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Category:fai FAI is short for "Fully Automatic Installation".


List of important Files

  • /etc/fai/make-fai-nfsroot.conf add location of the Image that is used creatung a new vmlinuz-install image

Compile an installation kernel for the clients

It's possible to use a kernel configuration located in /usr/share/doc/fai-kernels/ for the new kernel.
 zcat /usr/share/doc/fai-kernels/config-2.6.14.gz > .config

If you configure a kernel yourself, take care theat the following options are fix included:

  • IP: kernel level autoconfigurationt
 * IP: DHCP support
 * IP: BOOTP support
 * IP: RARP support
  • NFS file system support
  • Provide NFSv3 client support
  • Provide client support for the NFSv3 ACL protocol extension
  • Allow direct I/O on NFS files
 * Root file system on NFS
  • your network card

compile your kernel

  • make menuconfig to configure your new fai netinstall kernel ( Netboot )
  • then make-kpkg --rootcmd fakeroot --append-to-version -fai-install --revision 1 kernel-image or something similar to make a Debian package, possibly do make-kpkg clean before
  • move that package to /usr/lib/fai/kernel
  • Then edit /etc/fai/make-fai-nfsroot.conf to the name of the created kernelpackage:
  • do make-fai-nfsroot or fai-setup to debootstrap the chroot.
  • Last step: Move the image from /srv/tftp/fai/vmlinuz-install to the Tftp boot directory, rename it, modify the pxelinux.d files. Reboot the node.

Install a Node

To install a Node type fai-installboot nodename on the fai-server and reboot the node.

To view current node-starup-configuration type fai-chboot -l

After the installation the node's config returns to localboot. You can also manually reset the configuration by fai-chboot -o nodename.

We have different scripts for preparing a local boot, a fai installation and a boot of a dos-image.

The scripts are stored on the fai server in /srv/loki/bin/ :

  • ip-address for pxe boot into a dos environment
  • ip-address start the fai installation
  • ip-address perform the local boot


The whole configuration space is located in /srv/fai/config/ and is mounted to /fai during the installation.

After the kernel has booted /usr/sbin/fai (mounted from /srv/fai/nfsroot/ via NFS) is executed.



Setting up the bios


FAI really fully automatically

  • add your node IPs and HOST names in /etc/hosts
  • fai-installboot THE_NODE this adds the 'reboot' FAI_FLAG to pxelinux.cfg config file, what means reboot after install.

One has to take care that Now there are two possibilities

via rsh or ssh

We did it via rsh. The client communicates with the server and tells him, that after a reboot the system on the clientside harddrive comes up.

Add a script in fai_path/config/scripts/your_class/:

 fai_host=`echo $FAI_CONFIG_SRC| cut -d "/" -f 3`
 rsh $fai_host "fai-chboot -o $IPADDR"

via faimond

 if($inp =~ "TASKEND install 0") {
 my @input = split(/\s+/, $inp);
 my $ip = $input[0];
 system("fai-chboot -o $ip");
 print "Setting $ip to localboot\n";

to the big_loop() function of faimond , gently found in /usr/sbin

Start the modified faimond script.

ATTENTION: did you enable TCP connections incoming on port 4711 ?! If no, do not expect faimond to work!!!

Installed Distributions

See Also


Topic revision: r1 - 30 Nov 2007, Fehrmann
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