Finnix 102 release notes

Finnix, the LiveCD for system administrators
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Finnix 102
Finnix 102 boot.png
Release date 2011-07-23
Based on Debian testing (2011-07-21)
Kernel Linux 3.0
Packages x86 (371), PowerPC (365)
Build number 2574 (x86), 234 (PowerPC)


Filename Arch Size Released BitTorrent
finnix-102.iso x86 114 MiB 2011-07-23 Torrent
finnix-ppc-102.iso PowerPC 116 MiB 2011-07-23 Torrent

Major new features

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.

Known issues

  • The x86 CD was mastered with an empty file in the CD root named finnix.iso. This file is harmless, but should not be used since it is empty.
  • Finnix 101 and 102 will mistakenly look for architecture-independent CD RC files in /finnix/indep/rc instead of /finnix/arch/indep/rc. As a workaround, when remastering, either place RC files in the incorrect location that is checked (/finnix/indep/rc), or in the architecture-specific directory (/finnix/arch/x86/rc or /finnix/arch/ppc/rc).
  • Booting from a Firewire CDROM drive is currently broken, and the only workaround is to use another method (USB, ATA, etc).

MD5 checksums

f102ff451fd7cf2acff25f639c9b38fe  finnix-102.iso
f102ff6104d1e2e023a64417184440dd  finnix-ppc-102.iso

GPG signatures


Version: GnuPG v1.4.10 (GNU/Linux)



Version: GnuPG v1.4.10 (GNU/Linux)



101 -> 102

  • dist-upgrade
  • Upgraded kernels to 3.0 (Finnix-produced, based partially on Debian kernels)
  • Added xen-blkfront to the initrd (AMD64 kernel)
  • Added initrd loading attempt of xen-blkfront and xen-netfront
  • Added ability to set manual IPv4 addresses and basic resolv.conf info via boot parameters
  • Changed kernel, SquashFS compressed root, and initrd to xz compression
  • Changed finnix-netboot-server and finnix-netboot-biginit to detect gzip/xz/uncompressed initrd, and build initrd_net accordingly
  • Fixed console boot flag
  • Fixed automatic update of /etc/fstab during hotplug device update
  • Upgraded Memtest86+ to 4.20
  • Cleaned up Finnix packages. All packages' programs now have manpages, and all are Lintian clean.
  • Updated finnix-3ware-install to download and install the latest version of tw_cli from LSI (10.2 codeset)
  • Added tmux, reiser4progs, btrfs-tools
  • Removed modconf (broken), laptop-detect (unneeded)
  • Upgraded HDT to 0.5.0