Once you have prepared your removable media, you can boot from it. All our live images use GRUB as the bootloader.

Hardware specifics

UEFI systems

This may vary with hardware, but in general a properly created USB stick or CD/DVD disc should appear in the list of boot entries.

On the x86_64 architecture, you will typically get a selection between UEFI and BIOS mode, assuming CSM is not disabled. Pick whichever you prefer, but keep in mind that this affects things such as bootloader setup when installing.

OpenPOWER systems

OpenPOWER systems use Petitboot. Simply boot your computer with the removable media inserted and the respective boot entries should appear.

Qemu virtual machines

When using virtual machines, you can pass the image like this:

-cdrom /path/to/chimera.iso -boot d

Serial console

If you wish to use a serial terminal, you might have to do some additional setup, depending on the configuration.

In a lot of cases, the kernel will output to serial console automatically, without doing anything. This is especially the case if you don’t have a graphical output. However, if you do not get kernel output on your serial terminal (i.e. if the bootloader does appear but the kernel messages do not) you will have to enable it manually, with the console= parameter.

On most x86_64 setups, this will be console=ttyS0.

On most POWER setups, console=hvc0 is what you want. On some other POWER systems this might be console=hvsi0.

AArch64 and RISC-V systems vary. Refer to the documentation for your system. Examples include ttyAMA0, ttyS2, ttymxc0, ttySIF0 and others.

The Chimera live images are set up to automatically enable a login prompt (getty) for all consoles the kernel outputs to.

Picking the boot option

Console images come with two boot options, regular boot and RAM boot. The latter results in the whole system being copied to system RAM, while the former will create a writable overlay over a read-only mount.

The RAM option requires a large amount of memory. Unless you are sure, you should be using the regular option. The benefit of the RAM option is that the system will run faster, and especially for optical media, will not result in accesses to the media.

Desktop images additionally let you pick between Wayland and X11. The default option is Wayland. If that is causing problems for you, you can try the X11 option, but in most cases Wayland is recommended.

Logging in

Once this is set up properly, you will be presented with a login prompt on console images. Graphical boots bring you directly to desktop without having to log in.

You will want to use anon or root as the user name (depending on if you want a superuser) with the password chimera. If you log in with anon, use the doas utility to gain superuser privileges.