AMD64 boot profile, netboot support with a built-in netboot setup wizard, MD RAID and LUKS crypt autodetection.

AMD64 support

An AMD64 kernel is now included on the Finnix x86 CD. To use this kernel on an AMD64/EM64T machine, type "finnix64" at the boot prompt. While the Finnix userland is still 32-bit, using an AMD64 kernel on a supported platform yields several advantages:

  • More than 4GB memory can be utilized natively.
  • Statically-compiled AMD64 applications can be executed.
  • You can chroot into native 64-bit AMD64 filesystems.

This addition gives a total of 6 supported kernel environments: x86, AMD64, PowerPC, PPC64, User Mode Linux, and Xen.

Netboot support

Finnix can now be booted via a network. A NFS server export is set up with the Finnix files in it, and the kernel and initrd are served to the user via TFTP. The Finnix CD contains a utility called finnix-netboot-server, which allows one Finnix instance to serve as a NFS/TFTP server for a Finnix netboot instance.

RAID/LUKS autodetection

Previous Finnix installations would detect and automatically set up LVM volumes. Finnix 89.0 goes two steps further with autodetection for md-based software RAID arrays, and LUKS-based dm-crypt encrypted partitions. Software RAID arrays are set up automatically if all array parts are found, while LUKS partitions are set up if the user types in a valid decryption password for each partition.

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