Lightweight linux rescue live distribution?

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arvY99
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Lightweight linux rescue live distribution?

Post by arvY99 » Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:10 pm

Hi,

Not sure if it's the right place to ask...

Most rescue live distributions are WinPE distributions working fine with windows but having troubles with linux partitions/folders (ext not recognized, cannot be explored).

Looking at the linux backup/restore utilities, clonezilla live, timeshift and backintime are often the recommended applications. Even if these have some limitations, I was wondering if there is a rescue-related lightweight linux distribution including these applications, or a lightweight linux distributions where these applications can be inserted? The idea would be to quickly boot from a usb key and backup/restore what is needed (partitions/folders/files) without to have to install again the backup/restore applications (offline situation).
Wifi/network support would be nice to have though, but applications like libreoffice, video/audio players, inskape, etc... would not be necessary in order to keep it lightweight. Just rescue applications.

While searching over the web, Absolute Linux or TinyCore did pop-up. Is there any similar lightweight rescue live linux-based distribution that would be recommended?

Thanks in advance for any comment/recommendation!

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Dngrsone
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Re: Lightweight linux rescue live distribution?

Post by Dngrsone » Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:51 pm

Try these.

I have used both Hiren's and UBCD in the past with no issues.
Try politeness; people will like you for it.

arvY99
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Re: Lightweight linux rescue live distribution?

Post by arvY99 » Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:09 am

Dngrsone,

Thanks for the reply and the recommendations.
I used Hiren's and UBCD too years ago when my main system was under windows. HBDC moved to WinPE too in its last version.
They come with tons of applications, more than what I would need for a simple backup/restore mission. Thought that there were more specific lightweight distributions for linux systems.
One way could be to install a minimalist linux on a usb stick then add a couple of applications only.

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Arch_Enemy
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Re: Lightweight linux rescue live distribution?

Post by Arch_Enemy » Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:29 am

arvY99 wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:09 am
Dngrsone,

Thanks for the reply and the recommendations.
I used Hiren's and UBCD too years ago when my main system was under windows. HBDC moved to WinPE too in its last version.
They come with tons of applications, more than what I would need for a simple backup/restore mission. Thought that there were more specific lightweight distributions for linux systems.
One way could be to install a minimalist linux on a usb stick then add a couple of applications only.
You can "roll your own" custom Mint USB drive. If you're adventurous you can follow this guide from the Ubuntu forums. It takes about half an hour:

Code: Select all

https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=688872
Install all the software you think you will need, like parted, clonezilla, etc to be able to access and manage the disk. Follow the guide. I skip step 5: Remove non system users. THat way it keeps my username and password. It also says generating a manifest is optional; do it. Also, to keep your configs, etc create your home in the rootfs section under the work directory, and copy all the hidden files over to it.

I do photography and I like having my tools with me, so I loaded up all the software I use for photography and video and copied it over, and can take it with me.

A couple caveats: doing the last part will copy over whatever video driver you have, so if you have an nvidia system, it will only run on nvidia systems. Probably the same for ATi; I haven't done that. You will also have to change the ownership of your home directory in the WORK folder, if you choose to do that, using the chown command with the --preserve-root option. You don't HAVE to do this, but I like having my "home" come up when I use it. Also, it works the best on Mint 17.x and lower. The only real issues doing it with 18.x or 19 is that it most of the time doesn't like to turn your computer off. You have to do a shut down and then hit the power button to turn it off.

Or, you can use Systemback, but I found the learning curve for that is much steeper. If you don't make the right choices you wind up with a minimum system, or one with TOO much stuff on it!
I have travelled 35629424162.9 miles in my lifetime

One thing I would suggest, create a partition a ~28G partition as /. Partition the rest as /Home.
When the system fails, reinstall and use the exact same username and all your 'stuff' comes back to you.

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Arch_Enemy
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Re: Lightweight linux rescue live distribution?

Post by Arch_Enemy » Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:31 am

Or, you can just use Puppy... :wink:
I have travelled 35629424162.9 miles in my lifetime

One thing I would suggest, create a partition a ~28G partition as /. Partition the rest as /Home.
When the system fails, reinstall and use the exact same username and all your 'stuff' comes back to you.

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Moem
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Re: Lightweight linux rescue live distribution?

Post by Moem » Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:45 am

Or good old Knoppix.
Image

If your issue is solved, kindly indicate that by editing the first post in the topic, and adding [SOLVED] to the title. Thanks!

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Arch_Enemy
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Re: Lightweight linux rescue live distribution?

Post by Arch_Enemy » Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:58 am

Moem wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:45 am
Or good old Knoppix.
I don't know why, but the last 2 versions of Knoppix haven't worked for me. They both got stuck trying to load X. I used to carry a CD in my kit. I also installed it once...that was a chore!
I have travelled 35629424162.9 miles in my lifetime

One thing I would suggest, create a partition a ~28G partition as /. Partition the rest as /Home.
When the system fails, reinstall and use the exact same username and all your 'stuff' comes back to you.

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Re: Lightweight linux rescue live distribution?

