Configuring SystemRescue: `sysconfig` scope

This chapter explains the options available in the sysconfig scope of the YAML config files for System Rescue. See there for details where to place the YAML files and how they are interpreted.


        "[email protected]": "ssh-rsa AAAAB3NzaC1...kQoVPcn3jpgywi/twXcOw=="
        "[email protected]": "no-port-forwarding ssh-rsa ZDWo0UmISKEn...dAq33PUQh"
        "[email protected]": "cert-authority,principals=\"bob,joe\" ssh-rsa AAAAB3NzaC1y...Zhk0="

        100: "setkmap"
        200: "reverse_ssh 1234"

            title: "SystemRescue"
            url: ""
            title: "Arch Linux Package Search"
            url: ""

        example-ca: |
            -----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----
            -----END CERTIFICATE-----

        "": ""
        "": " foo"

                type: "http"
                url: ""

                type: "webdav"
                url: "https://my-nas.local"
                vendor: "other"
                user: "my-login"
                pass: "9JbSJzgcQXsnV2dkzzhBR3za1e_rqixvKKp6"

    ssh_known_hosts: "ssh-ed25519 AAAAC3NzaC1l...JJTO48B"
        "@cert-authority *": "ssh-rsa AAAAB3NzaC1y...Zhk0="

        net.ipv4.ip_forward: "1"
        net.ipv4.conf.all.arp_filter: "1"

    timezone: "Europe/Berlin"

SSH authorized_keys

Allows to configure trusted public keys that are allowed to log in as root user via SSH. These are appended to /root/.ssh/authorized_keys.

This option is structured as a Mapping / dictionary with the “comment” field of the SSH authorized_keys line being the key and the beginning of the entry until the comment being the value. Since the “comment” field is often used to designate the username or email address of the owner, the entries are ordered by these owner names. If the file already contains an entry with the given “comment” it is not added again.

You can use additional options for a key as documented by sshd by prepending them to the keytype. See for example the no-port-forwarding option in the synopsis above.

You can trust signatures from a SSH Certification Authority (CA) by adding the public key of the CA with the option cert-authority. The principals= option allows to control which cert owner names (“principals”, set with the -n option when creating the certificate) are allowed to log in. The principals option has nothing to do with local account names (e.g. “root”).


This option allows to configure bookmarks for the installed Firefox browser. This is implemented via the policies.json file of Firefox.

This option is structured as two levels of Mappings / dictionaries. The key of the first level is used for lexicographic ordering of the entries. Each entry must have a title and url key.

When the policies.json file already contains an entry with a given title, the bookmark will not be added again. Firefox was observed removing entries with duplicate URLs.

Certification Authority (CA) trust

If you maintain one or more local Certification Authorities (CA), you can add them as trust anchors to SystemRescue by listing them in the ca-trust section of the YAML file. You must give each CA an individual name within the ca-trust section. That name will be used as file name within the /etc/ca-certificates/trust-source/anchors/ directory.

The configured CAs will be added to the default trust anchors of System Rescue, which are derived from the CA list used by Mozilla.

These CAs are in X.509 format and used mostly for TLS. Not to be confused with CAs for SSH.


Allows to configure the timezone to use. Takes a timezone name as defined in the IANA Time Zone Database which is used by most Linux distributions. Default is “UTC”.


Allows to customize kernel parameters through the sysctl interface. This option is structured as a Mapping / dictionary with the key being the sysctl variable and the value being the value to set. Using the pattern option of the sysctl program is not supported, you must use explicit variable names.

It is suggested to use strings for the values in the YAML config, because numeric values can get converted to floating point during config merge. The kernel will reject floating point values for most variables.


Allows to configure rclone. The entries below the sysconfig.rclone.config key are written as sections into the file /root/.config/rclone/rclone.conf. To create the sections in the correct format it is recommended to use the rclone config command to configure rclone and then transfer the data from the rclone.conf file into the YAML config.

Be aware that rclone requires all passwords to be encoded in a proprietary, easily reversible schema. SystemRescue will just copy the passwords and not encode or alter them, so the YAML config must contain them already in encoded format. If an attacker can read the YAML config, this encoding will not protect the passwords.


Allows to preconfigure common commands in the bash shell so that they can be accessed by just pressing the up arrow key or searched with ctrl+r. The Mapping / dict key is used for lexicographic reverse-ordering of the entries. Reverse-ordering means the lowest key will show up first when pressing the up arrow key.

By default the setkmap command is inserted in the bash_history with key 100 to allow changing the keyboard mapping without having to type on a possibly foreign keyboard. This is mentioned in the welcome text that is shown when logging in. Keep in mind that the welcome text is not adapted automatically when you replace setkmap with another command.


Allows to manually configure hostname/IP mappings that take precedence over DNS lookups via the /etc/hosts file. The Mapping / dict key is the IP (IPv4 or IPv6), the value the hostname and, optionally, alias names for it.


Allows to configure known host keys for when making outgoing SSH connections. These are appended to /etc/ssh/ssh_known_hosts.

This option is structured as a Mapping / dictionary with the “marker” and “hostnames” fields (space-separated) of the SSH ssh_known_hosts line being the key and the “keytype”, “base64-encoded key” and “comment” being the value. If the file already contains an entry with the given entry it is not added again.

You can trust host key signatures from a SSH Certification Authority (CA) by adding the public key of the CA with the marker @cert-authority. After this marker and a space you can use wildcards to specify the hostnames for which the CA signatures are trusted or use * to trust everything the CA has signed.