Rescatux is a Debian GNU/Linux based live cd aimed at GNU/Linux and Microsoft Windows rescue tasks thanks to its graphical wizard named Rescapp.
Rescatux 0.74 stable version has been just released is available for you to download.
Check Rescatux 0.73 release
If you already have Rescatux 0.73 there’s no need to download Rescatux 0.74.
This is a quick release with almost no changes so this piece of news will be quite short. Please check Rescatux 0.73 released piece of news for the full detail of what Rescatux has in it.
The original idea was to work on Super Grub2 Disk but I just realised that I had to update the official Super Grub2 Disk irc channel… and, guess what, Rescatux also uses IRC so it needed a quick update.
I have almost not tested this Rescatux version. Was it not to work for you please try Rescatux 0.73 instead. Feedback on stuff that it previously worked ok on Rescatux 0.73 but it no longer works in Rescatux 0.74 on the github issues page is welcomed.
USB DEVICE: Please use Etcher (or dd carefully if you are an expert) to flash the iso to your usb device (Warning: The complete usb device is erased). Other methods based on external tools that put many ISOs into a single usb are discouraged and not supported because it’s not easy that the resultant USB will support all the as-is Rescatux supported systems.
CDROM or DVDROM: Burn the iso with k3b, brasero, nero burning rom, or your favourite burning tool (it fits under 700 MiB).
You can watch the Rescatux 0.73 hands on video where you will find a mini tutorial on how to use Rescatux 0.73. Easy GNU/Linux Boot Fix option is featured.
The last Rescatux stable version was released on October 2012. That’s about eight years ago.
Many changes have happened to Rescatux since then. UEFI options which became mainstream at 2015 have been added. Secure Boot support has been added. Rescapp is now its own program.
Rescapp had some serious usability flaws that have been fixed. When you run an option you never knew if it was working ok. Now you have an status for the option.
Finally the complete nightmare of pop-ups that were shown when an option is run have been replaced by nice coloured scrolling messages.
One of the best improvement has been done recently. Rescapp has been improved so that every option is properly documented (as well as a non native English speaker can write).
Not only every question explains all the steps that it performs and the questions they are going to make but some scenarios are explained so that you can understand what’s the most suitable scenario when to use the option.
Rescatux 0.73 supports booting from UEFI Secure Boot and traditional BIOS. Both amd64 and 686 systems are supported.
includes Rescapp, a graphical rescue tool that will assist users to
regain access to a computer that has become non-bootable among many
Change Gnu/Linux Password : Change a user’s password
File System Check (Forced Fix) : File System Check (Forced Fix)
Easy GNU/Linux Boot Fix : Fsck partition, update grub menues, restore GRUB into the MBR and order UEFI entries
Restore Grub : Restore GRUB into the MBR
Regenerate sudoers file : Define a new sudoers file
A: Before Grub2 was the norm there was Grub which was able to edit minimally your system (install grub on the mbr). I develop a GUI around it named Super Grub Disk, later on I improved it by modifying its source code. But then Grub2 started to be used by default in many distributions. Super Grub2 Disk was born, a GUI around Grub2 but, guess what, it couldn’t install grub on the mbr. So a live cd was needed and I started to tinker with Rescatux around 2010.
Q: For those people that still do not know Rescatux, can you please explain what Rescatux is?
A: It’s a Debian GNU/Linux based live cd aimed at rescue tasks. It features Rescapp a graphical wizard for helping to recover your system.
Q: Why did you choose the Rescatux name?
A: In Spanish it might mean Rescate Linux. And in English Rescue a Tux computer. I also wanted one single name (contrary to the three words from Super Grub2 Disk).
Q: Who’s in charge of the development?
A: Most of the development is done by me, adrian15. Many people have helped all along these almost ten years.
Q: What’s the Rescatux target audience?
A: GNU/Linux newbies such as Ubuntu users in 2015 and MX Linux users in 2020. It’s also targeted to repair technicians and, of course, distro hoppers.
Q: What are the main difficulties on developing Rescatux?
A1: Lack of time.
A2: When I’m able to build on Debian 9, then Debian 10 appears and I have to rethink all of it.
A3: live-build, one of the Debian tools for making live cds was not as good as I needed it to be and I needed to improve it, then push back the changes to upstream.
A4: Getting useful feedback from people who uses Rescatux (even having an integrated chat) is difficult.
A5: Nobody has steped in to add CI/CD and check if Rescatux always fixes the same problems. We would need something similar to what ReactOS and Tails do on their projects.
