Version 25 (modified by bas, 10 years ago) (diff)



Welcome to Sali!

Here at Sara we use SystemImager to install our nodes on different types of clusters. SystemImager allows you to create a clone of your running system. This clone can than be distributed by various protocols, eg:

  • rsync
  • bittorrent
  • flamethrower
  • floppy disks

When installing an image the target system shall be booted with a kernel/initrd which contains the needed utilities for initializing a SystemImager installation. This initrd is very basic. When the system is booted it will fetch the BOEL utilities. The BOEL utilites contains, eg:

  • kernel modules
  • partition utility
  • formatting utilities for ext2, ext3, xfs, ...
  • various protocols to get the image.

Sali is created due the fact that the current initrd/kernel and BOEL utilities are outdated. The trigger was that there is no grub2 support. We thought this could be easily added, but during this process we decided to upgrade all software to the newest levels. The biggest hurdle was detecting of which hardware is in the system (udev). We believe that SALI is better in detecting which hardware is in the system then the systemimager setup.

The focus for this project is/was:

  • Easily create a new kernel/initrd when a new kernel is released or one of the sofware compents is update, eg: busybox. The sali initrd contains all kernel modules and software utilities. In systemimager this software is distributes as separate packagge (BOEL binaries).
  • PXE installations with rsync and/or Bittorent. Drop support for flamthrower/multicast and floppy disk support.

But the current initrd and BOEL binaries of SystemImager is quite old. So we created Sali to replace only the kernel, initrd and BOEL. During the development we only focussed on PXE installations with rsync and/or Bittorrent. So you can't use for floppy disk or flamethrower/multicast. Also we focussed on supporting the 2.6 kernels. Because we removed floppy support we also removed the BOEL. The BOEL utilities are now implemented in the initrd.

Also we started to increase the functionality of /etc/init.d/functions with some functions that could replace a lot of code in you Master script ( Sali supports the Master Script generated by SystemImage 4.1.6 ). For detailed overview of the changes read this changelog.


Visit our online documentation here:


You can read the changelog here

Source code

You can browse the current code here:

Or you can check out code through subversion:

  • Release tree: svn co
  • Development tree: svn co

Authors / Contributers


  • Bas van der Vlies
  • Dennis Stam