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[From the home page] SystemRescueCd is a linux system on a bootable cdrom for repairing your system and your data after a crash. It also aims to provide an easy way to carry out admin tasks on your computer, such as creating and editing the partitions of the hard disk. It contains a lot of system utilities (parted, partimage, fstools, ...) and basic ones (editors, midnight commander, network tools). It aims to be very easy to use: just boot from the cdrom, and you can do everything. The kernel of the system supports most important file systems (ext2/ext3, reiserfs, xfs, jfs, vfat, ntfs, iso9660), and network ones (samba and nfs).
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 9
Easy to use, quick, hardware detection, great toolset, livecd, non-intrusive
Some tools still beta
This distribution is incredible. Based on the Gentoo LiveCD, the maintainer has built a LiveCD with an impressive toolset for maintaining and rescuing almost any data, Linux, or Windows install. Therein lies its greatest appeal. I am a Software Engineer who plays the dual role of sys-admin and I carry the latest of this version distro everywhere.
To start using it simply download the iso, verify the md5sum, and burn it to CD. It is a lightweight 100+ MB. While other smaller distros/livecds exist, this is my choice because of its included tools. From the webpage:
Here are the main system tools:
* GNU Parted is the best tool for editing your disk partitions under linux
* QtParted is a Partition Magic clone for Linux.
* Partimage is a Ghost/Drive-image clone for Linux
* File systems tools (e2fsprogs, reiserfsprogs, xfsprogs, jfsutils, ntfsprogs, dosfstools): they allow you to format, resize, debug an existing partition of your hard disk
* Sfdisk allows you to backup and restore your partition table
Here is a more complete list of the included tools:
The distro uses Gentoo's autodetection to work on virtually any system and includes the tools needed to recover or manipulate just about any partition type/filesystem type, including reiserfs and ntfs.
In addition it uses the frame buffer to display its couple of GUI apps, removing the need to include/run X. While they have very basic interfaces, the gui apps, especially QTParted, are impressive and easy to use.
The hardest part about this distribution is also one of its strengths. It starts at the command-line. There is no gui startup. There are no tutorials. There is minimal handholding. To quote the idea used elsewhere, "It just gets out of the way and lets you do your thing." SysAdmins familiar with Linux will feel right at home and have fun exploring the capabilities it offers.
An advanced feature of the disk is the multiple boot disks included that can be booted from the main boot menu. They are:
System boot disks The CDRom comes with many virtual floppy disks. These floppy images can be used as a real boot floppy disk. They provide many important services. Here is a list of the provided disks:
* FreeDos allows running DOS programs without MS-DOS
* MemTest+ test the physical memory, and tells if it is damaged or not
* Gag (Graphical Boot Manager) an easy to use Boot manager (such as LILO)
* Ranish Partition Manager a free partition editor
* Aida a powerful hardware diagnostic tool (as sandra)
I've found this distro to be of greatest use to edit/modify partitions, reinstall bootloaders (grub, freedos), and backup partitions using the Ghost clone PartImage.
As I mentioned above, one down side to the newness of the tools is that some just don't work quite right. I tried using Gag, the graphical bootloader, but it refused to work for me. This could have been user error, though. Explore with care.
Also, some tools are better than others. I haven't tried Ranish's partition tool, but between fdisk, QTParted, and PartGui, I prefer QTParted. I haven't yet tried the CDRW tools or much beyond just network access and filesystem/partition maintenance, but it works great for that.
In conclusion, it's a great set of tools to have in your toolbox and even better because it can be used from even small, credit card sized CDs. Without the slow loading times of Knoppix and its ilk, this little gem is great to have in a pinch.