How to extract/unpack/uncompress the contents of the initramfs boot image on RHEL 7,8,9 ?

Solution Verified - Updated -


  • How to extract/unpack/uncompress the contents of the initramfs image on RHEL7 and RHEL8?
  • In RHEL6 and older, the contents of the initramfs or initrd image could be extracted using cpio as shown below:

    # zcat initramfs-2.6.32-431.el6.x86_64.img | cpio -idmv
  • However, it does not work when I try to extract the contents of initramfs image on RHEL7 as shown below and error is generated:

   # zcat initramfs-3.10.0-229.4.2.el7.x86_64.img | cpio -id
    gzip: initramfs-3.10.0-229.4.2.el7.x86_64.img: not in gzip format
    cpio: premature end of archive
    # file  initramfs-3.10.0-229.4.2.el7.x86_64.img 
    initramfs-3.10.0-229.4.2.el7.x86_64.img: ASCII cpio archive (SVR4 with no CRC)


  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7

Note: For RHEL5 and RHEL6, refer to "How to unpack/uncompress and repack/re-compress an initial ramdisk (initrd/initramfs) boot image file?"

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