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Finnix LiveCD Recovery Distribution Support

I’ve added support to the LPM that allows you to utilize Finnix as a recovery/rescue/bootstrap distribution. It occupies none of your disk space, autoconfigures your network interface and swap files, and contains enough admin utilities to get just about anything done. To quote the Finnix website:

Finnix is a self-contained, bootable Linux CD distribution (“LiveCD”) for system administrators, based on Debian testing. You can mount and manipulate hard drives and partitions, monitor networks, rebuild boot records, install other operating systems, and much more. Finnix includes the latest technology for system administrators, with Linux kernel 2.6, LVM2, encrypted partitions, etc. And above all, Finnix is small; currently the entire distribution is over 300MB, but is dynamically compressed into a bootable image under 100MB. Finnix is not intended for the average desktop user, and does not include any desktops, productivity tools, or sound support, in order to keep distribution size low.

How to utilize Finnix in our environment

  1. Create an empty Configuration Profile (Configurations sub-tab, click “Create a new Configuration Profile”)
  2. Select “Recovery – Finnix (kernel)” for the kernel
  3. Select “Recovery – Finnix (iso)” for /dev/ubda
  4. Select “Recovery – Finnix (initrd)” for the initrd (right below disk images)
  5. Add your disk images that you need to repair/mount from inside Finnix to the remaining /dev/ubd slots.
  6. Boot the new profile
  7. Use the Lish Console to access your Finnix install

Short History on Finnix

Finnix was created by our very own Community member “fo0bar” (Ryan Finnie).

Finnix was born in 1999. At the time, very few LiveCD distributions existed; the phrase LiveCD wasn’t even coined yet. Linuxcare had released its “Bootable Toolbox”, a set of utilities in a 50MB businesscard CD. However, not many people had access to this, as it was primarily given out in trade shows, and not available for download until later in its life. While working at an ISP and having access to several test machines and CD burners (back before CD burners were plentiful), I took a Red Hat 6.0 installation and modified it to be able to be run directly from a CD. Version 0.01 was only distributed to 2 other people. 0.02 had some minor modifications, and was used mostly by the office staff. Finnix 0.03 was updated to reflect Red Hat 6.1, and in February 2000, it was released to the world.

Click here for the complete Finnix History

The Finnix LiveCD

Finnix ISOs for x86, PPC, UML and Xen are freely available for download for non-Linode use at:

Ryan also has a Limited Edition signed LiveCD available here:

The Finnix Distrowatch page:

Finnix+Linode Sourceforge announcement:


Comments (6)

  1. Author Photo

    Thanks a lot for your support, caker. I’m very pleased how it turned out. This is a feature that, as far as I know, no other VDS provider has even attempted (despite [url=]many[/url] [url=]many[/url] [url=]people[/url] asking for it 🙂 ). Here’s how it looks when you boot into the Finnix image:

    [code]Welcome to Finnix for User Mode Linux!

    [*] Running Linux kernel on i686
    [*] Host: Linux 2.6.11-1-bigmem64 #2 SMP Mon Mar 7 15:00:57 EST 2005 i686
    [*] Scanning for partitions and creating /etc/fstab… done
    [*] Using swap partition /dev/ubdb
    [*] Starting background DHCP request… eth0
    [*] Finnix version 86.1 ready; 346 packages available
    INIT: Entering runlevel: 2

    BTW kids, those Limited Edition CDs have not been publicly announced yet, so order now and be… umm, cool. 🙂

  2. Author Photo

    Awesom! An excellent new feature, thanks guys!

  3. Author Photo

    Awesome. I can get rid of my Debian image now that I’d been keeping around for recovery in case I needed it. 😀 Thanks, guys.

  4. Author Photo

    Thanks for the new feature.

  5. Author Photo

    Welcome to the forums, crespowu!

    The Linode forums contain a wealth of handy information, both about Linux in general and about running a Linode. One caveat when looking through them: keep an eye on the date of a post before replying. Sometimes ancient threads get resuscitated, and they start showing up at the top of the recent activity list. That’s when dogs start living with cats and confusion reigns.

  6. Author Photo


    Sorry,… couldn’t resist.

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