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How Do I Boot Into Rescue Mode?

Rescue mode provides the ability to boot a small Linux environment entirely from CD-ROM, or via an alternative boot method, rather than the system’s hard drive. As the name implies, rescue mode is provided to rescue you from situations in which you may have limited access to your system.

When operating normally, Linux uses files located on your hard drive to run programs, store files, and more. However, situations may arise when you are unable to get Linux running completely enough to access files on your system’s hard drive.

Using rescue mode, you can access the files stored on your system’s hard drive, regardless of if you can actually run Linux from that hard drive.

Booting in Rescue Mode

To boot in rescue mode, you must be able to start the system using one of the following methods:

  1. By booting the system from an installation boot CD-ROM.
  2. By booting the system from another installation boot media, such as a USB flash drive.
  3. By booting the system from the Linux CD-ROM #1.

After successfully booting using one of the above methods, add “rescue” as a kernel parameter. A sample command might look like:

linux rescue

You will need to answer some basic questions during the installation process, and you’ll need to select a valid rescue image. The image you select must be part of a valid installation tree and must be the same version of Linux as the disk used.

Your system will display a message informing you that the rescue environment is attempting mount your Linux installation. You’ll be given the option to Continue, mount as Read-only, or Skip this step entirely. Depending on the issue you’re trying to resolve, you’ll want to take different actions from here. 

If you selected the option to continue, you’ll now be in single-user mode. From here, what you do next will depend on the specific issue you’re trying to resolve. For more information, check out this official documentation from Red Hat.

 

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