Top 5 Free Rescue Discs for Your Sys Admin Toolkit

A rescue disc can be a life saver for a SysAdmin. Packed with various diagnostic and repair tools they can do things like fix a Master Boot Record (MBR), recover a password, detect and clean a rootkitor simply allow you to salvage data by transferring it from a damaged drive to another location. Here are the best all-in-one Bootable CD/USBs that admins can use to troubleshoot and repair a Linux or Windows system – all handy additions to your toolkit.

1. Hiren Boot CD

The tagline for Hiren Boot CD reads “a first aid kit for your computer” – and that it is! Hiren Boot CD is one of the more popular Rescue CDs out there and contains a wealth of tools including defrag tools, driver tools, backup tools, antivirus and anti-malware tools, rootkit detection tools, secure data wiping tools, and partitioning tools, among others.

Hiren Boot CD is available to download as an ISO for easy installation to a USB or burning to a CD.

The boot menu allows you to boot into the MiniXP environment, the Linux-based rescue environment, run a series of tools or boot directly from a specified partition.

Hiren_PreBoot

The MiniXP environment, as shown in the image below, is much like a Windows XP desktop. Everything pretty much happens from the HBCD Launcher (a standalone application with a drop down menu containing shortcuts to the packaged applications).

Hiren_MiniXPBooted

 

2. FalconFour’s Ultimate Boot CD

FalconFour’s Ultimate Boot CD is based upon the Hiren Boot CD with a customized boot menu and a whole bunch of updated tools thrown in. F4’s UBCD contains tools that provide system information, tools that recover/repair broken partitions, tools that recover data, as well as file utilities, password recovery tools, network tools, malware removal tools and much more.

F4’s UBCD is available for download as an ISO file so you can burn it to a CD or use it to create a bootable USB drive.

Similar to Hiren Boot CD, when you boot F4’s UBCD you are presented with a menu giving you the option to boot into a Linux environment, the MiniXP environment or run a series of standalone tools. As you scroll through the menu, a description of each item is given at the bottom of the screen.

F4UBCD1_PreBoot

Similar to that of Hiren Boot CD, the MiniXP environment is much like a Windows XP desktop environment, only it’s really lightweight and is pre-packed with a host of diagnostic and repair tools.

F4UBCD2_MiniXPBooted

Once the desktop has loaded up, choose from one of the available application shortcuts, launch the HBCD Menu or go to the Start menu to get going.

3. SystemRescueCD

SystemRescueCD is a Linux-based package for troubleshooting Linux and Windows systems. The disc contains antivirus, malware removal, and rootkit removal tools as well as tools to help manage or repair partitions, recover your data, back up your data or clone your drives. SystemRescueCD supports ext2/ext3/ext4, reiserfs, btrfs, xfs, jfs, vfat, and ntfs file systems, as well as network file systems like samba and nfs. It also comes with network troubleshooting, file editing and bootloader restoration tools.

SystemRescueCD is available for download as an ISO file so you can burn it to a CD or use it to create a bootable USB drive.

When you boot the SystemRescueCD, the pre-boot menu gives you a multitude of options, allowing you to boot directly into the graphical environment or the command line.

SystemRescueCD1_PreBoot

In the image below, I have booted into the graphical environment and started the chkrootkit application from the Terminal window which searches for rootkits installed on the system. Other applications can be run directly from the terminal in a similar fashion, using arguments and parameters as necessary.

SystemRescueCD1_xstart

4. Ultimate Boot CD

Ultimate Boot CD is designed to help you troubleshoot Windows and Linux systems using a series of diagnostic and repair tools. It contains anything from data recovery and drive cloning tools to BIOS management, memory and CPU testing tools.

UBCD is downloadable in ISO format for easy installation to a USB or burning to a CD.

Note: UBCD4Win (http://www.ubcd4win.org/) is UBCD’s brother built specifically for Windows systems.

When you boot with UBCD you are presented with a DOS-based interface that you navigate depending on which system component you wish to troubleshoot.

UBCD_PreBoot

 

5. Trinity Rescue Kit

The Trinity Rescue Kit is a Linux-based Rescue CD aimed specifically at recovery and repair of Windows or Linux machines. It contains a range of tools allowing you to run AV scans, reset lost Windows passwords, backup data, recover data, clone drives, modify partitions and run rootkit detection tools.

The Trinity Rescue Kit is downloadable in ISO format for easy installation to a USB or burning to a CD.

The boot menu gives you the option to start TRK is different modes (useful if you’re having trouble loading in default mode).

Trinity_PreBoot

Once you get to the Trinity Rescue Kit ‘easy menu’, simply navigate through the list to choose which tool to execute. You can also switch to the command line if you want more flexibility and feel comfortable with Linux-based commands.

