Debian Live Rescue needs some love

You may have noticed that Jessie no longer includes the useful rescue flavour of live image, formerly included in Wheezy and earlier releases, and neither will Stretch unless you take action. This is my second public call for help this year to revive it. So if you care about rescue, here’s how you can help:

  • First, try a self-built image, based on the old live-image-rescue configuration. While Jessie still contains the live-image-rescue configuration for live-build as a starting point, to successfully build this image for yourself, you need to edit the package lists to drop or substitute any packages that aren’t in the archive. As of writing, this includes libphash0, mii-diag, denyhosts, hal and emacs23-nox. (Tip: for the latter, substitute emacs24-nox.)
  • Join or form a team to maintain the rescue metapackages in the long term. All of the official Debian Live images are based on metapackages that are looked after by various other teams, (principally the desktop teams,) with rescue being the sole exception. The old package lists include some forensics packages, so you may wish to contact Debian Forensics, but I don’t want to presume they’ll take it on.
  • Have your team decide on what a rescue system should include. You might start with the old lists, spruced up a bit just to make the image build, or you might take an entirely different tack. This is your project, so it’s up to you.
  • File a bug on tasksel, preferably with patch, to include a task-forensics and/or task-rescue task (or whatever you decide the task or tasks should be called).
  • File a bug on the live-images package to include your work.

If you have any questions not answered in this post, please feel free to leave a comment on this blog, talk to the Debian Live team on irc — I’m SynrG, and hang out with the team at #debian-live @ — or drop us an email at

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4 responses to “Debian Live Rescue needs some love”

  1. some time ago, i found this interesting tool called “breakin” that was designed to do stress-testing for new machines. i filed a WNPP ticket about it here:

    from the discussion, it appeared there wasn’t that much to salvage from the package, but that we could reuse the concept in a new project. after talking with some Debirf developpers, the “stressant” project was born:

    while stressant is primarily designed around stress-testing, i believe it also has a good compliment of rescue packages, thanks to debirf’s builtin rescue image.

    we build images for wheezy and jessie.

  2. I think it would be fair to note in the post that the installation images include a rescue mode. Just so that when someone searches for a Debian rescue image and finds this post, they can at least resort to using the rescue facilities on the installation image if no live-rescue images exist yet at that time.

  3. yes I think having an on board rescue utility would be a good thing,because you must remember that not every body has acquired the same skill level when it come`s to installing an open source operating system, disregard the, how to down load an, ISO,when I talk to people about what I am doing with open source there is a look of bewilderment and wonder,!! I wish I could do that, but you are right sir , a rescue utility on the install image would be a good thing, particularly for those that don’t have the technical aptitude.

  4. I am wholly in favor of reviving the rescue image for jesse and stretch. In fact, I am willing to donate some time to the effort.

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