Installing Ubuntu Linux with FAI

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OUTDATED

please see FAI multi-distribution instead!



intro

It's possible and quite easy to install Ubuntu Linux with FAI - Fully Automatic Installation.

I made some new patches and packages to get FAI to install Ubuntu Linux in a nice manner that doesn't interfere with FAI itself, and needs very little changes to FAI, so it's easily maintainable. Sure, if you want to install more distributions, you need to know them well, and plan your installation for them, then FAI can realize your plans, as usual.

This stuff is still quite beta stage, I made extensive tests, as far as one person with 4 computers can do, and nothing bad happened, but that's not a lot testing, for my taste. Strange things can happen when you use it, so do not use it in a production environment before test it extensively yourself.

Please ask on linux-fai in case something goes wrong. Success reports are also welcome. Whichever of both - I really LOVE feedback!

Download:

get all the debs you find here: http://www.sprang.de/download/fai-multi-distribution/

usage:

  • install the deb's from the download location, including the package fai-distributions (look into it to see what it is about), excluding the package fai-nfsroot
  • do everything you'd do with any other FAI install - read this wiki and the FAI-guide on how to do that.
  • copy example classes as usual in FAI
  • copy additional example classes:

cp -a /usr/share/doc/fai-doc/examples/classes/*/* /usr/local/share/fai/

  • run make-fai-nfsroot
  • run /usr/lib/fai/dists/ubuntu_hoary/make-base-tgz ( in lib because it should be called from make-fai-nfsroot)
  • run /usr/lib/fai/dists/ubuntu_breezy/make-base-tgz
  • name your install clients sarge, hoary, and breezy in DNS , or add them to the same classes as these example host configurations and install them as usual

(interesting?)facts:

  • It only needs one nfsroot for all.
  • it is (in my tests) 100% compatible to an existing configdir, and to FAI 2.9 as long as you do not to use the variable DISTRIBUTION in your existing configdir - if you use it, you should use it as shown in the example configdir you copied above
  • everyting only tested with intel machines
  • network install only - fai-cd and fai-mirror will need some love and script-tweaking, as far as I can say
  • see the README.multi-distribution file in the package

known issues/todo:

  • the dirty way how I include Ubuntu's debootstrap packages must be cleaned up - I want a script to download the appropriate package needed for bootstrapping a specific distribution, because this package will probably not be available in Debian, or not be in sync with Debian or fai releases, and I want to give users a way high flexibility in the choice of version of the distribution to be installed (work in progress)
  • would be nice if make-fai-nfsroot would also(or exclusively) run /usr/lib/fai/dists/*/make-base-tgz - it's not nice force the user run these manually. maybe we should also have a script in /usr/sbin/ for that. how about make-fai-base-image [DISTRIBUTION|all]?
  • instead of replacing the install task with a hook, the install task could run /usr/lib/fai-distributions/[DISTRIBUTION]/install if DISTRIBUTION is set. Somethign similar could be done with prepareapt.

notes: