[Grml] Can't get ssh=password to work

Michael Prokop mika at grml.org
Mon Mar 7 16:22:37 CET 2022

Hi John,

* John G. Heim [Sun Mar 06, 2022 at 12:58:01PM -0600]:

> Hi, I'm blind and I am trying to start grml64-full_2021.07.isoin a
> VirtualbBox virtual machine. I cannot seem to get the ssh daemon started.
> There doesn't seem to be much time to type in the "ssh=password" boot
> configuration parameter. What I do is to take a screen shot via the
> VirtualBox command. Then I run it through a optical char recognition
> program. This gives me a pretty good sense of what is on the screen. But no
> matter how fast I do it, I never seem to get a boot prompt.

Hm that's certainly annoying :(

> I am thinking that maybe the process of typing in boot parms has changed
> since the switch to grub.
> onfiguration

Hm not really. But as you mention GRUB: when booting in old-style
BIOS boot, the Grml ISO is using isolinux/syslinux as its boot
loader. When booting with EFI enabled, bootloader GRUB is used. So
maybe a different boot loader is being used than what you'd expect?

When running "VBoxManage showvminfo VM_NAME | grep Firmware" for
your Grml VM, does it report BIOS or is it really EFI?

If it reports EFI, then GRUB will be used. Though the EFI boot
entries could be wrong in your VM (due to a local disk where another
operating system was installed to), then the ISO might not be
considered for booting as first choice. Fixing this is sadly pretty
annoying, even for non-blind users, as it requires pressing ESC
during bootup at the very right moment, and then going into the boot
manager menu.

What might be useful for you though is, enabling the ssh boot option
by default. This can be done easily with grml2iso, which is
provided by grml2usb (available from within plain Debian!).

The following command will give you a Grml ISO which automatically
boots with boot option "ssh=grml", no matter what boot loader gets
used then:

  sudo grml2iso -b ssh=grml -o grml_ssh.iso grml64-full_2021.07.iso

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