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These options work from the (isolinux/grub) bootprompt of grml based (live) systems.
The following kernel options are available (do NOT use them as 'grml $OPTION',
use them as '$OPTION'!):
grml Use default settings (same as just pressing return)
grml2ram Copy grml's squashfs file to RAM and
run from there (compare with 'grml toram')
memtest Run Memtest86+ instead of Linux
fb1280x1024 Use fixed framebuffer graphics (1)
fb1024x768 Use fixed framebuffer graphics (2) [notice: grml's default]
fb800x600 Use fixed framebuffer graphics (3)
nofb Disable framebuffer
floppy Boot from floppydisk
hd / hd1 / hd2 / hd3 Boot from (local) primary / secondary /... harddisk
failsafe Boot with (almost) no HW-detection
debug Get shells during process of booting for debugging
bootchart Create chart of booting sequence in /var/log/bootchart.tgz
forensic Do not touch any harddisks during hardware recognition
serial Activate ttyS0 and start mgetty
grub Boot Grub bootloader (special all-in-one-image)
dos Boot FreeDOS
bsd Boot MirOS BSD
hdt Boot Hardware Detection Tool (from syslinux project)
qemu Boot with special options for use in Qemu
vmware Boot with special options for use in VMware
The following boot options can be combined.
Notice: not all of the them are available on all the grml flavours.
For example the X window system is not part of grml-small.
Regional settings:
grml lang=at|de|cn|da|es|fr|it Specify language ($LANG, $LC_ALL, $LANGUAGE - utf8) + keyboard
grml lang=nl|pl|ru|sk|tr|tw|us Specify language ($LANG, $LC_ALL, $LANGUAGE - utf8) + keyboard
grml lang=$LANG-iso Activate $LANG (use like in lines above) with iso-mode instead of utf8
grml gmt Use GMT-based time
grml tz=Europe/Vienna Use this timezone for TZ
grml keyboard=us xkeyboard=us Use different keyboard layout (text-console/X)
grml setkeycodes Set some special function keys for MS/HP keyboards
Configuration settings:
grml myconfig=/dev/fd0 Execute "" and extract config.tbz from a partition:
/dev/fd0 for floppy disk
/dev/sda1 for USB-stick/first SCSI-device
grml netconfig=server/config.tbz Download file and extract configuration archive
grml partconf=/dev/hda2 Copy files specified in /etc/grml/partconf from /dev/hda2
to booting grml system
grml file=foobar.tbz Use specified file as name for configuration archive
instead of the default one (config.tbz)
grml extract=/etc Extract only /etc from configuration archive,
use it in combination with myconfig or netconfig
grml persistent Enable persistency feature, more details available at
grml home=/dev/hda2 Mount specified partition as grml homedir
grml home=/dev/sda1/grml.img Mount loopback file as /home/grml
grml home=scan Automatic search for grml homedir (using file grml.img)
grml hostname=... Set hostname
grml distri=... Set distribution name to given argument. If a jpg file named like the
given distri name can be found in directory desktop on the ISO
(/cdrom/desktop/"$DISTRI") it will be taken as wallpaper for grml
grml debnet Search through local partitions for file /etc/network/interfaces,
copy /etc/network to local system and restart networking then
grml mypath=... Add specified option into $PATH of Zsh.
For example when using "grml mypath=/foobar" then /foobar
will be added to the end of $PATH inside Zsh.
grml noautoconfig Disable searching for device labeled GRMLCFG.
Notice: Take a look at and /usr/share/doc/grml-saveconfig/grml-config.html
for more information regarding the configuration framework of grml.
Booting related options:
grml2ram Copy grml's squashfs file to RAM and run from there
grml toram Copy the whole CD/medium to RAM and run from there
grml toram=filename.squashfs Copy the specified file to RAM and run from there
Usage example: grml toram=grml-medium.squashfs
Notice: grml2ram is an alias for this option which
corresponds with the grml flavour settings by default.
grml tohd=/dev/sda1 Copy grml's squashfs file to harddisk partition for later
use via "grml bootfrom=/dev/sda1"
grml bootfrom=/dev/sda1 Use the squashfs file from directory 'live' of the specified device.
Setup can be done booting 'grml tohd=/dev/sda1' or
running 'rsync -a --progress /live/image/live /mnt/sda1/'.
grml isofrom=/dev/sda1/grml.iso Use specified ISO image for booting.
Useful when booting as a rescue system from harddisk - just boot
the according grml kernel and initrd using the bootoptions
"boot=live isofrom=/dev/sda1/grml.iso".
