Boot and Install ROSA from your own HDD

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There are many ways to install ROSA — for example, you can use ISO image located at your hard drive. However, a trick with ISO described in our wiki requires some full-functional operating system to be installed in your machine to perform some preliminary actions. However it can happen that your system is broken and neither you can boot from external device. Our colleague Sergey Sokolov recently met such a problem, and below he describes a solution that helped him to bring his system back to life.

Since I am one of ROSA developers, it is no wonder that I have installed a development release of ROSA Fresh R4 to my notebook (at the time when we even didn’t have an Alpha release). Once a day I decided to update my system to the current state of repositories. Unfortunately, it turned out that exactly at that moment a lot of system stuff updates (systemd, glibc, etc.) were ongoing. And I was so unlucky that my system refused to boot after update.

It would be nice to launch Live CD or just reinstall the system, but my machine didn’t have CD/DVD recorder, I didn’t have a boot USB flash and there was nobody near me to prepare such a boot device for me! However, I remembered that I had an ISO image of ROSA on my HDD.

I took a look at my partition table:

# fdisk -l /dev/sda

Disk /dev/sda: 480.1 GB, 480103981056 bytes, 937703088 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00000000

Device Boot     Start       End       Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1            2048    33556479    16777216   82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda2        33556480    96471039    31457280   83  Linux
/dev/sda3        96471040   937703087   420616024    5  Extended
/dev/sda5        96473088   937703087   420615000   83  Linux

Here /dev/sda1 was a swap which I didn’t use anymore, /dev/sda2 was my root and /dev/sda5 was a /home.

The system failed to boot normally, but I still had initrd loaded and dracut console. And that turned out to be enough to do the following actions:

mkdir /mnt
mount /dev/sad2 /mnt
mount -o bind /dev /mnt/dev
mount -o bind /dev/pts /mnt/dev/pts
mount -o bind /proc /mnt/proc
mount -o bind /sys /mnt/sys
mount /dev/sda5 /mnt/home
chroot /mnt
dd if=/home/path/to/ROSA.FRESH.KDE.R3.x86_64.iso of=/dev/sda1 bs=8M
touch /boot/resque.iso
vi /boot/grub2/grub.cfg

In grub.cfg, I found rescue.iso item and edited it as follows:

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/43_resque ###
if [ -f  /boot/resque.iso -o -f /boot/sgb.iso ]; then
submenu 'Repair tools' {
if [ -f  /boot/resque.iso ]; then
menuentry "Boot rescue CD" {
linux (hd0,1)/isolinux/vmlinuz0 boot=live iso_filename=/dev/sda1 root=live:/dev/sda1 rootfstype=auto ro rhgb splash=silent logo.nologo rd.luks=0
initrd (hd0,1)/isolinux/initrd0.img

Finally, I synced filesystem and rebooted. And now I had some kind of recovery partition which could be used to install a system or launch it in Live mode. Just not forget that we should not format sda1 partition when installing a system!

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