A6: Lack of contributors. This is not a tool where, as a developer, you can learn useful skills for your everyday work unless you are GNU/Linux repair technician.
A7: I prefer QT but Gparted, Firefox and other projects are based on GTK and make Rescatux iso slightly bigger.
A8: UEFI, Secure Boot and what not. We live in a time where old BIOS systems and new UEFI systems are available. Both need to be supported and also Secure Boot. And trying to test Secure Boot in a virtual machine is not easy. You cannot use Virtualbox but you need to setup and user KVM/Qemu in special ways. And many UEFI firmwares are not very well programmed.
Q: What are the main collaborations or help you received on Rescatux ?
A: The most recent contributor is cjg67 which helped a lot on improving written English in Rescapp. It’s also nice that many Linux magazines write articles about it and even record DVDs with Rescatux in them.
Q: Can you tell us anything about the Rescatux future?
A: Rescapp, the main Rescatux program is stable. It might need some options reorganisation (feedback is welcomed) or some documentation rewriting. But it is stable. My mid term goal on Rescatux is bringing back my work on live-boot, live-build, liveid, chntpw (which I will fork), and rescapp back to Debian. If one such goal is achieved one could be able to install rescapp on a Debian live cd thanks to the apt-get command.
Pinging back the Press
ALL: How to test the iso. What really piss me off is those people which create a new empty virtual machine and start up Rescatux cdrom without any installed operating system in their virtual machine. This might be ok for your regular GNU/Linux distribution live cd but not for Rescatux. You are not going to enjoy how Rescapp recover your boot and al. Please setup a dual boot (e.g. Windows 10 and Ubuntu 18.04) environment and try to play with Rescapp boot options. Forget your GNU/Linux password on purpose. If you try the EFI mode in Virtualbox remember that you never have to power off the machine. Just reboot it from inside your installation or save the vm state and later on resume it. Else you might find out that you lose the your recently installed UEFI menu. Finally if you are expert enough try to setup a KVM/Qemu with actual Secure Boot instead.
ALL: More than Rescapp. You might be tempted to skip the boot menues and the Rescatux startup wizard in your explanations because the useful thing is Rescapp. Don’t miss the opportunity to talk about it because it ensures to be shown in the middle of two screens and allows Rescatux to be accessed via VNC. Change your keyboard and so on.
Distrowatch: Thank you for helping me to bring Rescatux and Super Grub2 Disk to your audience. Rescatux is targeted at newbie Ubuntu users (which I guess that nowadays are the newbie MX Linux users), repair technicians and distro hoppers. Hopefully one day I can find time to develop a new standard based on rss so that you can keep track of new distribution releases in a semi-automated way. BTW if you come from Distrowatch weekly where this announcement is featured your feedback is welcomed in the DW comments. I’ll try to participate and solve doubts if anyone has them.
Linux Magazine: Thank you for making your 167 number Fast Help article free for everyone to read. Ferdinand Thommes (the article writer) came into the Rescatux irc channel back in the day for having updated feedback from us. It was nice meeting him.
Linux Magazine: Your 228 issue had a DVD with Super Grub2 Disk. The DVD label mockup should have had the version (2.04s1 or whatever) in addition to Super Grub2. E.g. Super Grub2 2.04s1. Anyways I’m grateful and at the same time amazed because this is about 17 MB burned into a 4.3 GiB DVD side !!! Once I manage to add Secure Boot support to Super Grub2 Disk I need to build an iso that features both SG2D and Rescatux so that not so much space is wasted.
Destination Linux: I watched your DL138 episode (48 minute). I liked Noah explanation on saying that when Grub does not boot it it’s usually a synthom that something else is bad. Hopefully one day you cover Rescatux release.
Carey Holzman: I enjoy watching you repairing computers. One of the last episodes I saw was LIVE – Tech-Vets show #150 where I learnt how the new worldwide state was being dealt in the U.S.A. and among computer repair men. I also enjoyed your rant on your wife employer not giving her a laptop and a separate internet connection. I guess Parted Magic (which it’s a paying product) is more suited for many of your tasks but it would be nice you could try Rescatux and give me some live feedback that I can use back to improve Rescatux usability or functionality. It’s usually hard for me to receive useful feedback. Usually people are in a hurry to use Rescatux and if it doesn’t work they switch to another solution.
