Installing Ubuntu Linux with FAI

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Revision as of 16:12, 30 November 2005 by Christoph (talk | contribs) (→‎notes:)
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Attention! this information is a bit out of date! The general principles should still apply, but your mileage may vary. You can ask on the FAI Mailing list, irc channel #fai on freenode, or contact Henning Sprang for getting help. I would be thankful to get information of success and failure of working with this documentation.

  • the following howto is a quick and dirty description what i did to get an Ubuntu system installed automatically without any manual interaction by using the tool FAI
  • on an Ubuntu Install Server, the easiest way is possibly to just use my Ubuntu FAI package from here: ( I created it some time before the Hoary Release, and did not test it with the release version, please give me feedback in case anything doesn't work - see ContacT for that.
  • in case you don't have an Ubuntu Server but want to install from a sarge Server, or if you want to use the newest FAI Package (version 2.8.2 at time of this writing), you should read the following howto and download the config files I provide.
  • can be made easily with a shared FAI config dir and an extra nfsroot directory - install some ubuntu machines, some sarge, maybe some sid... (will try progeny, too)
  • the howto assumes a working FaI system on a debian sarge install server - this is probably the hardest part - a warty server might do the same
  • I admit and am aware of, this Howto is not tested with the newest FAI version (2.8.2, I am working on that) and only with hoary about 4 weeks before release... I beg you to tell me of any error and problems that occur with my Ubuntu FAI Package or with the HOWTO below!


  • install FAI like describe in it's docs:
  • install ubuntu's debootstrap from - needed because sarge package is missing warty scripts (might contact maintainer if patch is done?!)
  • make copy of the fai config in /etc/fai to /etc/ubuntu-fai -
  • adjust some things there, my config files look like this after that - short said, sources.list for ubuntu, nfsroot, debootstrap options...
  • run make-fai-nfsroot -c /etc/ubuntu-fai
  • adjust /etc/exports to export the ubuntu nfsroot
  • adjust dhcp config so the nfsroot for the host to be installed to use ubuntu
  • adjust package config in fai config dir (can be resused from debian original config) which is broken (at least on my setup) because of some missing packages now ( would be great if those errors would be more verbose or otherwise better to find, or if there would be an option to apt-get install that it still installs available packages even if some of the packages in the parameters are missing from repository)
  • start the fai install
  • enjoy ubuntu

some time later, i realized that my cdrom wasnt found after that, and found out that this has something to do with the udev daemon ubuntu uses. it helped to load the kernel module ide-cd and cdrom (that was not neccessary in sarge)

in case more problems occur (i don't remeber any more), the ubuntu bootstrapping howto might help:

If you want to create an ubuntu mirror, you can call debmirror like this:

debmirror -h -d hoary -e rsync -s main,restricted,universe,multiverse --progress -r :ubuntu /home/ftp/ubuntu

thanks to Thomas Lange for creating such a productivity-enhancing tool :)


  • make-fai-nfsroot needs the package kudzu. This is not available under ubuntu.

I had to disable it in /usr/sbin/make-fai-nfsroot