Starting a FAI installation using kexec

Henning Sprang henning at
Thu May 28 11:16:30 CEST 2009

Torsten Schlabach wrote:
> But the basic-installed systems wasn't installed using FAI. 

That's not necessary for softupdates.

> It needs an
> entirely new partitioning of the hard disk,

so you want to wipe the whole system anyway. O.K.

> it might have an entirely
> different kernel than what we want to install, 

You can install another one

> it might not even be
> Debian yet.

No problem, softupdate can manage other systems as well :)

But anyway, I now understand, you want to do something different than I
propose, but also kexec seems not to be what you need - kexec just
changes the kernel, but keeps all processes and stuff runnning, it
doesn't boot from scratch, doesn't it? (at least that is what I
understand what it's made for).

So, you say the main problem/change for you now is that FAI doesn't have
a special kernel anymore.

But you can do exactly the same with the normal debian kernel. It can
boot from nfsroot just as the special FAI kernel did, and it should be
possible to give the required kernel parameters on the grub command line
- just as you did before with the special FAI kernel.
Only that the normal debian kernel also needs an initrd. But when
booting it via grub that is even easier than with PXE.

Did you try this already before trying kexec?

Another idea might be to run the provider's rescue system and try to run
setup-storage directly from there.
But you seem to have a very heterogeneous environment, and cannot rely
on anything.

Apart from this being an interesting problem, to solve, I wonder if it
would simpler to force customers to rent th Server from a set of
known-working providers that fullfill some requirements - developing
something that works with every random system can become very expensive
- either for you or for the customers.


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