Version 26 (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 disk

When installing an image the target system shall be booted with a kernel/initrd which contains the needed utilities for initializing a SystemImager installation. 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Sali is created due the fact that the current initrd/kernel and BOEL utilities are outdated.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 components is

updated, eg: busybox. The SALI initrd contains all kernel modules and software utilities. In SystemImager this software is distributed as a separate package (BOEL binaries).

  • PXE installations with rsync and/or Bittorent. Drop support for flamthrower/multicast and floppy disk support.
  • Support for the old generated SystemImager scripts. These scripts uses /etc/init.d/functions which is included

in the initrd. We have added/changed a lot of functions to hide the complexity. We have reduced the code of the SystemImager scripts significantly,

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