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The most popular way of using SystemRescueCd is from a CDRom drive on a desktop in interactive mode. Recent SystemRescueCd versions also come with the support for network boot via PXE. The network configuration boot options (such as ethx=ip, gateway=ip, dns=ip, dochdp) allow you to automatically configure the network access to SystemRescueCd at boot time. SystemRescueCd automatically starts an ssh server by default and you can define a static root password on the boot command line. That way you can get an ssh console to the server just by booting a customized SystemRescueCd. There is no need to configure anything to get it to work. It can be very useful for Disaster Recovery purposes, I mean to reinstall a backup of your operating system after a crash. You can also use it to make any other administration task on your server.

In other words, you can manage a windows/linux server that is in a datacenter remotely, from your office. There is no need to be in front of the machine to insert a disc, configure a network interface, or set a root password. All you have to do is to prepare a network boot server (one or several servers running the following network services: dhcpd, tftpd, httpd). You can install these three services either on a dedicated physical/vmware server or on a production machine running other services.

There are two interesting ways of using it:

  • You can prepare a pxe boot server so that you get an interactive ssh console to administrate/repair your server by hand. You can prefer the serial console that is also supported.
  • You can also configure SystemRescueCd in order to run your own autorun scripts to perform automatic tasks (backup, recovery, …)

If you are interested in managing remote machines using SystemRescueCd, you should read the new chapter about it: Manage remote windows/linux servers using SystemRescueCd