Rescue disks

When 12.3 RC2 (release candidate 2) was announced a few days ago, I was in a hurry to download the install DVD iso file, and do some installs. But now, a few days later, I have had time to look around more carefully.

It turns out that there’s a new download option available. In addition to the DVD, the live (KDE and Gnome), and the Network option, there is a new “Rescue” option. It provides the iso image that you can use to build a rescue CD. The image size for the 64-bit rescue image is 574619648, which easily fits on a CD. Both 32-bit and 64-bit rescue disks are available.

To check this out, I downloaded the 64-bit rescue iso, and wrote it to a USB device. And then I booted into that USB device on one of my computers.

Login to the rescue system

Once booted, I was presented with a login screen. It defaulted to login as user “linux” with an XFCE desktop. Unfortunately, that did not work due to a bug in 12.3 RC2, but I expect it will work for the final 12.3 release.

The next possibility was to login as “other” where you have to enter the user name. I tried “root”, and that worked. I normally don’t like to login as root at a GUI desktop, but an exception can be made for a rescue disk.

There is also an option to switch to TWM or to ICEWM. So I later tried a login as user “linux” to the ICEWM desktop. Since a rescue disk is mainly used for rescue tasks, something simple like ICEWM would be my preference. I had no difficulty with a login to the ICEWM desktop. One of my computers is currently logged into that with the rescue disk boot.

Tools available

The familiar tools seem to be there. A look at “/bin” and “/usr/bin” showed the standard command line toolset was installed. Checking “/usr/sbin” and “/sbin” showed that “cryptsetup” is available, the tools for installing grub are there, and the lvm tools are there.

From an xterm, I did su to become root (no password required), and then entered “yast2” to bring up Yast. There are no online updates, probably because you cannot update a read-only CD. But the Yast options for partitioning, boot configuration, etc were all there.

Why a rescue iso?

I’m guessing that the rescue disk was made available, because the live images are now too big to burn to a CD. The rescue iso is smaller, and still fits on a CD.

We are still testing 12.3, so I can’t be sure what will be available at the final release. However, it seems a good guess that a rescue disk will be available. This, rather than a live iso, might be a good solution for repair problem.

So rescue works like a Live ISO ?

“So rescue works like a Live ISO ?”

Pretty much, except that there is no install option (which a live iso does have), and it uses a smaller GUI desktop.

I noticed that 12.3’s Live ISOs are much bigger than that 12.2’s

“I noticed that 12.3’s Live ISOs are much bigger than that 12.2’s”

They made a deliberate decision to stop trying to squeeze everything onto a CD. So the live ISOs are now for USB use, or would also work on a DVD.