Finnix 102 released

Finnix is a small, self-contained, bootable Linux CD distribution for system administrators, based on Debian testing. Today marks the release of Finnix 102, the eighteenth release of Finnix since its beginnings over ten years ago. Finnix 102 includes Linux kernel 3.0, a smaller distribution size, new Xen pvops and 486 support, and minor bug fixes.

Linux 3.0

Finnix 102 includes the recently-released Linux 3.0 kernel, and is a slight departure from usual Finnix method of closely following Debian kernel development. Config management was based on Debian pre-release kernels, but patch management was handled internally, basing only partly on Debian. Linux 3.0 support was tested heavily throughout the Linux 3.0-rc process.

Smaller size

Finnix 102 includes XZ (LZMA2) compression of the compressed root and initrd, resulting in distribution savings of more than 20% over previous Gzip compression, and no measurable reduction of boot times.

Xen pvops guest support

While Finnix has included Xen guest recognition since Finnix 86.1, Finnix 102's AMD64 kernel now includes built-in Xen pvops guest support. Therefore, Finnix may now be booted in a Xen environment with no extra building or configuration. Simply use the included linux64 kernel file, the initrd.xz initial ramdisk, and the Finnix 102 ISO as a virtual block device.

486 support

Finnix 102 is the first Finnix release, including Finnix 0.03 way back in 2000, to include 486 support, though it has not been tested. This is done by not including PAE support in the x86 kernel. The downside is x86 computers with more than 4GB of RAM can only use 4GB with the x86 kernel. However, nearly all computers with over 4GB RAM are also 64-bit capable, so the AMD64 kernel (default on capable platforms) may be used.

Anyone sending photographic proof of Finnix being booted on a 486 (showing Finnix boot plus the output of /proc/cpuinfo on the screen) will be given a free Finnix full-color CD and free Finnix stickers.

G5 support reaffirmed

While the PowerPC G5 platform has remained a supported platform since PowerPC support was introduced in Finnix 88.0, it was never tested before release, due to lack of hardware. Now a Power Mac G5 DP/DC model is available for testing. The full list of platforms tested include: 586, 686, AMD64, G3 NewWorld, G4, G5, Xen.

Finnix 101 released

Finnix is a small, self-contained, bootable Linux CD distribution for system administrators, based on Debian testing. Today marks the eggnog-induced release of Finnix 101, the seventeenth release of Finnix since its beginnings over ten years ago. Finnix 101 includes major behind-the-scenes architectural changes, the re-introduction of PowerPC support, new features, and minor bug fixes.

PowerPC support returns

After a show of public support, Finnix is once again producing PowerPC releases. Finnix is one of the only dedicated Linux LiveCDs with PowerPC support, and we are happy to continue serving the PowerPC community. Note that PowerPC releases are still not considered release goals, but in the future a lack of a PowerPC release will only happen under extraordinary circumstances.

Behind-the-scenes re-engineering

While using Finnix still has its same familiar look, much of the core infrastructure which comprises Finnix has been re-engineered. Many of the changes are intended to make development and re-development (remastering) easier and more powerful, and to help with deployment by Virtual Private Server (VPS) providers. Changes include a new CD filesystem layout, an enclosed remastering environment, a Finnix-specific SysV-compatible RC system, and componentized Finnix RC scripts.

Linux 2.6.36

Due to Debian testing being in deep freeze, the most recent kernel in either "testing" or "unstable" is 2.6.32. Therefore, a set of 2.6.36 kernels have been compiled based on 2.6.36-1~experimental.1 from Debian "experimental". Despite the "experimental" name, these kernels have been tested more heavily than the average Finnix release, and have proven to be very stable.

Hardware Detection Tool (HDT) added

On the X86 CD, Hardware Detection Tool has been added to the boot menu. This allows users to view system information (processor, memory, PCI devices, etc) quickly, without booting into a full operating system.

Finnix 100 released

Finnix is a small, self-contained, bootable Linux CD distribution for system administrators, based on Debian testing. Today marks the release of Finnix 100, the sixteenth release of Finnix since its beginnings over ten years ago.

Finnix 100 comes over a year since its previous release, Finnix 93.0, and introduces a new version scheme, with future versions incrementing numerically. Finnix 100 includes updated upstream Debian software, and Linux kernel 2.6.32. The finnix-thumbdrive utility has been removed in favor of UNetbootin, which can take a Finnix ISO and extract it to a bootable USB drive without needing to boot Finnix first. PowerPC support has been officially dropped, though future PowerPC releases may be made on a one-off basis. The last PowerPC release, Finnix 93.0, will continue to be distributed through finnix.org and should continue to be useful for some time.

The Finnix store has been discontinued, and in its place is a free sticker service. High quality vinyl stickers can be obtained by sending a donation to Finnix, sending a self-addressed stamped envelope, or sending trinkets. Please see the free sticker page for more details.