Notice: "fromiso" does the same as "isofrom", it's just there
to prevent any typing errors.
grml findiso=/grml_2009.05.iso Look for the specified ISO file on all disks where it usually
looks for the .squashfs file (so you don't have to know the device name
as in isofrom=....). [Available since grml 2009.05]
grml live-media-path=live Sets the path to the live filesystem on the medium.
By default, it is set to /live.
grml module=grml Instead of using the default "$name.module" another file can
be specified without the extension ".module"; it should be placed
on "/live" directory of the live medium.
Useful for Multiboot USB pen, see
Debugging related settings:
debug Get shells during process of booting, using GNU screen, most verbose
grml debug Get shells during process of booting, using GNU screen, verbose
grml debug=noscreen Get shells during process of booting, verbose, but without using GNU screen
grml nocolor Disable colorized output while booting
grml log Log error messages while booting to /tmp/grml.log.`date +%Y%m%d`"
and /var/log/boot.
grml testcd Check CD data integrity and md5sums
Service related settings:
grml ssh=password Set password for user grml and start ssh-server
grml startup=script Start $script instead of grml-quickconfig on startup
grml nosyslog Do not start syslog daemon
grml nogpm Disable GPM daemon
grml noconsolefont Disable setting of console font (using consolechars)
grml noblank Disable console blanking
grml tsplash Text based bootsplash
grml noquick Disable grml-quickconfig startup script
grml small Do not start that many consoles
grml wondershaper=eth0,1000,500 Set up basic traffic shaping
grml services={postfix,mysql,...} Start service(s) which have an init-script (/etc/init.d/)
grml welcome Welcome message via soundoutput
grml noeject Do NOT eject CD after halt/reboot
grml noprompt Do NOT prompt to remove the CD when halting/rebooting the system
grml distcc=$NETWORK,$INTERFACE Activate distcc-daemon to listen on specified network
and interface, usage example:
grml gcc=3.4 gpp=3.4 Link /usr/bin/gcc, /usr/bin/cpp and /usr/bin/c++ to specified version
grml startx{=windowmanager} Start X window system automatically
Default window manager (if not provided): wm-ng (wrapper around fluxbox)
Accessibility related settings:
grml blind Start Braille-Terminal (no X)
grml swspeak Prepare system for use with software synthesizer through speakup
Run 'swspeak' after booting up to activate sound output
grml swspeak=espeak Use espeakup (if available) as connector to speakup.
Run 'swspeak' after booting up to activate sound output
grml swspeak=speechd Use speech-dispatcher / speechd-up (if available) as connector to speakup.
Run 'swspeak' after booting up to activate sound output
grml brltty=type,port,table Parameters for Braille device (e.g.: brltty=al,/dev/ttyS0,
grml speakup_synth=... Use speakup kernel module with given hardware type
Hardware related settings:
grml swap Activate present/detected swap partitions
grml noswraid Disable scanning for software raid arrays (creates /etc/mdadm/mdadm.conf)
grml swraid Enable automatic assembling of software raid arrays
grml nolvm Disable scanning for Logical Volumes (LVM)
grml lvm Automatically activate Logival Volumes (LVM) during boot
grml readonly Make sure all harddisk devices (/dev/hd* /dev/sd*) are forced to read-only mode
grml xmodule=ati|fbdev|i810|mga Use specified (1)
grml xmodule=nv|radeon|savage|s3 Use specified (2)
grml xmodule=radeon|svga|i810 Use specified (3)
grml no{acpi,agp,apm,cpu,dhcp} Skip parts of HW-detection (1)
grml no{dma,fstab,modem} Skip parts of HW-detection (2)
grml no{pcmcia,scsi,swap,usb} Skip parts of HW-detection (3)
grml 915resolution=... Start resolution modify tool for Intel graphic chipset
grml blacklist=modulename[,module2] Completely disable loading of specified module(s) via
blacklisting through udev's /etc/modprobe.d/grml
grml fwtimeout=50 Set firmware timeout via /sys/class/firmware/timeout to specified value
grml nosound Mute sound devices (notice: this does not deactivate loading of sound drivers!)
grml vol=number Set mixer volumes to level $number
grml micvol=number Set mixer volume of microphone to level $number (default: 0)
grml pnpbios=off No PnP Bios initialization
grml acpi=off Disable ACPI Bios completely
grml nousb2 Disable initialization of USB 2.x controller(s)
grml nousb Disable initialization of USB in booting sequence
grml nofirewire Disable initialization of firewire devices in booting sequence
grml pci=irqmask=0x0e98 Try this, if PS/2 mouse doesn't work *)
grml pci=bios Workaround for bad PCI controllers
grml ide2=0x180 nopcmcia Boot from PCMCIA-CD-ROM (some notebooks)
grml mem=128M Specify Memory size in MByte
grml dma Enable DMA accelleration for ALL IDE-Drives
grml nodma ide=nodma Disable DMA accelleration for ALL IDE-Drives
grml vga=normal [video=ofonly] No-framebuffer mode (does not influence X)
grml vga=ask [video=ofonly] Display menu for framebuffer mode
Installation related settings:
Caution: do *not* use the grml2hd and/or debian2hd bootoption if you do not know what you are doing!