Trinity_EasyBootMenu

 

You may also wish to consider…

Boot-Repair-Disk

Boot-Repair-Disk is a Rescue CD primarily designed for repairing Linux distributions but can also be used to fix some Windows systems. It automatically launches the Boot-Repair application (a one-click repair system) which is used to repair access to operating systems; providing GRUB reinstallation, MBR restoration, file system repair and UEFI, SecureBoot, RAID, LVM, and Wubi support.

Windows System Repair Disc

The Windows System Repair Disc lets you boot into the Windows Recovery Environment, giving you the option to detect and fix startup and booting issues, restore to a workable restore point (if you had System Restore enabled), restore the entire machine from a backup image, conduct a memory diagnostics test and use the command line to run utilities like chkdsk.

Additionally, Linux distributions such the ones found below are lightweight bootable versions of Linux that contain a host of handy tools to fix common problems, recover data, transfer data, scan for viruses, manage partitions, etc.

Finally, you could also try a Rescue Disc from a popular antivirus vendor, such as:

Although primarily targeted to help with systems that are infected with malware, they are worth adding to your arsenal.

Create your own!

If you want more flexibility, why not create or customize your own bootable rescue disc?

You have a couple of options here:

1) Create your own bootable Live USB

Using applications such as YUMI (Your Universal Multiboot Installer) or UNetBootin, you can create a multi-boot USB drive containing several operating systems, antivirus utilities, disc cloning, diagnostic tools, and more.

In addition to YUMI and UNetBootin, you may also wish to consider SARDU (http://www.sarducd.it/) and Rufus (https://rufus.akeo.ie/) as recommended by some of our readers.

2) Modify a Linux distribution

If you are using a Linux-based Rescue CD / Live CD, you can use an application like Live-Magic (for Debian-based Linux distributions) or Remastersys to create a bootable ISO of an already installed Linux OS. The idea would be to install a clean build of Linux, add or remove applications and make any customizations as necessary and then run the above mentioned applications to capture the build into an ISO.

Alternatively, instead of using an application, you can use a series of shell scripts to do the same thing. Check out http://www.linux-live.org/ for more information.

How to add a new hard disk or partition using UUID and ext4 filesystem

Adding a additional hard disk to your workstation or server is easy and often required. Here’s we’ll step through the process of identifing the newly attached drive, prepare and mount it by referencing UUID which is a preferred method today.

If you have just added a virtual disk to a virtual machine, make sure you restart the virtual machine before mounting the new disk.

1. Figure out the device name for the new device

fdisk -l

This will give you output similar to this:

Disk /dev/sda: 17.2 GB, 17179869184 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 2088 cylinders, total 33554432 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: 0x000299d1

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 2048 32088063 16043008 83 Linux
/dev/sda2 32090110 33552383 731137 5 Extended
/dev/sda5 32090112 33552383 731136 82 Linux swap / Solaris

Disk /dev/sdb: 17.2 GB, 17179869184 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 2088 cylinders, total 33554432 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

Disk /dev/sdb doesn't contain a valid partition table

2. Next we’ll partion the new disk using the following command:

cfdisk /dev/sdb

> New -> Primary -> Specify size in MB
> Write -> yes
> Quit

3. Format the new disk using the ext4 filessystem

mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdb1

4. You need to create a new directory where the disk will be mounted in the filesystem

mkdir /disk2

You can name the folder whatever your want and place it in a subfolder of another mounting point, for example /var/disk2

5. It’s preferred to use the device UUID (Universally Unique Identifier) instead of directly linking to the device path because while UUID always stays the same, the device path may change. This is how we find the UUID:

blkid

Which shows a list of all partitions and the assigned UUID. The list should look similar to this:

/dev/sda5: UUID="180cab2a-300a-4e3d-8c8e-0e1df46b9bf7" TYPE="swap"
/dev/sda1: UUID="cd0c7b2c-bf50-4557-bc01-0048764a41d2" TYPE="ext4"
/dev/sdb1: UUID="359d90df-f17a-42f6-ab13-df13bf356de7" TYPE="ext4"

6. Add the new disk/partition to fstab to automatically mount it on boot

echo "UUID=359d90df-f17a-42f6-ab13-df13bf356de7 /disk2 ext4 errors=remount-ro 0 1" >> /etc/fstab

Replace the UDID value to the UDID displayed in step 5 for the new disk and replace /disk2 with the path where you want to mount the disk in the filesystem as specified in step 4

7. Manually mount the disk (you can also reboot the machine and it will be automatically mounted)

mount /disk2

/disk2 is the directory created in step 4

Now your new hard disk is mounted and ready to use.

