Custom Repair Toolkit » Linux Magazine

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You can do more with SystemRescue than just repair broken systems. By adding tools and scripts, you can create a custom rescue environment that meets your needs.

Computers crash. Whether because of human error, software bugs, or hardware dying from old age, workstations and servers alike will eventually break. For this reason, every system administrator should have a digital first-aid kit to get broken systems back to working condition as soon as possible. For this task, I keep SystemRescue in my toolkit.

SystemRescue, formerly known as SystemRescueCd, is a Live Linux distribution designed to repair broken systems and handle a number of maintenance tasks. It includes tools to recover deleted files, repair broken boot managers, fix inconsistent filesystems, and more. The default set of installed programs is impressive (see Table 1 for a sample of included tools or visit the SystemRescue website [1] for the complete list). If one of your workstations or servers is rendered unbootable, you can simply boot your SystemRescue DVD or USB and have a full recovery environment available in a matter of minutes. With SystemRescue, you can repair damaged boot managers, partition tables, or filesystems. More importantly, you can extract your files from the failing computer and safely save them to a USB-attached hard drive or over a network.

Despite SystemRescue’s impressive feature set, you will eventually find yourself in a situation where the default features fall short. SystemRescue’s maintainer has recognized this possibility and made it easy to create your own SystemRescue solutions to suit your needs. This article explains how to create a custom SystemRescue environment.

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