Proposition: Automatic Clean on Disks on Zero-OS Boot

Hey guys, here’s a proposition from yang on the Threefold Farmer Chat, with additional thoughts from @FLnelson and Avermhir.

The devs should implement an automatic clean on disks on boot, or an option with key combinations to do a clean of the disks.

For example, on boot you press ctrl+y and Zero-OS will do a clean. if you do not press in a 10 sec interval, it will boot normally.

This is inspired by the grub options: Option 1 = Boot, Option 2 = Clean.

As Nelson stated:

It’s is a neat idea to incorporate a setup tool into the zeroOS usb assuming it doesn’t introduce a security vulnerability.

Also, Avermhir said:

For DIY builds I think improved instructions on preparation for the machine will help alot. And perhaps some community open source tools to be used during the build process. You really need to check that everything works in the machine before deploying it with the Zero-OS boot. IMO having a ubuntu/linux app that you can put on a USB stick and use for verification of the hardware would be awesome.

What do you guys think?

Let’s… New…Internet!

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And like 10 warnings asking if you’re sure you want to wipe.


Exactly. That’s my “fear” of this. But indeed, if you have to do, for example,

crtl + y, within 10 seconds of the boot, and then confirm with crtl+k, then a question: “Are you sure? This will erase all your disks. Yes or No.”

Then I guess it wouldn’t happen by mistake.

Also, if it’s possible have something that sets the BIOS perfectly, automatically, having a DIY 3node would be almost plug-n-play with this new Zero-OS bootstrap image + installation tools.

Setting a DIY 3node is already pretty easy, that being said.


bios can not be auto configured by a tool. i was suggesting only an easier way to clean the node for first use. now it is strange. you have to pull the disks wipe them and remount them. btw the wipe part i had to do it several times untill it actualy worked on grid v2.

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BIOS not being auto-programmable does not surprise me. Thanks for the info.

So you’re saying it worked for you when you

  1. pull the disks
  2. wipefs the disks
  3. remount the disk
  4. boot the zero-os and it was ok

I ask for documentation. I never used wipefs but other functions.

My experience was that the HDD wasn’t initializing because the disk had some data on it. There wasn’t any obvious issue with the drive and the partition was removed before booting in Zero. Ended up being advice on wipefs was the solution. For DIY the installation is pretty easy. This was the only issue I had on getting up and running. :slight_smile: I like the idea of allowing the system to do this as part of boot, but really this is a one time need for a new DIY device.

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I agree with your reasoning here. It’s not necessary to have this tool, but it’d be nice if it works.

For setting up a 3node, it’s mainly about zeroing out the disks, setting the bios properly, then booting the image bootstrap.

I added more information on this in the FAQ, so the steps are clearer.

The question for me is: How many unwanted wipes will happen if we build it in. Anecdote: I wanted to demo in a live meeting how simple zero-OS booted on a laptop / server and took my wifes laptop as a demo device. I expected noting to happen with the disk of no workload would be reserving any disk space… However this was a previous version of zero-OS and it did wipe the SSD by default…

So in two minutes I destroyed all of my wife’s data. She forgave me and we are still married, but that incident lead to it not being done automatically anymore. Having to explicitly wipe the disk is making you also think if you really want to do that.

Anyway, my 2 cents.


Feels weird to like this comment… Sorry for your wife computer!

But I liked it to state that I agree with you here that it’s a potentially dangerous command line as it’s destructive.

I think making the steps clear in the documentation on how to set up a 3node might do the trick here. It’s good to read what the community has to say.

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This suggestion comes up from time to time. Protecting any data users might not be intending to wipe is of course an important consideration, of course, which could be mitigated through some kind of UI.

On the other hand, Zero OS has the ethos of zero configuration and zero user interface. While a preboot utility to clear the disks seems low risk, it opens a door that doesn’t need to be there.

I’ve been on the lookout for more user friendly ways to wipe all disks in a system. I think this GParted live image could be a nice option, but I haven’t had a chance to test it yet.