Linux rescue CD


SystemRescueCd is a Linux system rescue disk available as a bootable CD-ROM or USB stick for administrating or repairing your system and data after a crash. It aims to provide an easy way to carry out admin tasks on your computer, such as creating and editing the partitions of the hard disk. It comes with a lot of linux software such as system tools (parted, partimage, fstools, …) and basic tools (editors, midnight commander, network tools). It requires no installation since you just have to boot on the CD-ROM. It can be used to perform admin tasks on both linux servers, linux desktops or windows boxes. The kernel supports most of the important file systems (ext2/ext3/ext4, reiserfs, reiser4, btrfs, xfs, jfs, vfat, ntfs, iso9660), as well as network filesystems (samba and nfs).

Download the Linux Rescue Disk Here

Booting from SystemRescueCd

A successfully boot of SystemRescueCd presents the first screen with SystemRescueCd written in ASCII art.

Press F2/F3/F4/F5/F6 and read advanced boot instructions.

Press Enter to boot with the default options.

There are two parts in the boot command: <boot-image> <boot-options>. For example you may want to boot with rescue64 as boot-image and docache setkmap=uk as boot-options. Use spaces between options. Additional options are at Booting the CD-ROM
Main boot images

There are four main boot images with SystemRescueCd. The differences are detailed in the kernel page

* rescuecd The default for 32bit systems, with Framebuffer disabled.
* altker32 This is an alternative kernel for 32bit systems. Boot this kernel if you have problems with rescuecd. altker32 was named vmlinuz2

* rescue64 Default 64 bit kernel. Use it if you want to chroot to a 64bit linux system installed on your hard disk, or to run 64 bit programs. This kernel is able to boot SystemRescueCd from the cdrom with 32bit programs, and requires a processor with 64bit instructions (amd64 / em64t).
* altker64 This is an alternative kernel for 64bit systems. Boot with this kernel in case you have problems with rescue64.

Main boot options

Here are the most important boot options:

* docache: copy all the files it needs to RAM . This permits the sysrescuecd to be ejected and insert another disc in the drive. The system runs faster. Requires at least 256MB of memory.
* setkmap=cc: During the boot process, the system asks for the kind of keyboard. Use this option to avoid that question. Replace ‘cc’ with the keyboard you have: ‘us’ for USA, ‘uk’ for british, ‘de’ for german, …
* root=/dev/idxn: the root=<device> option boots an existing linux system. For example, if you have a linux Gentoo installed on /dev/sda6 , type rescuecd root=/dev/sda6 and Gentoo Linux will be started instead of the system on the CD. Use a 64bit kernel if your system has 64bit programs. For instance, you can boot a 64bit linux system installed on /dev/sda6 with rescue64 root=/dev/sda6. From SystemRescueCd-1.0.4, this option works with LVM disks, so you can use something like rescuecd root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00. root=auto will scan the block devices of the computer to find a linux system. The first linux system found on the disks will be started. This allows starting the system from the CD in the event there is a problem with your boot loader or with your installed nkernel . See for more details.
* ide=nodma or all-generic-ide: use these options if there is a problem related to the hard disk, for instance if the kernel boot process hangs on a driver related to the storage.
* doxdetect or forcevesa: use these options if you cannot get the graphical environment to work when you type startx in the shell prompt.
* acpi-off / noapic / irqpool: use these options if you have any problem when the kernel boots: if it hangs on a driver or if it crashes, …

Additional Programs

* Some programs included are normally booted from their own floppy. Press F2 to display the list of the these floppy disk images. For instance memtest runs an extensive memory test. ntpass allows you to change the password of any windows user accounts including the administrator account.

Working in the console mode

Mount partitions in order to troubleshoot a Linux or a Windows system installed on your disk. You can mount linux filesystems (ext2fs, ext3fs, reiserfs, reiser4, jfs, xfs) You can backup/restore data or operating system files.

Midnight Commander (type mc )is able to copy/move/delete/edit files and directories. The vim and qemacs editors can be used to edit files.

Six virtual consoles are available. Press Alt+F1 for the first virtual console, Alt+F2 for the second one, …

Working in the graphical environment

If you need graphical tools (such as GParted) start the graphical environment by typing wizard . There are two graphical environments: Xorg and Xvesa. You should try Xorg first. If Xorg fails to start, run wizard again and choose Xvesa which should always work. The graphical environment allows you to work with GParted (partition manager), to use graphical editors (Geany or GVim), to browse the web with Firefox and use terminals like xfce-terminal or mrxvt.

Setting up your network

With SystemRescueCd you can use the network. It’s useful to make a backup over the network, download files, work remotely using ssh, telnet or access files that are shared on a Unix server (with NFS)

The most convenient way to configure your network is to type net-setup at shell prompt. You can also use the following command lines to configure a network interface by hand:

If your system has supported hardware, the network interface card (NIC) was auto-detected, and the driver loaded. The interface needs to be assigned an IP address and a default gateway. To use use dynamic configuration, dhcpcd eth0. Use ifconfig -a to display the IP address the DHCP server leased to the interface. To assign a specific static IP address, enter ifconfig eth0 . Next the default route is configured. For example, for an interface at address connected to a gateway at enter: route add default gw