Version 56 (modified by anonymous, 11 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

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Sali is created due the fact that the current kernel/initrd and BOEL utilities are outdated.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 and replace some software components. 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 than 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 software 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).
  • Support for various protocols to install an image -- see aria2:
    • rsync
    • Bittorent
    • ftp
    • http/https
    • metalink
  • Drop support for flamethrower/multicast and floppy disk support.
  • With some minor adjustments you can use your 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, See Read the Functions Documentations
  • For detailed overview of the changes read this changelog
  • For now you must set SCRIPTNAME=<script_name> in the pxelinux file
  • If GRUB2=yes is set then we expect a seperate grub2 partition:


Visit our online documentation here:


You can grab the tarball from our ftp site:

The changelog can be found 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

Recent changes

Changelog not available