Included Linux kernels

About this page

This page describes the Linux kernels provided with SystemRescueCd, what patches and features are included, and how to add a additional drivers or features.

Sources for the kernels used in SystemRescueCd are available on

Goals of the kernel choices

The current standard kernel is linux-4.4, with several patches to add support for things such as aufs. This kernel aims to support the most important hardware. I included all options that could be useful to users (hardware support, file system support, network protocols, …).

Submit a change request

Despite this, several drivers could be missing. If you need them, please give us the new config file required. For that, you have to get the same kernel sources by applying our patches, and setup the kernel configuration with our parameters. When you have selected the new required options, please send us the new config file. You can find our patches on and our kernel configuration is part of the git repository

Kernels provided on SystemRescueCd-4.9.x

standard-kernels: (rescue32 and rescue64)

  • this kernel is based on the Long-Term-Supported linux-4.4 kernel with fedora changes and the SystemRescueCd patchset
  • the two kernel images are rescue32 (32bit) and rescue64 (64bit)
  • you should use the default kernel if you have no particular problem with it

alternative-kernels: (altker32 and altker64)

  • this kernel is based on the stable linux-4.9 kernel with fedora changes and the SystemRescueCd patchset
  • the two kernel images are altker32 (32bit) and altker64 (64bit)
  • you should use the alternative kernel only if you need recent drivers of features that are not in the standard kernel

Both 32bit and 64bit kernels are available

Available 32 bit kernels

  • rescue32 and altker32 are the two 32bit kernels provided
  • any Intel/AMD/VIA based processor (i586 or better) should work with the 32bit kernel
  • you can run a 32bit kernels even if you have a processor that supports 64bit instructions (amd64 / em64t)
  • you can use (backup/restore) 64bit programs with a 32bit kernel
  • you cannot chroot on an existing linux partition with 64bit programs with a 32bit kernel

Available 64 bit kernels

  • rescue64 and altker64 are the two 64bit kernels provided
  • these 64bit kernels will work only if you have an intel/amd 64bit processor (x86_64)
  • these 64bit kernels do not work on IA64 / Itanium processors
  • you must use a 64bit kernel if you want to chroot to a linux system using 64bit programs.
  • 64bit kernels can execute 32bit programs since the IA32 instructions support is included in the kernel

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