rescue cd with networkign and ssh!

Devin Teske dteske at
Thu Jan 20 23:33:06 UTC 2011

On Thu, 2011-01-20 at 11:24 -0800, Devin Teske wrote:
> On Thu, 2011-01-20 at 13:53 +0000, Paul Macdonald wrote:
> > Hi,
> > 
> > can any recommend a live cd (any distro) that will mount ufs and has 
> > networking+sshd.
> How about DruidBSD?
> Bullet Points:
> - ISO is 24MB
> - Contains over 150 standard (and some non-standard) BSD utilities
> - Runs entirely from memory
> - Is based on FreeBSD-8.1
> - Includes the tmpfs kernel module (should you need to allocate more
> disk space from RAM)
> - Works from optical media (CD/DVD) and USB flash drives

I think I need to clarify on the above point.

When you download any of the DruidBSD ISO's, you really do have
something special in your hands.

It's not a CD/DVD image.
It's not a USB memstick image.
It's not a hard disk image.
It's not a pxeboot image.

... (pause for dramatics) ...

It's all of the above. Simultaenously. Without modification. In

There are manuals that can be followed online that will guide you
through the process of creating a USB-memstick out of the FreeBSD
``boot-only'' disc(s). However, that's not what this is.

Rather, what we have here is an ordinary ISO9660 file created and then
post-processed with H. Peter Anvin's extraordinary `isohybrid' utility
(from See (and search-ahead
for `isohybrid').

This tool wraps the ISO9660 filesystem within a Hard Disk emulation
layer. When written to a CD/DVD, the emulation layer is ignored and the
BIOS boots directly from the ISO9660 layer. Meanwhile, when written to a
disk-like media (such as thumb drive, CF card, hard disk, zip disk,
etc.) the Hard Disk emulation layer bridges the gap by handing execution
off to the ISO9660 layer. Though, Professor Anvin could propably
describe better the annals of ``hybrid mode'' processing.

I feel that this makes DruidBSD unique in that I only have to master one
ISO and you similarly only have to download one ISO, yet you can freely
use whatever medium you like.

I'm still evaluating the "Hybrid Mode" ISO's as generated by this
utility, and would love feedback on your experiences. To the best of my
knowledge, I'm the first (and only) person to get FreeBSD working in
this way, and I feel that it's working quite well.

I can't say that I'm able to boot every single machine with this ISO.
Some older hardware (read: circa 1998-2001 or older) with USB slots has
shown difficulty in booting from my USB memstick, however I don't chalk
that up to anything related to the ISO, but rather related to memstick
booting in-general. The same exact ISO burned to CD/DVD works on the
same hardware which refuses to boot from USB memstick. BIOS upgrades
usually fix those older machines if available.

(full sig at bottom)

> - Utilizes crunchgen to maintain tiny footprint
> - Designed to be a fully-operational FreeBSD distribution for embedded
> devices but doubles as an amazing rescue-disc
> - Graphical boot-loader
> Full Disclosure: I'm the author.
> Quick-steps:
> 1. Download either DruidBSD-X.Y.iso (24MB) or Druid-X.Y.iso (same as
> former, but adds valuable diagnostic utilities such as windiag, memtest,
> seatools, dban, and killdisk; 32MB).
> 2. Burn to optical media _or_ use dd(1) to write directly to thumb drive
> _or_ load it directly into a VMware virtual machine's virtual-CDROM.
> 3. Boot. That's it.
> NOTE: If doesn't load for you, try instead
> (the former produces a 302-redirect to
> the latter which may not be followed by all HTTP clients).
> > 
> > I've tried pc bsie (2.1, 2.0, 1.1) which doesn't even seem to work on a 
> > test machine here , won;t mount the /dev/cd image ( folder is 0 bytes in 
> > iso) .
> > 
> > Ubuntu live will boot the box and sshd can be installed but it won;t 
> > mount the disks (apparently it needs a custom kernel).
> > 
> > the live cd image needs to work in a datacenter.
> > 
> > thanks
> > Paul.
> > 

Devin Teske

Business Solutions Consultant II
510-735-5650 Mobile
510-621-2038 Office
510-621-2020 Office Fax
909-477-4578 Home/Fax
devin.teske at

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