I have a system with corrupted partition table so it won't boot. What I need is a recovery tool like testdisk to recover the partition table.

The problem is this system does not have a graphics card. It has a serial port.

Where can I find a LiveCD Ubuntu image that does not have the GUI software on by default? Or is there a way to get the desktop LiveCD to run in serial-port mode?

  • 2
    I'd try Ubuntu server. – chili555 Oct 25 '18 at 22:06
  • @chili555 I have but I can't find an 18.04 image that will give me the option to drop to a command prompt. They insist on running the installer and no escape. – AlanObject Oct 25 '18 at 23:35
  • Try this. Boot. When the grub menu appears, press 'e' on the "Try ubuntu without installing" line. then go down to the linux line, delete the "boot=casper" parameter, press Ctrl-X to continue. This should drop you into busybox in the initramfs, hope you can fix it with what you have there... – rfm Oct 26 '18 at 0:39

It's possible to install Ubuntu to a USB drive and then boot that USB drive on any machine (capable of booting from a USB drive), essentially turning it into a Live USB drive. Just don't install a desktop environment, and it'll stay in text mode when it boots. Make sure you do install any tools you need such as testdisk.

All you need is to ensure you use a kernel that works on the target machine, so if the target machine is 32-bit only, you'll need a 32-bit OS (you can still install 32-bit Ubuntu with the network installer).

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