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Finnix 100 boot.png
Finnix 100 boot screen
DeveloperRyan Finnie
OS familyUnix-like
Working stateCurrent
Source modelOpen source
Initial releaseMarch 22, 2000; 22 years ago (2000-03-22)
Latest release108 / May 9, 2013 (2013-05-09)
Marketing targetSystem administrators
Available inEnglish
Update methodAPT
Package managerdpkg
Platformsi386, x86-64, PowerPC, UML, Xen
Kernel typeMonolithic (Linux)
user interface
Finnix 88.0 default startup

Finnix is a Debian based Live CD Linux distribution, developed by Ryan Finnie and intended for system administrators for tasks such as filesystem recovery, network monitoring and OS installation.[1] Finnix is a small Linux Distribution, with an ISO download size of approximately 100 MiB.

History[change | change source]

Finnix was created in 1999, making it one of the oldest Linux distributions with the intent of being run completely from a bootable CD (the other Live CD around at the time was the Linuxcare Bootable Business Card CD, first released in 1999).[2] Finnix 0.01 was based on Red Hat Linux 6.1, and was created to help with administration and recovery of other Linux workstations around Finnie's office..

On 23 October 2005, Finnix 86.0 was released. Earlier unreleased versions (84, and 85.0 through 85.3) were "Knoppix remasters", with support for Linux LVM and dm-crypt being the main reason for creation. However, 86.0 was a departure from Knoppix, and was derived directly from the Debian "testing" tree.[3]

Usage[change | change source]

Finnix is released as a small bootable CD ISO. A user can download the ISO, burn the image to CD, and boot into a text mode Linux environment. Finnix requires at least 32MiB RAM to run properly, but can use more if present. Most hardware devices are detected and dealt with automatically, such as hard drives, network cards and USB devices. A user can modify files nearly anywhere on the running CD via UnionFS, a filesystem that can stack a read-write filesystem (in this case, a dynamic ramdisk) on top of a read-only filesystem (the CD media). Any changes made during the Finnix session are transparently written to RAM and discarded upon shutdown. In addition, Finnix uses SquashFS to keep distribution size low.[4]

Finnix can be run completely within RAM, provided the system has at least 192 MiB RAM available.

Version Release date Kernel Packages Code name
0.03 Archived 2008-07-06 at the Wayback Machine 22 March 2000 2.2.12 242 none
86.0 Archived 2008-07-06 at the Wayback Machine 23 October 2005 2.6.13 336 none
86.1 Archived 2008-07-06 at the Wayback Machine 21 November 2005 2.6.14 346/336 none
86.2 Archived 2008-07-06 at the Wayback Machine 8 January 2006 2.6.15 343/336 none
87.0 Archived 2008-07-06 at the Wayback Machine 31 March 2006 2.6.16 356/347 none
88.0 Archived 2008-07-06 at the Wayback Machine 2 August 2006 2.6.17 359/349 Pulaski
89.0 Archived 2008-07-06 at the Wayback Machine 22 January 2007 2.6.18 366/359 Oshkosh
89.1 Archived 2008-06-12 at the Wayback Machine 13 April 2007 2.6.18 365/359 Sheboygan
89.2 Archived 2008-07-06 at the Wayback Machine 27 July 2007 2.6.18 365/359 Crivitz
90.0 Archived 2008-06-16 at the Wayback Machine 23 October 2007 2.6.22 367/362 Kaukauna
91.0 Archived 2008-06-22 at the Wayback Machine 29 January 2008 2.6.24 370/366 Seymour
91.1 Archived 2008-07-06 at the Wayback Machine 4 March 2008 2.6.24 364/354 Crivitz


  • "Code names" in Finnix refer to the development cycle leading up to the release, and not the release itself. Releases are signified by version number.
  • Versions with two package counts in the table above represent x86 and PowerPC package counts, respectively.

References[change | change source]

  1. Linux Complete Backup Recovery and HOWTO
  2. - A tale of two Linux bootable business cards
  3. "Finnix project history". Archived from the original on 2008-06-15. Retrieved 2008-06-15.
  4. "Finnix frequently asked questions". Archived from the original on 2009-02-16. Retrieved 2008-06-15.

Other websites[change | change source]