Expanding Ubuntu Recovery Mode

Recovery Mode is a text-based interface to a few quick repair tools that is installed by default with most Ubuntu releases and derivatives. I wrote a few add-ons for it that increase its usefulness in remote repair and diagnostics situations. These were developed and tested on Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx).

Starting Ubuntu in Recovery Mode (aka. Friendly Recovery) is relatively easy. Just hold down the shift key after the BIOS POST to get Grub2 to show its menu, then just select the kernel with the “recovery” option. Also note the memtest86+ option which is useful for identifying bad RAM.

Adding on to Recovery Mode is relatively simple. At its heart is a shell script, “/usr/share/recovery-mode/recovery-menu”, that is started at the end of the single mode (runlevel S) boot. It looks through the options subdirectory and starts every script it finds, passing it a parameter of “test”. It looks for a return status of 0 and the description of the script on stdout. Scripts with valid responses are added together and shown in a menu listing using the whiptail dialogger. The user selects one from the menu to execute it.

Read more at Stubborn Tech Problem Solving

Comments are closed.