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Finnix 121 Released: Best Bootable Linux CD Distribution For System Administrators

A few months ago, we reported about the release of Finnix 120 that came after a hiatus of 5 Years. Continuing the development, Finnix founder Ryan Finnie has now released a new version, Finnix 121.

For those who don’t know, Finnix is one of the oldest Debian GNU/Linux-based Live CD operating systems for system administrators. It is still actively maintained and used for tasks such as filesystem recovery, network monitoring, and OS installation.

Finnix 121: What’s New?

As usual, the latest version 121 contains several fixes, new packages, and features. Starting with the Debian upstream, Finnix 121 is now built on top of the upcoming Debian 11 “bullseye,” instead of the previous Debian 10.4 “buster.”

This means version 121 has also switched its base repository from Debian’s ‘stable’ to ‘testing’ branch, shipping Linux Kernel 5.7 and several new packages such as:

  • ranger
  • cpu-checker
  • edid-decode
  • ipmitool
  • lldpd
  • oathtool
  • sdparm
  • sipcalc
  • socat
  • xorriso
  • zfs-fuse

It has also added a “0” command to access the keyboard configuration more easily. Additionally, Finnix 121 has made serial-getty consoles usable.

Along with additions, Finnix 121 has removed some packages such as LILO boot loader, sl (steam locomotive) utility, and udisk2-vdo.

In the previous release, Finnix moved to the modern and secure boot process by including support for both BIOS and UEFI boot mode. With version 121, it now uses GRUB bootloader by default for both BIOS and UEFI booting.

Among other enhancements, Finnix has fixed SSH remote access, readded shared per-user SSH agents, enabled zram swap compression, and optimized ISOs layouts for CD-ROMs.

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If you want to try Finnix 121 right now, you can download the ISO image from here, available for 64-bit architecture. For 32-bit 586/686/PowerPC, you have to use the old version of Finnix.

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