Gnoppix 24.1: A Mixed Bag of Innovations and Setbacks

Powered by Debian 12.4, Gnoppix 24.1 arrives with a focus on security, AI functionality, Xfce, and a new installation experience.

Gnoppix might not ring a bell for many in the Linux community, so let’s begin with a brief distribution background.

Tracing the Roots

Gnoppix Linux was initially developed in September 2002 by Andreas Müller, based on Debian 3.0 as a live distribution. In 2004, he was hired by Canonical, a decision that would intertwine the fates of Gnoppix and the emerging Ubuntu.

Müller’s expertise, honed through his work on Gnoppix, was pivotal in integrating the LiveCD functionality into Ubuntu’s first version, 4.10 “Warty Warthog,” released in October 2004.

This integration was so seamless and effective that Ubuntu and Gnoppix Linux became virtually identical, which led to the cessation of the Gnoppix Project. After this, Müller decided to found the Kubuntu Project.

However, Gnoppix’s story was far from over. Amidst the global turmoil of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, the distro experienced a remarkable revival and has enjoyed regular updates again over the last two years.

At the moment, Gnoppix is using Xfce as its go-to desktop environment. If you’re into trying different flavors, it also has KDE Plasma and GNOME versions. Remember, though, that these are still in the early stages – Beta and Alpha – mainly due to a lack of developers.

The distro comes in two editions, supporting 32-bit and 64-bit architectures. The primary one, Gnoppix Core, is available for free download. Additionally, a paid version, Gnoppix Pro, offers enhanced features and can be purchased for $39.99.

With all that said, let’s see what the recently released Gnoppix 24.1 brings us.

Gnoppix 24.1 Highlights

Gnoppix 24.1

Main Features

The latest release of Gnoppix, version 24.1, marks a significant shift from its previous iteration as a live CD-only distribution. Introducing the Calamares installer transforms the installation process, offering a more intuitive experience.

Powered by Linux kernel 6.1 LTS and based on Debian 12.4, the distro ships with various updated features and tools. Key highlights include Xfce 4.18, a traditional desktop layout with a bottom panel, the Whisker menu, and Papirus icons.

The theme used is Qogir GTK, but it’s hard not to see its striking similarity to the Zorion OS feeling, which theme is utilized.

The edition boasts a range of applications like Mousepad 0.6.1, Paole 4.18.0, Ristretto 0.13.1, Thunar 4.18.6, Whisker Menu 2.8.0, LibreOffice 7.4.7, Gnoppix Productivity 1.0.2, and Gnoppix Security 0.3.

The distribution claims to be user-friendly, a point we find debatable. Its unusual combination of Xfce and GNOME applications proved challenging for us. For example, the presence of two similar ones, such as GNOME Files and Thunar File Manager, was particularly perplexing.

Gnoppix file managers.

In addition, while the LibreOffice 7.4.7 office suite is currently available, the total absence of audio and video players is quite apparent and difficult to ignore.

You might also notice duplicated icons in the start menu, such as “Terminal Emulator” and “Xfce Terminal.” Despite their different names, they launch the same application.

Too Much Anonymity and AI

Gnoppix 24.1 strongly emphasizes privacy, but unfortunately, some features don’t work seamlessly.

This release integrates Tor by default, removing the earlier practice of using a launcher script to fetch the latest release. The distribution includes the Tor browser and specialized tools for the Tor network, like the anonymous file-sharing program OnionShare and the Ricochet instant messaging client.

At the same time, if you use the “Start Anonymity” option built into the start menu, all internet-bound traffic is routed through the Tor anonymous network, enhancing user anonymity.

So far, so good, as long as “Stop Anonymity” worked, but during our tests, once the anonymization started, the only chance to stop it was in front of the terminal using the “sudo gnoppixctl stop” command.

In other words, in Gnoppix 24.1, you can run “global” anonymization. This allows you to surf the web using the Firefox browser, for example, by utilizing the Tor network.

Interestingly, the release also includes a separate Tor browser, which provides the same anonymous browsing capability. This double functionality might seem perplexing, as both options serve the same purpose.

Speaking of Firefox, it’s important to point out that it comes preinstalled with numerous additional extensions, which we didn’t like at all.

Gnoppix’s focus on security is further evident in this release with the inclusion of tools like the Sweeper utility, which helps clear cache and temporary files, VeraCrypt for robust encryption, and the Metadata Anonymisation Toolkit (MAT) for protecting user privacy.

Finally, we will explore another key feature of Gnoppix 24.1 – its Artificial Intelligence capabilities. The distro ships with the so-called Gnoppix AI installer, simplifying the installation of hundreds of AI tools with a one-click option.

It’s about Pinokio, a browser that lets you install, run, and automate any AI applications and models automatically and effortlessly. Indeed, while AI has gained significant attention in the past couple of years, its integration into a Linux distribution doesn’t align closely with the needs of the typical computer user.

Moreover, it bears little connection to enhancing online anonymity, the cornerstone of Gnoppix’s design and purpose.

Pinokio App

You can refer to the release announcement for detailed information about all changes in Gnoppix 24.1.


We left Gnoppix 24.1 with mixed feelings. The distribution’s ambition to blend the robust security features characteristic of distros such as Tails or Whonix with the user-friendly functionalities of a desktop-oriented Linux distro has not been fully realized optimally.

Moreover, since just one individual developed Gnoppix, it’s challenging to recommend it as a reliable solution for meeting your everyday computing needs.

For us, the Gnoppix falls squarely in the distro-hopping category, and there is certainly room for improvement before it evolves into a fully mature and trouble-free product.

Of course, that shouldn’t stop you from giving it a chance – maybe Gnoppix is the Internet anonymity tool you’ve been looking for.

Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

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