Create a Recovery USB Stick in Linux

A recovery USB stick is a bootable USB drive that can be used to rescue a system or perform critical maintenance. It’s a useful tool to have around. Typically, a system of interest is booted from the USB stick, maintenance is performed, then the repaired system is rebooted from its own disk. Below is a simple guide to creating a number of rescue USB sticks.

A Rescue stick can help fix many system problems, such as a system that won’t boot, a broken GRUB configuration, a disk or other hardware problem. By allowing the whole operating system to be taken offline, a rescue USB allows maintenance of a kind that cannot be performed any other way.

It is easy to create a bootable USB stick in Linux. In these examples, I used a Raspberry Pi, but any Linux PC would do equally well.

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Fast Installation of AIX on to IBM LPARs

An LPAR, or logical partition, is an IBM virtual machine. LPARs run on a variety of IMB hardware and provide strong isolation between partitions. This article describes a method for quickly building LPARs running AIX on IBM pSeries hardware

AIX can be installed onto an LAPR using the distribution CDs (or rather, since this is a virtual machine, the ISO image files derived from those physical CDs). There are, however, two drawbacks with this:

  • it does not include site specific customizations. If a piece of software like Apache or ssh is required on the LPAR, it must be installed separately – a pain if you have many LPARs to build.
  • it is a slow process. AIX is supplied spread over several CDs. The administrator must swap CDs several times during the installation. This means hanging around and typing commands needed to mount and dismount the cd ISO images on the target LPAR, something that will have to be done several times during the installation.

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