Version 92 (modified by ramonb, 10 years ago) (diff)


Welcome to SALI!

For node installation we at SARA used SystemImager. We switched to SALI for all our clusters. SALI allows you to create a clone of your running system. This clone can be distributed by various protocols ( aria2) eg: rsync, Bittorent, ftp, http/https, metalink


SALI is created due the fact that on the moment of starting SALI:

  • Systemimager kernel/initrd and BOEL utilities are outdated. New hardware was not detected/supported
  • no grub2 support
  • no ext4 support

The trigger for us 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).
  • 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 Documentation
  • 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:
  • Added diskscrub, Diskscrub overwrites hard disks, files, and other devices with repeating patterns intended to make recovering data from these devices more difficult

SALI xCAT plugin

Currently we are investigating the possibilities to use SALI with xCAT.

First SALI is used to restore the machine with an image. Then xCAT is used to finalize the installation. In our setup the installation time of 55 minutes is reduced to 15 minutes.

We have tested this on a Power 6 machine with SLES 11.

The xCAT module can be found in the contrib directory.


The documentation is far from perfect. We have to write reorganize this section. Contributions or suggestions are appreciated

Visit our online documentation here:

Bugs/Feature Requests

Existing bugs and feature requests for sali are here.

If you have any issues, create a new ticket or email your problem to address

There are also 2 mailing lists:


You can grab the tarball from our ftp site:

i386/i686 systems.

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
  • Michel Scheerman
    • PPC64 development and testing
    • The author of the SALI xCAT plugin

Recent changes

Changelog not available