Post by rbmorse » Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:29 am

systemrescuecd from systemrescuecd.com. I like it because it comes with a nice suite of tools, is very light and well supported.
Hope is not a plan

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JoeFootball
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Re: Lightweight linux rescue live distribution?

Post by JoeFootball » Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:36 am

rbmorse wrote:systemrescuecd from systemrescuecd.com
+1 for SystemRescueCd. Actual URL is: http://www.system-rescue-cd.org/

Joe

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JerryF
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Re: Lightweight linux rescue live distribution?

Post by JerryF » Wed Sep 26, 2018 1:23 pm

You can create a full install of Mint (such as MATE or Xfce) onto a USB drive. That way, you can install/uninstall whatever programs you want or don't want.

I have one for a similar purpose.
IF your problem has been solved, please edit your original post and add [SOLVED] to the beginning of the Subject Line. It helps other members.

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Re: Lightweight linux rescue live distribution?

Post by rbmorse » Wed Sep 26, 2018 5:37 pm

JoeFootball wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:36 am
rbmorse wrote:systemrescuecd from systemrescuecd.com
+1 for SystemRescueCd. Actual URL is: http://www.system-rescue-cd.org/

Joe
Thanks for the correct url. Have no idea what I was thinking.
Hope is not a plan

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JoeFootball
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Re: Lightweight linux rescue live distribution?

Post by JoeFootball » Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:55 pm

rbmorse wrote:Thanks for the correct url. Have no idea what I was thinking.
You were thinking that had to be the URL, and not some overly hyphenated nonsense. :)

Joe

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Re: Lightweight linux rescue live distribution?

Post by arvY99 » Thu Sep 27, 2018 1:43 am

@ Arch_Enemy,

Thanks a lot for this useful link! Likely what I was looking for. Many distributions around but it's difficult to find the one that fits.
As far as I understood the guide, one has to install linux and the applications in the HD then move all to the usb stick. Was wondering why not installing the minimal linux into the usb stick first, then adding the applications directly there?!?!
So far I downloaded and quickly tried Puppy xenial64 iso file. Fast and a lot of stuff in 350MB.
As a side note, I'm in the photography too (hobby not pro), but I don't carry any hardware/software on top of the camera gear. Installed Darktable but did not play much with it yet; still relying on windows applications for this part.

@ Moem, rbmorse, JoeFootball,

Thanks, I will check these too! Several recommendations elsewhere for SystemRescueCd.

@ JerryF,

Sounds like a good way too. LM is coming with a lot of applications that might be 'too much' for a simple backup/restore usb key though. Wondering if a bare Mint (just the system/GUI) is around?!?! Have to check!

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Moem
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Re: Lightweight linux rescue live distribution?

Post by Moem » Thu Sep 27, 2018 5:32 am

arvY99 wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 1:43 am
Wondering if a bare Mint (just the system/GUI) is around?!?! Have to check!
No, there isn't such a thing. Mint is designed to be a complete system out of the box so it will always come with preinstalled applications. But as long as you don't run them, they do not do anything.
Image

If your issue is solved, kindly indicate that by editing the first post in the topic, and adding [SOLVED] to the title. Thanks!

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Arch_Enemy
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Re: Lightweight linux rescue live distribution?

Post by Arch_Enemy » Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:47 pm

arvY99 wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 1:43 am
@ Arch_Enemy,

Thanks a lot for this useful link! Likely what I was looking for. Many distributions around but it's difficult to find the one that fits.
As far as I understood the guide, one has to install linux and the applications in the HD then move all to the usb stick. Was wondering why not installing the minimal linux into the usb stick first, then adding the applications directly there?!?!
So far I downloaded and quickly tried Puppy xenial64 iso file. Fast and a lot of stuff in 350MB.
As a side note, I'm in the photography too (hobby not pro), but I don't carry any hardware/software on top of the camera gear. Installed Darktable but did not play much with it yet; still relying on windows applications for this part.

@ Moem, rbmorse, JoeFootball,

Thanks, I will check these too! Several recommendations elsewhere for SystemRescueCd.

@ JerryF,

Sounds like a good way too. LM is coming with a lot of applications that might be 'too much' for a simple backup/restore usb key though. Wondering if a bare Mint (just the system/GUI) is around?!?! Have to check!
Well, what it does is creates a Live 'distribution' with all the software you want on it. I have a PILE of stuff and it takes up ~4.5G on an 8G stick. If you don't need all that it will be ~2.5G.

There are a couple of things: if you install it to a USB, then it acts like a normal installation and will write to the USB. Two things happen: the image changes, and it puts more wear and tear on the USB. I have one I have been using for about 4 years now.

Also, if you're using it for file recovery or virus removal, and the virus has a Linux component, then you can infect your USB device,a and then infect other computers you are working on. As a Live image, it can't be written to. The virus writes to the image it sees in memory; when you turn the computer off, the virus is gone.

The caveat is, if you want to add or remove packages, you have to do it on the installation on disk, and then produce another ISO. On 17.3 I'm on 'version' 11.

But they just keep getting better and better! :wink:
I have travelled 35629424162.9 miles in my lifetime

One thing I would suggest, create a partition a ~28G partition as /. Partition the rest as /Home.
When the system fails, reinstall and use the exact same username and all your 'stuff' comes back to you.