Install plain Debian via debian2hd bootoption (which runs grml-debootstrap in non-interactive mode):
debian2hd <options> ... whereas valid options for debian2hd are:
target= target partition/directory of the new Debian system, e.g.: target=/dev/hda1
grub= where to install grub to? Use grub syntax for specifying, e.g.: grub=hd0
groot= specify root device for usage in grub (use grub syntax), e.g.: groot=hd0,0
release= specify release of new Debian system (default is stable), e.g.: release=sid
mirror= specify mirror for apt-get/aptitude, e,g.: mirror=
password= set passwort of user root without prompting for it, e.g.: password=AiTh5ahn
Usage example for automatic installation:
debian2hd target=/dev/hda1 grub=hd0 groot=hd0,0 mirror= password=foobar
See for more information.
Install grml via grml2hd bootoption (which runs grml2hd in non-interactive mode):
grml2hd <options> ... whereas valid options for grml2hd are:
user= user name for user which should be used at hd-install
filesystem={ext2|ext3|reiserfs|reiser4|jfs|xfs} filesystem to be used
mbr=/dev/... partition where MBR should be installed (default:=partition)
partition=/dev/... partition where grml should be installed
Usage example for booting:
grml2hd partition=/dev/hda4 mbr=/dev/hda filesystem=ext3 user=mika
Passwords of user root and user are "grml" - please adjust after hd-install!
See for more information.
Additional notes:
*) Try "grml pci=irqmask=0x0e98" if (you have a notebook and) your
PS/2 mouse doesn't work. (Possibly caused by a BIOS-flaw on your board,
BIOS updates can help.) Sometimes, switching to the text console with
Control-Alt-F1 and back to the X-screen with Control-Alt-F7 solves the
problem without rebooting, since the X server reinitializes the mouse
driver during that procedure.
*) If your grml-CD makes strange noises during boot, or you see frequent
errors like "squashfs: read error", or programs are crashing randomly,
then your CD image is probably defective or incomplete, your CD-burner
created a defective CD due to wrong writing speed or bad media or your
CD-ROM drive is broken. This is the most common error reported. Please
boot with "grml testcd" to check if the CD is OK, and/or even better,
verify the MD5 checksums that are present on the mirrors before writing
the CD. Check your CD low-level via running 'readcd -c2scan
dev=/dev/cdrom'. In some cases, defective IDE controllers cause this
error if you have DMA enabled. Also, please read the grml-FAQ.
*) In case of a failing hardware autodetection, try booting with any of
the "no-" options as shown in the table above, like in
grml noagp noapm noapic acpi=off nodma
to skip some critical parts of the autodetection system.
*) Some boards (especially those with E-ISA slots) apparently don't pass
the proper memory size to the linux-kernel. It may cause the message
"Panic: cannot mount root file system" and the system hangs. Use "grml
mem=128M" to solve that problem if your system has 128MByte memory for
example (caution: you MUST use a capital "M" here).
*) The "myconfig=/dev/partition" option allows you to reconfigure the
system after autoconfiguration by running a bourne shell script called
"" and/or extracting configuration files from a file named
config.tbz from the root directory on the given device (or floppy).
Take a look at for more information regarding
the configuration framework of grml.
*) If you wish to remaster the CD, please don't forget to specify
-no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 4 -boot-info-table \
-b boot/isolinux/isolinux.bin -c boot/isolinux/
as option to mkisofs. Otherwise your CD won't be bootable. The
directory live, containing the squashfs compressed filesystem file,
must be located in the top level directory of the CD.
*) Caution: screensavers: Don't start xlock/vlock or any other screensaver
that requires a password. There are no default passwords on grml,
i.e. all accounts are LOCKED unless you explicitly set a password.
See also README.txt about this issue.
Hint: If you accidentially started a screensaver switch to one of the
textconsoles by Control-Alt-F1 and kill the screensaver (or just set a
password for the grml user). Take a look at the script grml-lock.
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