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 hard disk partitions. It comes with a lot of Linux system utilities such as GParted, fsarchiver, filesystem tools and basic tools (editors, midnight commander, network tools). It can be used for both Linux and windows computers, and on desktops as well as servers.

This rescue system requires no installation as it can be booted from a CD/DVD drive or USB stick, but it can be installed on the hard disk if you wish. The kernel supports all important file systems (ext3/ext4, xfs, btrfs, reiserfs, jfs, vfat, ntfs), as well as network filesystems such as Samba and NFS.

Downloading and writing a CD

First download the ISO file for your architecture. Most people use the x86 edition that supports 64bit (AMD64 / EM64T) processors. Once you have downloaded the ISO image file, check the checksum. Next write a CDROM using the ISO file as a CD image or install SystemRescueCd from the ISO image to an USB stick. Read Downloading and burning for more details.

Booting from SystemRescueCd

Insert the SystemRescueCd device and boot your system. Keep the default boot entry or choose an alternative option from the list. You can press TAB to modify the boot options if you are booting in BIOS mode (blue screen), or you have to press e if you are booting in UEFI mode (black screen).

You may want to add boot options such as copytoram to copy the system to RAM or setkmap=uk to select a keyboard layout. Use spaces between options. Finally press Enter when you are ready to boot. Additional options are at documented on the following page: Booting SystemRescueCd

Main boot options

Here are the most common boot options:

  • copytoram: copy the files to RAM, which allows the SystemRescueCD boot device to be removed after boot time. Programs will also load faster.
  • setkmap=xx: Specify keyboard: 'us' for USA, 'uk' for british, 'de' for german, ...

Additional Programs

Some additional programs are also included on the media, such as memtest to run a memory test. You can get more details about alternative boot programs.

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 (ext4, xfs, btrfs, reiserfs) and FAT and NTFS partitions used by MS Windows using ntfs-3g with a command such as mkdir /mnt/windows ; ntfs-3g /dev/sda1 /mnt/windows). 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 nano editors can be used to edit files. Read the list of the main system tools you can use and the documentation related to these programs.

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 you can start the graphical environment by typing startx. The graphical environment allows you to work with GParted (partition manager), to use graphical editors (Geany or Notepadqq), to browse the web and use terminals such as xfce-terminal.

Setting up your network

SystemRescueCd can connect you to your network. This functionality allows you to make a backup over the network, download files, work remotely using ssh or access files that are shared on a Unix server (with NFS) or on a MS Windows system (with Samba).

The most convenient way to configure your network is to use the Network-Manager service. It provides a very user friendly graphical tool to configure the network. It makes the network configuration much easier especially if you are attempting to connect to wireless networks. This tool is available as a small icon in the task bar next to the clock when you are in the graphical environment.

If you want to configure the network by hand you can use command line tools such as ifconfig or dhclient but you may have to stop the Network-Manager service first using systemctl stop NetworkManager

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.

More information is available at the page about the network.

What's New

  • Added nmon (Nigel's Performance Monitoring tool for Linux) (#351)
  • Added libldm (Tools for managing Microsoft Windows Dynamic Disks) (#348)
  • Removed recent ext4 features from the defaults to improve compatibility (#330)
  • Added package: speedtest-cli (command for testing internet bandwidth)
  • Removed package which has been dropped by upstream: zile (emacs clone)