SystemRescueCd-1.2.0 has just been released. It’s a major release, so it comes with a new kernel version, new desktop environment, and update for important packages.

First, the graphical environment has been updated. It’s now based on Xorg-server-1.5.3, which improves the hardware support and comes with new drivers.  The desktop environment is now xfce, because it’s both a very good environment (very comfortable, many settings, …) and it’s very small on the system. Parts of xfce which are not essential and with many dependencies have not been included anyway.

The kernel has been updated to a new version: linux-2.6.29 comes with more drivers, and also it supports the very promising btrfs filesystem (still under heavy development). GParted has been updated to 0.4.5, it improves the dmraid and the  crypt-luks support.

A new fsarchiver version comes with this release. This program can be used to clone filesystems: it supports all the linux filesystems, including ext4 and btrfs. It’s also able to clone ntfs partitions. It can restore filesystems to a partition which is smaller than the original. It also comes with many interesting features: the compression is multi-threaded (interesting on multi-cores cpu), and it supports the very high compression algorithm called lzma (very good ratio and not too slow on quad-cores cpus). All the data are checksummed so it can handle corruptions. Archive files can also be encrypted using a password. The file format has been finalized so next version will be able to use archive created with the current version. This program cannot be considered as stable yet, so you must be careful if you use it on critical data.