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Arch_Enemy
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Re: Lightweight linux rescue live distribution?

Post by Arch_Enemy » Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:48 pm

Oh, BTW, you can build your system, create an ISO with everything you want, as I mentioned. It also loads an installer. By default it uses Ubuntu's installer, but you can grab the Mint installer from the repos; add the installer, and when you get it were you want it, if something goes kablooey, you had a Live USB with all your stuff to easily reinstall!
I have travelled 35629424162.9 miles in my lifetime

One thing I would suggest, create a partition a ~28G partition as /. Partition the rest as /Home.
When the system fails, reinstall and use the exact same username and all your 'stuff' comes back to you.

arvY99
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Re: Lightweight linux rescue live distribution?

Post by arvY99 » Fri Sep 28, 2018 11:21 am

@ Moem,
Yea, I thought so after posting. It's just that even if they are not doing anything, not-used applications take space and it takes time/space to load/install the full image. I do not complain, not at all, LM is a great system, great ready to go system. Glad to use it every single day. It's just that sometimes users might need a minimal system to install and use only things that they need, no more, no less ;)

@ Arch_Enemy,
I heard you!
Right now I am playing with Puppy linux. Small footprint considering the set of applications it offers.
As a rescue system, it detects all the attached drives/partitions and allows an easy backup. Still some packages that could be removed, but considering its small footprint I wonder if it's worth spending time on it?!?!
Had a look at Askey307's thread citing Systemback (viewtopic.php?f=90&t=278494). Don't know how well it works with xenial and more recent distributions, but it sounds like a nice application to try out.

I don't want to mess my current LM (still a linux newbie and sometimes wondering about the commands). I likely need an extra HD to install the custom linux and play with it! Anyway editing/customizing linux sounds like a new world to me.

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Arch_Enemy
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Re: Lightweight linux rescue live distribution?

Post by Arch_Enemy » Fri Sep 28, 2018 1:25 pm

arvY99 wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 11:21 am
@ Moem,
Yea, I thought so after posting. It's just that even if they are not doing anything, not-used applications take space and it takes time/space to load/install the full image. I do not complain, not at all, LM is a great system, great ready to go system. Glad to use it every single day. It's just that sometimes users might need a minimal system to install and use only things that they need, no more, no less ;)

@ Arch_Enemy,
I heard you!
Right now I am playing with Puppy linux. Small footprint considering the set of applications it offers.
As a rescue system, it detects all the attached drives/partitions and allows an easy backup. Still some packages that could be removed, but considering its small footprint I wonder if it's worth spending time on it?!?!
Had a look at Askey307's thread citing Systemback (viewtopic.php?f=90&t=278494). Don't know how well it works with xenial and more recent distributions, but it sounds like a nice application to try out.

I don't want to mess my current LM (still a linux newbie and sometimes wondering about the commands). I likely need an extra HD to install the custom linux and play with it! Anyway editing/customizing linux sounds like a new world to me.
Definitely. I have three drives with Mint on them, 17.3, LMDE3 and 19. The 19 is the main system so I don't mess with it a lot. Systemback is good for backing up your install. I have a 64G stick with Mint 17.3 and a fair amount of data on it. It's not easy to understand how to include/exclude files; it took me 3 attempts to get just what I wanted on it. It has it's own boot process, and certainly is not light. Good for keeping a snapshot of your main system, however.

We used to use Puppy at a place I was working because it will install on a small thumb drive and has a good set of tools. It's not (or wasn't...I haven't used it for 12 years...) very intuitive; even though I was running Arch I still had a bit of a learning curve with Puppy. But you can use it to repair or recover a munged system.
I have travelled 35629424162.9 miles in my lifetime

One thing I would suggest, create a partition a ~28G partition as /. Partition the rest as /Home.
When the system fails, reinstall and use the exact same username and all your 'stuff' comes back to you.

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JerryF
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Re: Lightweight linux rescue live distribution?

Post by JerryF » Fri Sep 28, 2018 1:32 pm

arvY99 wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 1:43 am
@ JerryF,

Sounds like a good way too. LM is coming with a lot of applications that might be 'too much' for a simple backup/restore usb key though. Wondering if a bare Mint (just the system/GUI) is around?!?! Have to check!
Yes, but with an full install of LM on a USB, you can uninstall any apps that you don't want/need on the USB, so that it's more of a barebones LM on a USB.
IF your problem has been solved, please edit your original post and add [SOLVED] to the beginning of the Subject Line. It helps other members.

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Lord Boltar
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Re: Lightweight linux rescue live distribution?

Post by Lord Boltar » Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:52 pm

I used Pinguy Builder to make a current distro of then you can make a persistent USB thumb drive with MKUSB

get Pinguy Builder from here 5.1.8 is latest

https://sourceforge.net/projects/pinguy ... O_Builder/

MKUSB from

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mkusb/ppa

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install mkusb
IF your problem has been solved, please edit your original post and add [SOLVED] to the beginning of the Subject Line. It helps other members

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