init4boot - initramfs creation tool


init4boot is a set of tools for creating an initramfs. The major features are:

  • Creating of one generic initramfs for mostly all systems
  • Configurable with command line parameters and with an external hosted file from an tftp server
  • Extensible with plugins
  • Support of boot types: local, iscsi
  • Support of boot varaints: udev, multipath, tftp config, network
  • Supports Bare Metal booting and Guest System with Xen
  • Tested on Debian 4 and Fedora Core 9


The project is hosted on sourceforge. There exists the project infrastructure as svn, bug-tracker, news and forums.


0.42009-06-20Port to Debian 5.0 - added support for lvm2 and md
0.32008-07-02Port to Fedora Core 9 - unchanged functionalaty
0.22008-05-03Build on Debian 4 stable, updated documentation
0.12008-04-18Added man pages and documentation
0.0.22008-04-04Added support for bare metal booting
0.0.12008-03-31Initial release


The current state of the project is beta. Currently it works, but was only tested in a Xen iSCSI environment and on a very limited set of bare metal environments.

First computers are up and running for over one year - booted with init4boot. There were some thousands of successfull boots with init4boot.


There are three different kinds of documentation:

What's about? Why? How?

The current Design and Requirements document.

Typical normal users

One major advantage is, that there is only one init4boot initramfs for one distribution. So it is possible to distribute the initramfs. There is no need that everybody builds up their own. Currently there are versions for Debian 4 and Fedora Core 9.

For Debian there are up to date man pages. So install the package and read them.

For Fedora there is a small Howto setup a Fedora Core 9 guest system available.

Admins, Developers and other Mads

If you want to create your own initramfs or want to extend the functionalaty, read the Readmes:

Additional there exists the a log file from a typical boot process from a Xen Guest System with a multipath iSCSI root device.


The source is released under GPLv3.