1. Overview

1.1. Purpose of this Guide

This documentation is aimed at end users and developers of the Repairlix distribution. It describes the methodology and philosophy behind Repairlix, the intended uses of Repairlix, and step-by-step instructions for doing many common tasks in Repairlix. For instructions on customizing Repairlix, the best place to look is here.

1.2. License

This software is licensed under the GPL.

1.3. Feedback

Feedback is welcome. Send additions, patches, comments or criticism of this documentation or Repairlix itself to .

1.4. Philosophy

Repairlix is a networked Linux distribution/bootable system intended to fit in 12MB of media - so small that an image can be burned onto a business-card-sized shaped CDROM, suitable for your wallet. It has a suite of utilities for doing system recovery.

Repairlix is now in the early stages of being useful. These early releases contain only enough logic to produce a bootable x86 ISO image, with perhaps some useful applications. No testing has been made to verify that any of this works on other architectures, although it should be highly portable to any system that supports the El Torito bootable spec. (Note: This only applies to the sources. I only have access to x86 architectures, so that will be the only platform for which I can build the ISO images I distribute. Therefore, these will be useless on other architectures.)

Repairlix has three design goals.

  1. Small Media Size. It must be small enough to fit on any CD media you're likely to encounter. This is largely accomplished by compressing all the data on the CD, although obviously there will be some handpicked size optimizations (such as statically linking binaries where they require only rarely used libraries).

  2. Modularity. Repairlix will not make use of package managers as such, but the architecture will support the ability to load different collections into the system at runtime. In addition to making it possible to build modified Repairlix's by including your own ramdisks (or modifying the existing sources), this makes it possible to run Repairlix in as much or as little memory as you want.

  3. Transparency of Build Process. Repairlix will be as open as possible with regard to the tricks and techniques used to build the disk itself and populate it. Therefore, it will be useful as a teaching tool to others wishing to create their own distributions, or to modify Repairlix itself. This is accomplished by designing and building entirely with shell scripts and a Makefile, using only standard, unmodified tools. Also the NOTES file should be interesting to many people; in it I keep ruminations, problems, and solutions for problems I encounter while doing development. During the design phase, restricting development to only standard tools will make some things logistically harder, although it is also easier in the sense that I don't have to maintain much Repairlix-specific code.