Finnix is a small, self-contained, bootable Linux CD
distribution for system administrators, based on Debian testing. Today marks the
release of version 87.0 for the x86, PowerPC, UML/Xen, and iPod platforms.
Finnix 87.0 contains new features, including Linux kernel 2.6.16, full automatic LVM detection, console mouse support, SMP support for the PowerPC release, dynamic filesystem overlays, improved IDE DMA support, and a utility to assist with creating a bootable USB thumb drive with Finnix. Finnix can now also be installed on the popular iPod hardware, for a total of 5 platforms Finnix can be run on, though this new platform is still considered experimental.
Home page: http://www.finnix.org/
SourceForge page: http://www.sourceforge.net/projects/finnix/
Release notes: http://www.finnix.org/Finnix_87.0_Release_Notes
Finnix for iPod: http://www.finnix.org/Finnix_for_iPod
Finnix for iPod
Finnix 87.0 now includes a filesystem image for iPod support. The iPod line is an ARM-based embedded processor with 32MB of memory and various flash/hard drive configurations, from 1GB to 60GB. Finnix was ported to the iPod platform mostly as a "hey, wouldn't it be cool" exercise, and includes no menus, graphics (besides the console output), or input via the device itself. Communication with the Finnix installation is done exclusively through the ethernet emulation via Firewire or USB. A clickwheel-based keyboard input mode may be developed in the future. Finnix-iPod is distributed as a 20MB filesystem image. The Finnix-iPod project is based off of Debian's ARM port, but is pared down to have an extremely small footprint, and includes no kernel (instead, installation will be done using the iPod Linux Project's 2.4-based iPod kernel).
Finnix-iPod is a work in progress, and even though it carries the "87.0" version number, it is still rather beta. This release has been tested on the iPod Nano and 3G iPod, and may not work with others. Please don't yell if it doesn't work.
Theoretically, Finnix-iPod should work on any compatible ARM-based system, but none have been tested. If you manage to get Finnix-iPod installed on a non-iPod, I would love to hear from you!
To install Finnix-iPod, follow the instructions at the iPod Linux Project's wiki. You will be partitioning your iPod, extracting an modifying your bootloader, injecting a kernel, and installing a userland. However, instead of downloading and extracting the Podzilla image in the instructions, you must download the Finnix image, mount it loopback, and copy the contents of the filesystem to your iPod.
The Future of Finnix Ports
Finnix is now available for the x86, PowerPC, UML, Xen, and now ARM platforms. I think this means I have to keep coming up with Finnix ports to new and exciting architectures. What about MIPS? I have an old SGI Challenge S and an SCSI CDROM drive lying around somewhere...
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