Steve Litt on 19 Nov 2017 10:58:53 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] Copying files from unbootable machine

On Sun, 19 Nov 2017 11:50:47 -0500
Rich Freeman <> wrote:

> On Sun, Nov 19, 2017 at 11:29 AM, brent timothy saner
> <> wrote:
> > On 11/19/2017 11:10 AM, KP wrote:  
> >> Before you tried to copy the files, did you "sudo su" or something
> >> similar? The Live CD user is not root.
> >>  
> >
> > generally speaking, you probably have better options for a rescue
> > environment. i understand sometimes you have to make do (after all,
> > you can't make a boot usb stick from an OS that's kaput etc.), but
> > for the future, there are distros that boot you right to a root
> > shell (and come with software specifically geared towards some
> > useful functionality in a rescue situation).
> >  
> Honestly, if anything I've been moving in the opposite direction.  As
> removable storage space grows, and systems become more complex, I
> think the role of the minimal rescue distro is actually diminishing.
> System rescue CD is nice and all, but:
> I don't think it supports X11, so if you have a lot to do that will
> be a PITA.

It does. Just type startx after logging in.


> I believe it doesn't include systemd at present, which means reading
> journal files and such is going to be painful.  Sure, I could
> duplicate them to text-based logs by running syslog or such, but it is
> 2017 - a rescue disk today that can't read journal files is like one 5
> years ago that lacked a text editor.

:-) Not a problem for me.

Seriously, if these journal files are really files then you can copy
them off to a working machine.

> Back when you were limited to 600MB to fit on a CD a minimal rescue
> distro made a lot more sense than today when a 64GB USB3 flash drive
> is pretty cheap.

System Rescue CD has other benefits:

* It runs on just about any X86 hardware.
* It has all sorts of hardware testers.
* It has the ddrescue program: A lifesaver when part of a file is on
  bad blocks.
* It's easy to get networking, so that you can sshmount a drive and
  send all the data out the network device.

Steve Litt 
November 2017 featured book: Troubleshooting: Just the Facts
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