Quick Start Guide


This Quick Start Guide discusses things you need to know to use SystemRescueCD. Read the manual for more information.

Downloading and writing a CD

First download the ISO file for your architecture. Most people use the x86 edition that supports both 32bit (IA32) and 64bit (AMD64 / EM64T) processors. The SPARC edition is available if you have hardware based on the Sun architecture. Once you have downloaded the ISO image file, check the checksum. Next write a CDROM using the ISO file as a CD image (click “Burn Image” in Nero, or use an application such as k3b under Linux). Do NOT copy the ISO file directly to the CD disc. Read Downloading and burning for more details.

Booting from SystemRescueCd

Insert the SystemRescueCd and boot your system.

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 and 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

  • rescue32 The default for 32bit systems which is the default choice if your processor does not support 64bit instructions
  • rescue64 Default 64 bit kernel. You should use it if you have a 64bit capable processor.
  • altker32 This is an alternative kernel for 32bit systems. Use this kernel if you have problems with the rescue32 kernel or need a more recent kernel
  • altker64 This is an alternative kernel for 64bit systems. Use with this kernel in case you have problems with rescue64 or need a more recent kernel

Main boot options

Here are the most common boot options:

  • docache: copy the files to RAMfs. permits the SysRescueCD to be ejected and another disc inserted. Programs load faster.
  • setkmap=cc: Specify keyboard: ‘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, you can use rescue64 root=/dev/sda6. Read this page for more details
  • ide=nodma or all-generic-ide: if the kernel boot process hangs on a driver related to storage.
  • doxdetect or forcevesa: use these options if you cannot get the graphical environment to work
  • acpi-off / noapic / irqpool: use these options if you have problem when the kernel boots: More details in kernels and boot options

Additional Programs

Some programs included are normally booted from their own floppy disk images. Press F2 to display the list of floppy disk images.

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 (ext3, ext4, xfs, btrfs, reiserfs, reiser4, jfs) and FAT and NTFS partitions used by MS Windows. ntfs-3g (eg: 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 qemacs 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 GVim), 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 using either the standard ifconfig command or net-setup then you have to stop the Network-Manager service first: /etc/init.d/NetworkManager stop

To configure the network by hand from text mode, you can execute net-setup at the 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 dynamic configuration, type dhcpcd eth0. Use ifconfig -a to display the IP address which the DHCP server leased to the interface.

To assign a specific static IP address, enter something such as: 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

More information is available at the page about the network.

Manual (EN)
LVM Guide
Disk partitioning
Manual (FR)