Hello and welcome to the FAI wiki.
This is a public wiki for FAI - Fully Automatic Installation. It is a place for users and developers of FAI to share information. If you have some information on FAI to share, see the page wiki registration - you need to write a mail, because we can't handle the spam otherwise. Also, please read editing rules.
FAI is a tool for fully automatic (unless you explicitly wish to get some questions on each install) installation of Debian and other Linux Distributions via network, custom install cd, or into a chroot environment. Some people also use it to install Windows.
FAI works script-based as opposed to full image based (if you wish so, we can also install any kind of image) - so it is very flexible, and can be used to install very heterogeneous infrastructures. It uses a class-based system (think of classes as system types that can be combined with each other, as long as they are not technically conflicting) to define configurations in some simple textfiles.
It is also used to update running systems without completely reinstalling them with the softupdate functionality - so you have one single point of configuration for installation and updates.
if you want the latest and greatest version(instead of the versions contained in Debian apt repositores for the specific version of the distribution):
- download it from: http://www.informatik.uni-koeln.de/fai/download/
- add this to your /etc/apt/sources.list, as well as /etc/fai/apt/sources.list(to get the correct fai-nfsroot package into the nfsroot) - depending on which flavor you want:
deb http://www.informatik.uni-koeln.de/fai/download sarge koeln deb http://www.informatik.uni-koeln.de/fai/download etch koeln deb http://www.informatik.uni-koeln.de/fai/download unstable koeln
- install it within debian sid
- check out the sources from subversion:
svn co svn://svn.debian.org/svn/fai/trunk fai-sources
(will require building the package by entering the directory and do something like "dpkg-buildpackage -rfakeroot")
- get the sources from the unofficial Git repository provided by Sebastian Harl:
git clone git://git.tokkee.org/fai.git git clone http://git.tokkee.org/fai.git
(this repository is automatically synchronized from the SVN repository four times a day)
(as with SVN, this will require building the package by entering the directory and doing something like "dpkg-buildpackage -rfakeroot")
There are some hints for getting FAI 3.2.X running - there are changes in the boot setup, and the sources.list for server and fai must fit.
documentation and examples
official - from the FAI developer team
- Main documentation for FAI is the fai guide:
- Manpages in HTML Format
- Some more information is also on the FAI Homepage
Translations of the fai-guide are available, but they are not really up to date(hinthint: we could use quite some help here!):
user contributed in this wiki
- helper scripts - add-on scripts that help using FAI
- user FAQ ( from questions in the mailing list and on IRC irc.debian.org #fai)
- linux-fai mailing list infos (Netiquette, how to subscribe and use)
- reporting bugs and also maybe find fixes for problems that you might encounter when using FAI.
- other installation tools - overview of other stuff seen in the wild web
- Resources - there are some information resources about FAI available "out there", as well as some unofficial developer branches, that are handled somewhere else until that code is incoporated in the FAI main Branch - and we want to point to them.
FAI in the real world
- Success Stories - who is using FAI, how and why - and, when available pictures of the machines installed with FAI :)
- User reports by filling out the FAI questionnaire (TODO: create a webform for this)
"third party" articles
- a short tutorial on www.debian-administration.org
- a talk on fai and debian
- A visual overview of how all the pieces of an FAI installation fit together.
- Articles of how people use FAI for some clusters:
- ATLAS Top 500 Cluster:
- Graphical rendering: http://viz.aset.psu.edu/ga5in/DisplayWallBuild.html
- Global Optimization computing cluster: http://globopt.dsi.unifi.it/gol/cluster.html
- FAI Product Overview: http://highscalability.com/product-fai-fully-automatic-installation
- An Interview with Thomas: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6781458929811937223
- Rolling Out Unattended Debian Installations (Part 1): http://linuxplanet.com/linuxplanet/tutorials/5667/1/
- This has all been moved to Developers information