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Joined: 03 Jun 2002
Posts: 172
Location: Oklahoma City

PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2022 2:24 am    Post subject: Simple(?) Rescuecd With grub-mkrescue Reply with quote

I decided to drop my archlinux-based rescue iso and revive my old gentoo-based iso recently, but it had been two years since I last updated the latter, so I recreated it from scratch rather than deal with upgrading. It reminded me of the details of the process, and I wrote everything down for posterity.

I do my rescue work in my livecd directory, with a slightly modified installation in a subdirectory, amd64. To install gentoo, I untarred the stage3 per the amd64 manual. My make.conf includes the following changes.


COMMON_FLAGS="-O2 -march=x86-64 -mtune=native -pipe"
#  I don't want these.
USE="-bluetooth -consolekit -cups -dbus -elogind -fdk -gnome -gstreamer -kde -pcmcia -pulseaudio -systemd"
#  I want these.
USE="$USE abi_x86_32 acpi alsa cdr d3d9 dri dvd flac gif jpeg lua mp3 ogg png svg tiff truetype unicode vaapi vdpau vorbis x264 X"
# cpu flags
CPU_FLAGS_X86="mmx mmxext sse sse2"

USE="$USE livecd"
GRUB_PLATFORMS="efi-64 efi-32 pc qemu"
INPUT_DEVICES="libinput synaptics"
QEMU_USER_TARGETS="i386 x86_64"
VIDEO_CARDS="intel i965 nouveau amdgpu radeonsi vesa virgl"

To chroot into the iso system, I use a script. I've got another subdirectory, portage, for my gentoo repo, but that's not really necessary.



mkdir 2>/dev/null /mnt/gentoo
mount --bind $LOC/amd64 /mnt/gentoo
[ -e /var/cache/distfiles ] && mount --bind /var/cache/distfiles /mnt/gentoo/var/cache/distfiles
mount --bind $LOC/portage /mnt/gentoo/var/db/repos/gentoo
mount --bind /tmp /mnt/gentoo/tmp
mount --types proc /proc /mnt/gentoo/proc
mount --rbind /sys /mnt/gentoo/sys
mount --make-rslave /mnt/gentoo/sys
mount --rbind /dev /mnt/gentoo/dev
mount --make-rslave /mnt/gentoo/dev
chroot /mnt/gentoo /bin/bash

I followed the handbook in Installing the Gentoo base system. Note that I didn't use a boot partition, just the /boot directory. To create the kernel, I installed genkernel and typed, "genkernel --nconfig all".

   File systems  --->
      <*> The Extended 4 (ext4) filesystem
      <*> Overlay filesystem support
      CD-ROM/DVD Filesystems  ---
         <*> ISO 9660 CDROM file system support
         <*> UDF file system support
      DOS/FAT/EXFAT/NT Filesystems  --->
         <*> MSDOS fs support
         <*> VFAT (Windows-95) fs support
      -*- Miscellaneous filesystems  --->
         <*>   Apple Extended HFS file system support
         <*>   SquashFS 4.0 - Squashed file system support
   Device Drivers  --->
      HID support  --->
         I2C HID support  --->
            <M> HID over I2C transport layer ACPI driver
      [*] Block devices  --->
         <*>   Loopback device support
      -*- Network device support  --->
         [*]   Wireless LAN  --->
            <M>     Realtek 802.11ac wireless chips support  --->
               <M>   Realtek 8821CE PCI wireless network adapter

The important part here is building in the file systems and loopback device, since loading modules during the initramfs stage is problematic.

I followed the instructions in Configuring the system and Installing system tools, but left the fstab file empty. Instead of rebooting at the end of the installation manual, I installed all of the software I use as one, giant emerge -- based on the /var/lib/portage/world files of my working systems.

I added a few unprivileged user accounts for times when I'm using the iso for a long period -- installing gentoo on a new machine, for example.

I also copied my favorite game software (in /usr/local), lots of scripts that I use on a regular basis, and the most important parts of my user directory. I made a tarball of my personal information (.ssh, .gnupg, .when, .mozilla, etc.), and encrypted it for a bit more security.

To build the iso file structure, I made a cd-root subdirectory like this. "livecd" is an empty file.

├── boot
│   └── grub
│       └── grub.cfg
├── images
│   ├── aucode
│   ├── init64
│   ├── squashed
│   └── ucode
├── kernel
│   └── kernel64
└── livecd

I copied the following files. The ucode (intel microcode) and aucode (amd microcode) were put together using the wiki instructions.

cp -av amd64/boot/amd-uc.img cd-root/images/aucode
cp -av amd64/boot/early_ucode.cpio cd-root/images/ucode
cp -av amd64/boot/vmlinuz-5.15.52-gentoo-x86_64 cd-root/kernel/kernel64
cp -av amd64/boot/initramfs-5.15.52-gentoo-x86_64.img cd-root/images/init64

My grub.cfg looks like this.


#set timeout=1

insmod efi_gop
insmod efi_uga

menuentry 'Duane 64' {
    linux /kernel/kernel64 overlayfs cdroot loop=/images/squashed looptype=squashfs keymap=colemak scandelay=5 net.ifnames=0 nvme_core.default_ps_max_latency_us=5500
    initrd /images/aucode
    initrd /images/ucode
    initrd /images/init64

menuentry 'Duane 64 docache' {
    linux /kernel/kernel64 overlayfs cdroot loop=/images/squashed looptype=squashfs keymap=colemak scandelay=5 docache net.ifnames=0 nvme_core.default_ps_max_latency_us=5500
    initrd /images/aucode
    initrd /images/ucode
    initrd /images/init64


To make the squashfs image, I used a small script.


/bin/rm cd-root/images/squashed
/bin/rm -r amd64/tmp/*
/bin/rm -r amd64/var/tmp/*
mksquashfs amd64 cd-root/images/squashed -comp xz -wildcards -ef excludes.txt


# excludes.txt


To make the iso file, I used another script.


na=`date +gentoo-livecd-%Y%m%d.iso`
/usr/bin/grub-mkrescue -o $na cd-root --iso-level 3 && \
/usr/bin/sha512sum $na > $na.sum

Note the iso-level 3 argument, since the iso is bigger than 4GB.

Then I just copied the iso to a usb thumb drive with a physical write-protect switch (~$10 on amazon).

dd if=gentoo-livecd-*.iso of=/dev/___ bs=1M ; sync

I now have (again) a custom rescue iso that gives me a comfortable work environment in my favorite linux distribution. It's worked on all of my hardware so far, and it's relatively easy to update. I can't swear that I didn't miss a step here, but hopefully this will help anyone who's interested in the subject.
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