MuyLinux: I sent you an email many years ago telling you that Rescatux was going to be released as an stable version very soon. It seems I lied to you XD. You have invited me many times to write an article about Rescatux (which I have declined because I preferred to work on improving Rescatux) but I think I will leave it to you. After all if I write it myself I might lose the opportunity on grasping how Rescatux is perceived by someone other than me.
Barrapunto: Hi kandinski! Hopefully one day you can surprise all of us and reopen the site. I miss writing in my own bitacora.
Message for the one who brings potatoes: This is a proud GNU/Linux distribution. I should write it down more often. Hopefully the GNU and Tux background makes you happy enough to forgive me not writing GNU/Linux after everytime I write Rescatux.
I have thought on bringing back my barrapunto bitacora back as meneame articles but I’m not quite convinced. Any replacement for Barrapunto that you recommend me? Thank you.
If you are commenting on a new Rescatux article on meneame make sure to ask your doubts there. I might be around and reply to them 😉 .
Linux Format: I enjoyed your Rescue distros roundup on LXF209 where Rescatux won. On LXF250 you mentioned that Rescatux was not maintained and that’s why it was not considered. I was disappointed till I checked that at that time (June 2019) latest Rescatux distribution release was from December 2017. Yes, I had done some internal builds from November 2018 where I tried once again to use LXQT but I hadn’t made it public, so, it didn’t exist. Funny enough on May 2019 (probably after the article was written) Rescatux 0.71-beta7 was released. Anyways Rescatux being perceived as disappeared encouraged me to work hard on it so that we finally had an stable release. So thank you!
Linux Format: Some notes on updating Rescue distros roundup from LXF209 to match Rescatux 0.73:
Tools repository: I removed the external Boot Repair tool although it has many tools. [No change.] (4/5)
Customisability: No one has shown interest in being able to build its own custom Rescatux so I haven’t worked on it. [No change.] (2/5)
User experience: Thanks to the new status frame where you can see what Rescapp does the usability is even better than before. [No change.] (5/5)
Support & rescue docs: The current documentation and videos on the website are aging a bit but a lot of work has been put into generating a proper inline documentation that you can read from Rescatux itself (without an internet connection). [No change.] (5/5)
Security features: Current iso also has GPGV and shred but I didn’t put them on purpose. Security is not a priority. You can drop one point if you want to. [-1] (1/5)
Custom tools and UIs: Yeah, now Rescatux not only has Rescapp but a Rescatux startup wizard which assists you to change display resolution, locale, vnc or keyboard layout. (6/5)… I mean… [No change.] (5/5) 😉 .
Healing capabilities: Boot Repair tool is no longer there but many UEFI options have been added. [No change.] (4/5)
The verdict [No change.] (5/5)
Linux Format: Tux with fingers should not be! you say. Not only I managed to show a penguin that almost drowned but I also made it more human by giving him fingers. I only will say that it made sense when I first thought about it XD. Rescatux background no longer features the humanoid-drowning-tux but a GNU and a Linux images. Website images, to your concern, won’t be updated in the short term, so you will see the humanoid-drowning-tux once in a while 😉 .
Linux Format: I checked the LXF259 DVD iso and you have a pretty nice system based on Grub. It supports booting from both BIOS and UEFI (IA32 and AMD64) systems. Congratulations! Super Grub2 Disk is less than 17 MB in size. I want to release an special ‘script’ release in the future so that you can just configfile its cfg which it’s the right way of using it.
Linux Format: On the LXF259 DVD iso you feature Rescatux. It’s nice how you can use your parser (aimed at live-build disks) and create a Rescatux boot entry. Can you please improve it by supporting loopback.cfg (and thus liveid)?
MX Linux: I know you have a tool named MX Boot Repair. It’s not easy to predict when I’ll be able to add Rescapp to Debian properly. It would be nice if you could evaluate Rescapp as a replacement for your MX Boot Repair. What features you are missing from it. And, maybe, if you need an special start switch so that only two or three options are shown to your live cd users. You can find Debian Buster based repo in Rescatux repo and you can also use the quick script on Non-free Rescatux documentation. And make sure the user which runs rescapp can sudo any command he wants to (as it usually happens in Live CDs).