Source: http://www.debiantutorials.com/how-to-add-a-new-hard-disk-or-partition-using-uuid-and-ext4-filesystem/

How To Install Zabbix Agent on Ubuntu 16.04/14.04 LTS and Debian 8/7

Zabbix Agent is required to install on all remote systems needs to monitor through Zabbix server. The Zabbix Agent collects resource utilization and applications data on client system and provide such information to Zabbix server on their requests.

There are two types of checks can be configured between Zabbix Server and Client.

  • Passive Check : Zabbix Agent only sent data to server on their request.
  • Active Check : Zabbix Agent sends data periodically to Server.

After installing zabbix server on your server, this article will help you to install zabbix agent on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and 12.04 LTS systems. After completing this below steps go to next article add host in zabbix server.

Install Zabbix Agent on Ubuntu & Debian

Follow the below instructions to install Zabbix agent on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, 12.04 LTS and Debian systems.

Step 1 – Add Apt Repository

Zabbix apt repositories are available on zabbix official website. Add repository to install required packages for zabbix agent using following command. Ubuntu 12.04 LTS have zabbix agent version 2.2.

For Ubuntu 16.04 LTS:
$ wget http://repo.zabbix.com/zabbix/3.0/ubuntu/pool/main/z/zabbix-release/zabbix-release_3.0-1+xenial_all.deb
$ sudo dpkg -i zabbix-release_3.0-1+xenial_all.deb
$ sudo apt update

For Ubuntu 14.04 LTS:

$ wget http://repo.zabbix.com/zabbix/3.0/ubuntu/pool/main/z/zabbix-release/zabbix-release_3.0-1+trusty_all.deb
$ sudo dpkg -i zabbix-release_3.0-1+trusty_all.deb
$ sudo apt-get update

For Ubuntu 12.04 LTS:

$ wget http://repo.zabbix.com/zabbix/2.2/ubuntu/pool/main/z/zabbix-release/zabbix-release_2.2-1+precise_all.deb
$ sudo dpkg -i zabbix-release_2.2-1+precise_all.deb
$ sudo apt-get update

For Debian 8:

$ wget http://repo.zabbix.com/zabbix/3.0/debian/pool/main/z/zabbix-release/zabbix-release_3.0-1+jessie_all.deb
$ sudo dpkg -i zabbix-release_3.0-1+jessie_all.deb
$ sudo apt-get update


For Debian 7:

$ http://repo.zabbix.com/zabbix/3.0/debian/pool/main/z/zabbix-release/zabbix-release_3.0-1+wheezy_all.deb
$ sudo dpkg -i zabbix-release_3.0-1+wheezy_all.deb
$ sudo apt-get update

Step 2 – Install Zabbix Agent

As we have successfully added zabbix apt repositories in our system let’s use following command to install Zabbix agent using following command

$ sudo apt-get install zabbix-agent

Step 3 – Edit Zabbix Agent Configuration

After installing completed of Zabbix aget. Edit zabbix agent configuration file /etc/zabbix/zabbix_agentd.conf and update Zabbix server ip

#Server=[zabbix server ip]
#Hostname=[Hostname of client system ]

Server=192.168.1.11
Hostname=Server2

Step 4 – Restarting Zabbix Agent

After adding zabbix server ip in configuration file, now restart agent service using below command.

# /etc/init.d/zabbix-agent restart

To start and stop zabbix-agent service anytime use following commands.

# /etc/init.d/zabbix-agent start
# /etc/init.d/zabbix-agent stop

Congratulation’s! You have successfully installed Zabbix Agent. Lets Add Host in Zabbix Serverto be monitory.

Source: http://tecadmin.net/install-zabbix-agent-on-ubuntu-and-debian/#

How to Install Zabbix Agent on CentOS/RHEL 7/6/5

Zabbix Agent is required to install on all remote systems needs to be monitor through Zabbix server. The Zabbix Agent collects resource utilization data and applications data on client system and provide such information to Zabbix server on their requests.

There are two types of checks between Zabbix Server and Client.

  • Passive Check : Zabbix Agent sent data to server on their request.
  • Active Check : Zabbix Agent sends data periodically to Server.

After installing zabbix server on your server, Now we are moving to install agent on remote system’s. This article will help you to install zabbix agent on CentOS/RHEL 7/6/5 systems. After completing this step go to next article add Host in Zabbix Server.

Installing Zabbix Agent

Follow the below instructions to install Zabbix Agent on CentOS, RHEL 7/6/5 systems.

Step 1 – Add Required Repository

Before installing Zabbix Agent first configure zabbix yum repository using following commands as per your required version and operating system.