Finnix 93.0 released

Finnix is a small, self-contained, bootable Linux CD distribution for system administrators, based on Debian testing. Today marks the release of version 93.0 for the x86/AMD64, PowerPC, and UML/Xen platforms.

Finnix 93.0 itself is a maintenance release, but due to the length of time between Finnix 92.1 and 93.0, the time between Debian upstream updates warranted a major version number bump. New features include Linux kernel 2.6.30, and updated upstream software.

Finnix 92.1 released

Finnix is a small, self-contained, bootable Linux CD distribution for system administrators, based on Debian testing. Today marks the release of version 92.1 for the x86/AMD64, PowerPC, and UML/Xen platforms.

Finnix 92.1 is a regular maintenance release. New features include Linux kernel 2.6.26, updated upstream software, and x86 boot menu cleanups.

Finnix 92.0 Released

Finnix is a small, self-contained, bootable Linux CD distribution for system administrators, based on Debian testing. Today marks the release of version 92.0 for the x86/AMD64, PowerPC, and UML/Xen platforms.

Finnix 92.0 includes updated software (including a fix for the Debian OpenSSL security vulnerability), a Linux 2.6.25 kernel, and a new, graphical boot menu.

Finnix 91.1 Released

Finnix is a small, self-contained, bootable Linux CD distribution for system administrators, based on Debian testing. Today marks the release of version 91.1 for the x86/AMD64, PowerPC, and UML/Xen platforms.

Finnix 91.1 is a bugfix and maintenance release. Memtest86+ has been upgraded to 2.01, software RAID autodetection has been fixed, and finnix-thumbdrive has been fixed with udev support and support for drives over 1GB.

Finnix 91.1 also incudes an updated 2.6.24 kernel with the Linux vmsplice exploit fixed. If you use Finnix in any environment where untrusted users are allowed local access, please do not use Finnix 88.0 - 91.0, as these versions contain vulnerable kernels.

Finnix 91.0 Released

Finnix is a small, self-contained, bootable Linux CD distribution for system administrators, based on Debian testing. Today marks the release of version 91.0 for the x86/AMD64, PowerPC, and UML/Xen platforms.

Finnix 91.0 includes a new Linux kernel (2.6.24), automatic 32-bit/64-bit detection on the x86 platform, stackable RAID/LUKS/LVM detection and setup, and several bug fixes.

Automatic 32-bit/64-bit detection (x86)

If you press "enter" at the boot screen of Finnix 91.0 x86, the boot loader will now detect if you have a 64-bit capable CPU, and will load the appropriate kernel. You can still force 32-bit or 64-bit by entering the "finnix" or "finnix64" boot profiles. Note that this is for the x86 Finnix CD only; PowerPC G5 users will still have to enter the "finnix64" boot profile manually, as the yaboot boot loader does not have this capability.

Stackable RAID/LUKS/LVM

While RAID, LUKS (encryption) and LVM detection have been in Finnix for awhile now, they were loaded in a certain order, and some configurations were not detected as a result. With Finnix 91.0, most configurations should be detected. For example, an encrypted LVM set on top of two RAID disks should be set up automatically.

Bug fixes

While not a "major new feature", several bug fixes were made for Finnix 91.0, including LVM/LUKS fixes, and multiple-level /dev block device detection corrections.

Finnix 90.0 Released

On October 23, 2005, Finnix 86.0 was released, marking the revival of Finnix. Now, two years and 9 releases later, Finnix 90.0 has been released for the x86/AMD64, PowerPC, and UML/Xen platforms. Finnix is a small, self-contained, bootable Linux CD distribution for system administrators, based on Debian testing.

Finnix 90.0 includes a new Linux kernel (2.6.22), faster booting, and the ability to boot from SATA CD-ROM and DVD-ROM devices, as well as updated Debian system software and bug fixes.

New Linux kernel

For the last 3 versions, Finnix has remained at kernel 2.6.18. After much delay, Finnix 90.0 includes Linux 2.6.22. Finnix 90.0's kernel includes support for both UnionFS 2 and AUFS, with UnionFS as the default for stability reasons.

Faster booting

Finnix 90.0 will now boot even quicker, about 8 seconds quicker than Finnix 89.0!

SATA CD-ROM booting

Finnix 90.0 can now be booted using Serial ATA (SATA) CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drives. This is in addition to the many other existing ways to boot Finnix: Parallel ATA CD/DVD drive, SCSI CD/DVD drive, USB thumb drive, hard drive, netboot, or virtualized (User Mode Linux, Xen).

Finnix 89.2 Released

Finnix is a small, self-contained, bootable Linux CD distribution for system administrators, based on Debian testing. Today marks the release of version 89.2 for the x86/AMD64, PowerPC, and UML/Xen platforms.

Finnix 89.2 is a maintenance release. Base system has been dist-upgraded to Debian's testing 2007-07-26. A new kernel was planned for this release, but was not released due to problems between Finnix and available union filesystems. Because of this, 89.2 still comes with kernel 2.6.18, but has a few backported drivers.