What about the future
My plans on future development :
Soften Super Grub2 Disk AFD prank
Working on adding Secure Boot to Super Grub2 Disk
Maybe improving Rescapp documentation, release new stable Rescapp and Rescatux releases
Probably also releasing a Super Grub2 Disk version based on GNU/GRUB 2.06 version
Maybe work on a new Rescatux webpage
Update Rescatux images to remove Tux with fingers so that Linux Format magazine guys stop complaining (and because we have better background and logo designs right now 😉 )
Push live-boot liveid improvements back to Debian
Push live-build Rescatux improvements back to Debian
Work on Super Grub2 Disk script release so that Linux Format Guys can include a working version of Super Grub2 Disk on their multiarch enabled DVDs
Getting back Rescatux improvements on live-build and live-boot to upstream (Debian)
Fork chntpw properly into another name
Make chntpw fork a proper Debian package
Make rescapp non arch dependent (all package in Debian)
Make rescapp a proper Debian package
Release a Rescatux version based on Debian 11 (Bullseye)
Trying to push a graphical rescue flavour into Debian itself almost (but not better than) as good as Rescatux.
Release a Super Grub2 Disk and Rescatux all-in-one iso
This is another beta version of Rescatux. The last Rescatux beta was released on January 2020. That’s about one month ago.
This new version has many improvements. AFD Scanning technology has been improved with the United States of Spain gimmick. Rescapp now has proper logos, desktop icons and a window icon. Non English translations were removed from internal documentation. Many plugin documentations have been update to match 2019 gui. Finally the most important improvement is that Rescapp help is shown right at the Rescapp startup.
This is another beta version of Rescatux. The last Rescatux beta was released on December 2019. That’s about one month ago.
This new version has two major improvements. Startup wizard has an option to just use default values and skip all the questions. The second one is that options (the ones which hadn’t been reworked yet) have been reworked so that they manage devices like hard disks not being found properly.
What’s new on Rescatux
Startup wizard has an option to just use default values
New 2019 December background
Enable customizations thanks to optional make_common.custom file.
What’s new on Rescapp
Removed no longer needed sip module dependency
Completed handling of not found partitions of files
This is another beta version of Rescatux. The last Rescatux beta was released on November 2019. That’s about three weeks ago.
This new version has two major improvements. Extra xorg packages have been added so that more videocards are supported in Rescatux without having to use the non-free Rescatux. The second one is that many options have been reworked so that they manage devices like hard disks not being found properly.
This is another beta version of Rescatux. The last Rescatux beta was released on October 2019. That’s about three weeks ago.
This new version checks for Gparted, Photorec and Testdisk before running them. A new option called System Info Script based on Inxi has been added. In order to improve usability a generic documentation page for non-documented options has been added. Finally bootinfoscript has been updated to use Debian’s package instead of the outdated custom embedded bootinfoscript.
This is another beta version of Rescatux. The last Rescatux beta was released on October 2019. That’s about two weeks ago.
This new version puts Gparted back into the iso and updates to Rescapp 0.54b2 which features two important usability updates: An status label will show if an options is ready to start, running or finished. And a new messages box will show every step the option is performing highlighting the most important ones in bold. No more flickering of fast status messages pop-ups as it happened in earlier versions.
Additionally the user is driven first to click into the options to read their manuals and to read the manuals carefully before clicking the Run! button.
This is another beta version of Rescatux. The last Rescatux beta was released on May 2019. That’s about five months ago.
This new version features two important fixes: Now Grub recovery in tmpfs enabled distributions such as Ubuntu will work again. Some uefi systems with secure boot disabled that happened to crashed Rescapp no longer crash it.
Additionally Rescapp menu has been reworked. Finally Rescatux live cd uefi boot menu and bios boot menu have been reworked.
Last stable Rescatux was in 2012. That’s about 7 years ago.
You know what? I’m a bit upset about many of the Rescatux users.
The main reason is the lack of feedback when things go wrong.
If Rescatux doesn’t do its job then they switch to another tool to recover their boot or gain access back to their system. Nothing but getting back to their computer matters to them.
If we release beta versions of Rescatux is to gain useful feedback to improve the distro for mankind. Rescatux developers (mostly one person at the moment) do not own every machine/computer/hardware out there to test Rescatux isos in all of them.
And they neither have the time to test all of the ways that Rescatux can be boot. Final users have the time because they are using Rescatux anyways.
My last rant about Rescatux users is about them not reporting Rescapp not working ok on Rescatux 0.71-beta7 version when booted in non secure-boot uefi mode. Rescatux is no longer useful in that mode because you never get to experience the full toolkit that Rescapp brings to you in an easy manner.
The average Rescatux user deserves another 7 years of beta-testing.
For the rest of you (you know who you are) thank you for your useful issue reports. Hopefully we can work as a team together and give birth to a new stable Rescatux version soon.