CentOS/RHEL 7:
# rpm -Uvh http://repo.zabbix.com/zabbix/3.0/rhel/7/x86_64/zabbix-release-3.0-1.el7.noarch.rpm

CentOS/RHEL 6:
# rpm -Uvh http://repo.zabbix.com/zabbix/3.0/rhel/6/x86_64/zabbix-release-3.0-1.el6.noarch.rpm

CentOS/RHEL 5:
# rpm -Uvh http://repo.zabbix.com/zabbix/3.0/rhel/5/x86_64/zabbix-release-3.0-1.el5.noarch.rpm

Step 2 – Install Zabbix Agent

After installing yum repository packages in our system. Now use following command to install Zabbix agent on your Linux system.

# yum install zabbix zabbix-agent

Step 3 – Edit Zabbix Agent Configuration

As zabbix agent has been successfully installed on our remote system. Now we just need to configure zabbix agent by adding zabbix server ip in its configuration file /etc/zabbix/zabbix_agentd.conf

#Server=[zabbix server ip]
#Hostname=[ Hostname of client system ]

Server=192.168.1.11
Hostname=Server1

Step 4 – Restarting Zabbix Agent

After adding zabbix server ip in configuration file, now restart agent service using below command.

# /etc/init.d/zabbix-agent restart

To start and stop zabbix-agent service anytime use following commands.

# /etc/init.d/zabbix-agent start
# /etc/init.d/zabbix-agent stop

Congratulation’s! You have successfully installed Zabbix Agent. Lets add host in zabbix serverto be monitory.

Source: http://tecadmin.net/install-zabbix-agent-on-centos-rhel/

Why can’t I access forwarded ports on my WAN IP from my LAN/OPTx networks?

By default, pfSense does not allow LAN/OPTx connected PCs to reach forwarded ports on the WAN interface. This is a technical limitation of how the underlying PF functions, it cannot « reflect » in and out the same Interface; it only works when passing « through » the router. NAT Reflection employs some simple bouncing daemons to redirect the connections, which works but isn’t always desirable, or even functional for some scenarios. Usually, split DNS is the better way if it is possible on your network. Both are explained here.

Method 1: NAT Reflection

In order to access ports forwarded on your WAN interface from internal networks, you need to enable NAT reflection.

In order to do this, you must go to System > Advanced, and from there uncheck « Disable NAT Reflection ». Click save, and it should work. This will only work with single port forwards or ranges of less than 500 ports. If you’re using 1:1 NAT, you can’t use NAT Reflection.

Example of system with NAT Reflection enabled. (Disable choice is unchecked).

Method 2: Split DNS

The more elegant solution to this problem involves using Split DNS. Basically this means that internal and external clients resolve your hostnames differently.

Your internal clients would access your resources by hostname, not IP, and clients on your local network would resolve that hostname to your LAN IP, and not the WAN IP as others outside your network would see.

In order for this to work using the DNS forwarder in pfSense, your clients will need to have the IP Address of the pfSense router as their primary DNS server.

Example:

Some screenshots that show the above in practice:

Split DNS Example, adding DNS Override

Split DNS Example, what your screen should look like with http://www.example.com overridden as 192.168.1.5

 

Method 3: Experimental Routing Tricks

This should be considered experimental, and could possibly cause bad things to happen!

If you’re using 1:1 NAT, you can’t use NAT Reflection. If you’re a service provider (a web host, say), you may not have all relevant DNS entries under your control, so « Method 2: Split DNS » may be difficult to implement.

If you have a CIDR network block allocated to you which is all behind your pfSense firewall, you might be better off using public addresses on your internal network, or using a mix of public and private addresses.

If you have only a portion of your CIDR block behind pfSense, and you’re using 1:1 NAT, you may have a difficult situation. Here’s a possible approach you can consider. This may not work, or may work in only some situations. Be careful: don’t try this if you’re remote or don’t have console access to your devices.

1. Make the external IP address an alias on your loopback interface (the interface with localhost/127.0.0.1 on it). In FreeBSD, that’s something like this on the command line:

Used in <shellcmd> tags in pfSense, as described here.

2. Cause every other internal host to route traffic destined to your external IP to your internal IP. There may be 3 ways to do this:

a) Add a static route on every other host with something like route add -host 1.2.3.4 10.0.0.4 but you have to run that on every other host. This option can quickly become administratively difficult as the number of internal hosts goes up, but this can be mitigated if you have centralized administration (via something like cfagent, say).

b) Run a routing protocol – routed for example – on your internal network, and publish routes reflecting the external/internal 1:1 NAT mapping. This might be the most complicated choice, but might scale better than the other alternatives.

c) This seems to not work, presumably because pfSense already knows a route to the external network: Add static routes on the LAN interface of your pfSense firewall with a destination of the external address (1.2.3.4/32) and a gateway of the internal address (10.0.0.4/32). This alternative worries me a little bit, as I’m afraid it might confuse the firewall – I don’t think so, but please be careful.

Source: http://dablog.informafix.net/204