Quick Guide to SystemRescueCD


System Rescue CD is one of the most well-know Linux distributions that aim at recovering a dead computer. This is a quick guide on how to use SRCD to boot from a USB keydrive, and launch an SSH server and Samba so as to copy files from the local hard disk to a remote commputer.

Important: "Never mount anything on /mnt ! It would freeze the system. Use mkdir /mnt/mydir and mount on /mnt/mydir instead."

Boot options

Make sure the options are typed before the "--" part, which separates the main and alternative sections.

setkmap=fr for French keyboard

nonm to disable the Network-Manager service

dodhcp to have DHCP assign an IP address; One the system is up and running, use "ifconfig -a" to display the IP address which the DHCP server leased to the computer.

rootpass=test, to assign a root password and use SSH later

Saving changes

No easier way than buiding a custome ISO and burning a new USB keydrive?

Setting up an SSH server

The ssh server is automatically started but you can type the following command anyway: /etc/init.d/sshd restart. You can stop it with /etc/init.d/sshd stop.

Of course you can also use SystemRescueCd as an SSH client to connect to an SSH server: just use ssh login@ssh.server.org or scp source dest. Both source and dest may be local or remote. Use login@ssh.server.org:/path/filename for remote files.

Setting up Samba

SRCD has Samba preinstalled.

Here's how to configure Samba so you can read files from a remote Windows host:

  1. Make sure /etc/passwd contains nobody, /etc/group contains nogroup, and the directory you wish to share is owned by nobody.nogroup:

    chown -R nobody.nogroup /mnt/share_name
    chmod -R 777 /mnt/share_name
  2. Test that you can write as "nobody": su - nobody ; whoami ; vi /mnt/share_name/test_file ; exit ; whoami
  3. vi /etc/samba/smb.conf:

  4. Start Samba:

    /etc/init.d/samba start

Suggestions to site

Complete NETWORK CONFIGURATION AND PROGRAMS to explain how to configure Samba to access the host from a remote Windows computer, as an easy way to extract files from the SRCD host.


Samba: How to get rid of this error message in the logs?

smbd[2781]:   Unable to open printcap file /etc/printcap for read!

Why can't su to nobody to check Samba access?

root@sysresccd /etc/samba % su nobody

root@sysresccd /etc/samba % whoami





How to slow down fans?

How to save changes (config files, etc.)?

"Partition x does not start on physical sector boundary."

Just to recover files, you can ignore this warning.

How to use installed services?

Scripts are located in /etc/init.d/

How to install applications?

Not Debian-based, so apt-get install doesn't work

Samba share not displayed on remote Windows host

root@sysresccd /etc/samba % cat /etc/samba/smb.conf


comment = Old drive

path = /mnt/sda1

browsable = yes

guest ok = yes

read only = yes

root@sysresccd /etc/samba % /etc/init.d/samba start

 * samba -> start: smbd ...                                                                                          [ ok ]

 * samba -> start: nmbd ...                                                                                          [ ok ]

root@sysresccd /etc/samba % netstat -tunlp

Active Internet connections (only servers)

Proto Recv-Q Send-Q Local Address           Foreign Address         State       PID/Program name

tcp        0      0   *               LISTEN      3831/smbd

tcp        0      0    *               LISTEN      1936/sshd

tcp        0      0   *               LISTEN      3831/smbd

tcp6       0      0 :::139                  :::*                    LISTEN      3831/smbd

tcp6       0      0 :::22                   :::*                    LISTEN      1936/sshd

tcp6       0      0 :::445                  :::*                    LISTEN      3831/smbd

udp        0      0    *                           1860/dhclient

udp        0      0*                           3840/nmbd

udp        0      0*                           3840/nmbd

udp        0      0   *                           3840/nmbd

udp        0      0*                           3840/nmbd

udp        0      0*                           3840/nmbd

udp        0      0   *                           3840/nmbd

udp        0      0  *                           1860/dhclient

udp6       0      0 :::5085                 :::*                                1860/dhclient