Finnix Blog

Finnix 124 released

Finnix 124 boot screen

Today marks the release of Finnix 124, the original utility live Linux distribution. Expanding on Finnix 123 from six months ago, this release also celebrates the 22 year anniversary of the first public release of Finnix, version 0.03 on March 22, 2000.

Finnix 124 includes a number of fixes, new packages and new features:

  • wifi-connect helper utility will now display nearby access points if invoked without any command line options.
  • ip= kernel command line network configuration now supports netmasks in addition to prefix lengths.
  • Added a pure Python strings implementation. Explanation from the commit: I had avoided including strings because, while it’s incredibly useful, it’s the only desirable utility in the binutils package, which otherwise includes a bunch of compilation-related utilities, and the package itself is quite large. So in the words of the “my mechanics” YouTube channel, I make a new one! It’s not a 100% complete reimplementation of GNU binutils’ strings, but is fine for casual binary checking. This is also set up so that if you do apt install binutils in the live environment, its strings will take precedence over the Python version.
  • RISC-V (riscv64) unofficial build support added, in addition to amd64, i386, arm64, armhf, ppc64el, s390x. (Though as a reminder, AMD64 is the only officially supported architecture with released ISOs. For more information, see Platform support on Finnix.)
  • Replaced the running systemd finnix.target with the more traditional multi-user.target. This is not noticeable in regular live environment use, but makes it easier for people expanding upon Finnix.
  • Added new packages:
  • Removed packages:
    • pppoeconf (Buggy, removed from Debian)
    • crda (Obsolete, removed from Debian)
  • Upstream Debian package updates
  • Many minor fixes and improvements

Please visit finnix.org to download Finnix 124 today!


Finnix documentation, release data available

As a quick follow-up to the previous post in October, a promised update of documentation and release data is now available. The finnix-docs repository has a number of pieces of current documentation which have been ported over from the old Finnix wiki.

In addition, release data is now available in a consistent machine-parsable JSON format. When Finnix releases are made, a number of third party new and review sites would pick up on the announcement, and extract data from the release notes and software package lists on the wiki. (And in the package lists’ case, it was literally a text dump inside a wiki article.)

This new system should be more useful for data aggregators. It is expected that the blog post will be the canonical announcement page, and all additional data can be extracted programatically from the finnix-docs repository. This includes all prior Finnix releases, going back to Finnix 0.03 in 2000.

Finnix 124 will likely be released in the next few weeks, likely in March, but I wanted to make this announcement ahead of time to allow sites which relied on the old wiki site to switch over their processes ahead of the Finnix 124 release.

New Finnix web site launched

For the past 15 years, the main Finnix web site, finnix.org had been a MediaWiki site, being used as a CMS. Actually, for the first few years, it was a public wiki which anyone could edit, but spammers ruined that. But as of today, the site has been relaunched, as a single, simple HTML page which provides the essential information to download and use Finnix.

There were a few reasons I wanted to do this:

  • The vast majority of the information on the old site just wasn’t used. Almost all people visiting finnix.org were just there for one purpose: to download Finnix. The new site puts that front and center.
  • The vast majority of the information on the old site just wasn’t useful. A lot of it pertained to old Finnix releases, especially releases before the relaunch in 2020. Some of it was bordering on archaeological, such as User Mode Linux information, or how to make USB thumb drives bootable by emulating USB Zip drives.
  • The old site was the last remaining PHP site I was maintaining, and moving to a static site means one less bit of third-party software to maintain.

I do plan on utilizing the (currently placeholder) finnix-docs repository on GitHub to add back some (relevant) documentation in the future. I will also be using the repository to have a source of machine-readable Finnix release information, including package information in each release. There are several sites which track Finnix releases and I want to make it even easier for them. Expect that update sometime before the release of Finnix 124 early next year.

As for the previous site, all content has been preserved as a MediaWiki dump on archive.org, as well as via the Wayback Machine.

Finnix 123 released

Finnix 123 boot screen

Today marks the release of Finnix 123, the LiveCD for system administrators. Expanding on Finnix 122 from six months ago, this release includes a number of fixes, new packages and new features. From the Finnix 123 release notes:

  • Added kernel command line “sshd” and “passwd” options, example: “sshd passwd=foo”, “sshd passwd=root:foo passwd=finnix:bar”
  • The machine ID is now, when possible, stable across reboots and being generated from the DMI. This is used for e.g. the DHCP client ID, so multiple reboots should no longer cycle through dynamic IPs on a network.
  • The finnix command now has instructions for how to enable ZFS support
  • Added a basic command-not-found handler; e.g. trying ftp will point out lftp, and will provide instructions for installing if desired explicitly.
  • Added manpages for Finnix-specific commands (wifi-connect, locale-config, etc).
  • Added packages: jove
  • Removed packages: ftp, ftp-ssl, zile
  • Includes package updates from upstream Debian. Normally Finnix tracks Debian testing, but as Finnix 123 was released shortly after Debian 11 “bullseye”, it is being used as upstream directly.
  • Plus many minor fixes and build enhancements.

Please visit finnix.org to download Finnix 123 today!


Finnix 122 released

MECCA GPS time receiver

Today marks the release of Finnix 122, the LiveCD for system administrators. Expanding on Finnix 121 from six months ago, this release includes a number of fixes, new packages and new features. From the Finnix 122 release notes:

Please visit finnix.org to download Finnix 122 today!

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