Recent versions of Quantian are based on clusterKnoppix and add support for openMosix, including remote booting of light clients in an openMosix terminal server context. Earlier releases are still available; see below for URLs for downloads as well as ordering information.
Brief introductory information is available in a paper (from June 2004) submitted to The Political Methodologist, slides from the presentation at Usenix 2004 (July 2004), and in the earlier (revised) paper about Quantian that has appeared in the DSC 2003 Proceedings.
Quantian is an extension of Knoppix and clusterKnoppix from which it takes its base system of around two gigabytes of software, along with fully automatic hardware detection and configuration.
Quantian differs from Knoppix by adding a large number of programs of interest to applied or theoretical workers in quantitative or data-driven fields. The added quantitative, numerical or scientific programs comprise
R, including essentially all packages from CRAN (excluding only non-Unix packages such as MimR, or ROracle which needs special headers and libraries; the CRAN snapshot was taken Nov 27, 2004) as well as some from other R package repositories, out-of-the box support for the powerful ESS modes for XEmacs as well as the Ggobi visualisation program;
bioinformatics tools such all packages from the BioConductor project, as well as bioperl, biopython and applications such as blast2, clustalw, emboss and hmmer;
Octave, with add-on packages octave-forge, octave-sp, octave-epstk, matwrap and Inline::Octave as well as other matrix language environments;
Computer-algebra systems Maxima (including the X11 front-end and emacs support), Pari/GP, GAP, GiNaC, YaCaS, and Axiom;
GSL, the Gnu Scientific Library (GSL) including example binaries;
the QuantLib quantitative finance library including its Python interface;
the Grass geographic information system;
the OpenDX and Mayavi data visualisation systems;
TeXmacs for wysiwyg scientific editing as well as LyX and kile for wysiwyg (La)TeX editing;
various Python modules including Scientific and Numeric Python;
Cernlib, a large number of programs and libraries from the CERN particle physic lab;
the bochs, wine and qemu emulators;
office suites such as OpenOffice.org and KOffice;
and various other programs such as apcalc, aplus, aribas, autoclass, DrGeo, euler, evolver, freefem, ftnchek, gambit, geg, geomview, ghemical, glpk, gnuplot, gperiodic, gri, gmt, gretl, ImageMagick, IPE, lam, lp-solve, mcl, mpich, mpqc, multimix, rasmol, plotutils, pgapack, pspp, pdl, rcalc, scilab, SQLite, Tclsh, yorick, xaos, XLisp-Stat, and xppaut;