Starting a FAI installation using kexec

Torsten Schlabach tschlabach at
Wed May 27 17:07:29 CEST 2009

Hi all!

Did anyone ever try to use kexec to start a FAI installation?

My question is related to:

In other words:

We get servers which have some random Linux image on them. We don't have 
physical access to those servers and we cannot modify and DHCP settings. 
So no PXE based install, no USB stick install, etc.

In the past we have been using the method as described on the Wiki page; 
basically made the boot loader on the installed server boot the 
back-than FAI specific install kernel which then mounted the NFS root 
over the Internet and took it from there.

Now in the newer FAI versions there are no special install kernels any 
more. We took a look at what kernel parameters will be used in a PXE 
setup and tried to use the very same parameters with kexec; just it does 
not work for whatever reason. It's hard to tell what exactly goes wrong 
as the result of the kexec call is basically that the server is no 
longer reachable, does not try to mount the NFS root (we watch the NFS 
server) and also isn't pingable. Though I am not sure if a kernel level 
static IP config (using the ip=... kernel parameter) would make the box 
reply to a ping at all.

Currently, our kexec command looks like this:

kexec \
         -l /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.26-2-686 \
root=/dev/nfs nfsroot=aa.aa.aa.aa:/srv/fai/nfsroot 
FAI_FLAGS=sshd,createvt -m /tmp/fai_floppy_dir" \

Any thoughts or pointers?

Some docs about mounting the root FS via NFS state that you need to have 
NFS support compiled statically into the kernel, but I understand this 
is no longer valid, is it?


More information about the linux-fai mailing list