SUSE LINUX contains a rescue system for accessing your Linux partitions from the outside in the event of an emergency. The rescue system can be loaded from CD, the network, or the SUSE FTP server. The rescue system includes several help programs with which you can remedy large problems with inaccessible hard disks, misconfigured configuration files, or other similar problems.
Another component of the rescue system is Parted, which is used for resizing partitions. This program can be launched from within the rescue system, if you do not want to use the resizer integrated in YaST. Information about Parted can be found at http://www.gnu.org/software/parted/.
Boot your system as you would for installation. Selectfrom the boot menu. The rescue system is then decompressed, loaded onto a RAM disk as a new root file system, mounted, and started.
Under Alt-F1 to
Alt-F3, the rescue
system provides three virtual consoles.
You can log in as
without a password. Press Alt-F10
to enter the system console displaying the kernel and
A shell and many other useful utilities, such as the
mount program, can be found in the
/bin directory. The
directory contains important file and network utilities for
reviewing and repairing the file system, including
This directory also contains the most important binaries for system
maintenance, such as fdisk, mkfs, mkswap, mount, mount,
init, and shutdown, and ifconfig,
route, and netstat for
maintaining the network.
/usr/bin contains the
vi editor, grep,
To mount your SUSE LINUX system using the rescue system, use the mount
/mnt. You can also use or create another
The following example demonstrates the procedure for
a system with the
shown in Example 5.1, “Example /etc/fstab”.
Example 5.1. Example /etc/fstab
/dev/sdb5 swap swap defaults 0 0 /dev/sdb3 / ext2 defaults 1 1 /dev/sdb6 /usr ext2 defaults 1 2
Pay attention to the order of steps outlined in the following section for mounting the various devices.
To access your entire system, mount it step by step in the
/mnt directory using the following commands:
mount /dev/sdb3 /mnt mount /dev/sdb6 /mnt/usr
Now, access your entire system and, for example, correct mistakes
in configuration files, such as
/etc/inittab. The configuration files are now located
/mnt/etc directory instead of in
Before recovering lost partitions with the
fdisk program by simply
setting them up again,
make a printout of
and the output of fdisk -l.
Damaged file systems are tricky problems for the rescue system.
Generally, file systems cannot be repaired on a running
system. If you encounter serious problems, you may not even be able
to mount your root file system and the system boot may end with
kernel panic. In this case, the
only way is to repair the system from the outside
using a rescue system.
The SUSE LINUX rescue system contains the utilities reiserfsck, e2fsck, and dumpe2fs (for diagnosis). These should remedy most problems. In an emergency, man pages often are not available. For this reason, they are included in this manual in Section B.1, “Manual Page of reiserfsck” and Section B.2, “Manual Page of e2fsck”.
If mounting an
ext2 file system fails due to an
superblock, the e2fsck program would probably
fail, too. If this were the case, your superblock may be corrupted, too.
There are copies of the superblock located every 8192 blocks (8193, 16385,
etc.). If your superblock is corrupted, try one of the copies instead. This
is accomplished by entering the command e2fsck -f -b 8193
/dev/damaged_partition. The -f option forces
the file system check and overrides e2fsck's
error so that, because the superblock copy is intact, everything is fine.