ABAN is a boot CD/USB stick for easily wiping disks before disposing of computers. ABAN screenshots are available.

Download Links

You only want the 32-bit version for machines without 64-bit support. It doesn't matter whether you're wiping a 32- or 64-bit OS, as long as the CPU supports 64-bit, use the 64-bit images.

The source links above are mainly for GPL compliance, but also useful if you want to build without Internet connectivity. The Debian link contains the source for all the included Debian packages; the Live source is the Debian Live configuration files. For regular work the project page is probably more useful.

How do I use it?

Download the hybrid ISO/HD image (links on the right) and either burn it to a CD (or DVD, etc.) or copy it on to a USB stick. (On Linux, you can copy it to a USB stick with sudo cp ABAN-amd64.hybrid.iso /dev/sdX where sdX is the device for your USB stick. You could also use dd if you must, remember iflag=fullblock if you do: sudo dd if=ABAN-amd64.hybrid.iso iflag=fullblock bs=2M of=/dev/sdX oflag=direct status=progress

After that, boot the computer you want to wipe from the CD/USB stick. It's all automatic after that.

Why are there two boot options? What is failsafe?

The non-failsafe one loads everything into RAM before the wipe starts, so you can remove the CD/USB stick and use it to boot the next computer. It requires a machine with 768MB of RAM.

The failsafe option requires the CD/USB stick remain inserted, but can run with only 384MB of RAM. It also passes some kernel options that may help “difficult” machines boot.

These are both just different kernel command-line options; you can edit them in the bootloader.

Can I use it without a monitor? What's all this beeping?

As of 0.008, ABAN now uses the PC speaker to communicate its status as well as the display. So as long as you can boot from the CD/USB stick without a monitor, you can wipe the machine without a monitor. Please see the headless operation instructions for details. You can also hear the sounds ABAN produces.

Where can I get help or report bugs?

If you run into any issues, please report an issue at GitLab; you can also do so via email to aban-bugs@derobert.net. If you just want to reach out to the author, email anthony@derobert.net.

Now with Bullseye

Starting with 0.020, ABAN is based on Debian 11 (Bullseye). This should have better compatibility with newer machines. If for some reason you need images with Debian 10 (Buster), see the old side from v0.010.1. Make sure not to get the sites confused; it looks very similar.



ABAN’s name is inspired by Darik’s Boot and Nuke, an older (and unfortunately no longer maintained) program that does something very similar. But but other than that, it's completely unrelated.


ABAN is free/open source software, built on Debian Live. Contributions are welcome! Please see the ABAN project page on GitLab to contribute.