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FAQ

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General questions

Do you plan to add new programs, such as CD rippers ?

Many other programs would be useful, but SystemRescueCd is not a Linux distribution. Other distros, like Knoppix, already do this very well. What I want to make is something that does not exist:

  • graphical partition tools that are very easy to use, and do not require configuration
  • all up-to-date system tools

Making something that already exists, and works well, such as Knoppix, would be a waste of time. Suggestions that match the goal of this CD (such as system tools that I don't know about) are welcome.

No keymap matches with my keyboard

Several users told me there was no keymap for their keyboard. The best thing to do is to boot with another keymap (boot with fb800 setkmap=us for example) and then load the keymap when the system finished working with such a command:

loadkeys /usr/share/keymaps/i386/qwertz/fr_ch.map.gz 

Of course, you have to replace fr_ch.map.gz with your own keymap.

You can contact the developers in the forum too, and make the keymap file for us. Here are the steps to follow:

Compile a busybox binary:

  1. busybox contains most of the standard Linux command line tools. Download the busybox sources from http://www.busybox.net/
  2. Type "make menuconfig". Now, configure busybox. You have to enable dumpkmap in "console utilities". Then save the configuration
  3. Compile with "make"
  4. BusyBox should be ready

Create the keymap:

  1. Make sure the keymap you want to add support for is loaded on your linux system. In general, this was already done when you installed your GNU/Linux distribution on your computer.
  2. run "./busybox dumpkmap > the-new-map-file"
  3. Send me this file, and tell me what kind of keymap it is (for example "FR_ch")

I want to make my own version of SystemRescueCd

You can make your own version of SystemRecueCd. Add your own files, inside or outside the main file system (sysrcd.dat). Define the default keymap to be used at startup. You should read How to make a customized version of the CD in the Manual.

Technical problems

I have a very old computer, and my CD-drive cannot boot

Use Smart BootManager to make a boot floppy. If you have no floppy drive, you can install this bootloader on the hard disk. Using this boot manager is easy. You must download sbminst, and run the installer from Linux. Here is the most common install process: ./sbminst -t us -d /dev/fd0

I would like to use my usb stick from SystemRescueCd

  1. Plug your stick
  2. Type dmesg | less to display what the kernel found (enter h for help scrolling, enter /sda to search for the first message referring to the USB ).
  3. Create an empty directory for mounting: mkdir /mnt/usb
  4. Mount the device mount /dev/xxx /mnt/usb. Replace xxx with the actual device partition, such as sda1

I cannot access other hosts on the network

SystemRescueCd comes with a lot of network drivers, most cards are supported by the kernel.

Did you include the dodhcp boot option?

See [F7] network at boot:.

boot: rescuecd dodhcp

Check the cable

It may sound silly but first check the cable at both ends. Wiggle it and press it in firmly.
Is the indicator LED on the PC card AND the hub or router on? Does it blink when you wiggle the cable?

No DHCP server

The second most likely problem is that there is no DHCP server on your network to provide configuration parameters. The most crutial of these are an

  1. IP address for your PC,
  2. the gateway address to reach hosts outside of your local network and a
  3. Domain Name Server to translate hostnames to IP addresses.

You will have to manually configure your Network Interface Card with an address you know is not in use by another computer and fits in your local subnet.


Go to another computer on your network

  • If it is running linux enter ifconfig -a
  • If it is running MS windows open a command prompt window and enter ipconfig /all

Write down the IP address, the default gateway and the DNS server.


Also enter

ping 192.168.0.124

(if the first 3 numbers from the ifconfig or ipconfg are not 192.168.0 , use the same 3 numbers from the working PC for the remainder of these instructions). A delay and then a report similar to

2 packets transmitted, 0 packets received, 100% packet loss

means no PC is currently using 192.168.0.124 so you can use it for the PC you are configuring. If you get a report that says 2 packets received another host is already using that address. Choose another address with that last number less than 254 and issue the ping. Keep trying until you get an address which reports 100% packet loss.


Back at the PC you are configuring, type:

ifconfig eth0 192.168.0.124 

If no error is reported, ping another computer within your local subnet with 2 packets (use the IP address from the working PC):

ping -c 2 192.168.0.1

The report should be similar to:

PING 192.168.0.1: 56 data bytes
64 bytes from 192.168.0.1: icmp_seq=0 ttl=240 time=19.102 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.0.1: icmp_seq=1 ttl=241 time=19.263 ms

 --- 192.168.0.1 ping statistics ---
 2 packets transmitted, 2 packets received, 0% packet loss
 round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 19.102/19.183/19.263/0.081 ms

indicates a success.

A delay and then a report similar to:

2 packets transmitted, 0 packets received, 100% packet loss

means that you should check cables, hubs and network admin.

Once the ping can reach another computer, add a defaut gateway, in order to access computers on the internet (use the address from the working PC ).

route add default gw 192.168.0.1

Then ping www.google.fr (using this IP address, not the name) with 3 packets.

ping -c3 216.239.37.99

If the ping is not sucessful, there may be a firewall blocking the ping you need to speak with your network admin.

Then ping using a hostname to verify the DNS (Domain Name Server) is defined and responding.

ping -c3 www.google.fr 


You can define a DNS server by editing /etc/resolv.conf. Use the IP address on the DNS Server from the working PC. (only the keyword nameserver and the IP address are necessary.

nameserver 192.168.0.1

NIC driver is not the kernel

Type   dmesg | less  to display what problems the kernel may have found (enter h for help scrolling, enter /eth to search for the first message refering to the ethernet interface).

Type ifconfig with no parameters to list all network devices. You should see something like

eth0   Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr ..:..:..:..:..:..
       inet addr: 192.168.0.124 Bcast:192.168.0.255 Mask:255.255.255.0
       UP BROADCAST NOTRAILERS RUNNING MULTICAST MTU:1500 Metric:1
       RX...
       TX...
        ...

Type: dhcpcd eth0 to have the DHCP server on your local network configure your interface with an IP address and the adddress of the gateway.

If you receive an error that says Error, dhcpStart: ioctl SIOCGIFHWADDR: no such device, it means the network driver is missing, you must create a custom CD or get someone else to do it for you.

NIC defaulted to is not the one you want to use

The problem may be that the computer has several network devices, and the one your want to work is eth1 not eth0 (see ifconfig).

ifconfig eth1 192.168.0.124
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