(Re)configuring an existing client

andrew bezella abezella at archive.org
Thu Dec 8 18:02:30 CET 2011

On Thu, 2011-12-08 at 18:21 +0200, Toomas Tamm wrote: 
> On Thu, 2011-12-08 at 12:20 +0100, SYSTEMS Oliver Osburg wrote:
> > I often reconfigure my clients, too. Config Files change, and I also 
> > would appreciate a way to "automatically" create FAI configs from a 
> > running Debian Machine. But in a way, this violates the FAI philosophy 
> > "Do all configurations on the server".
> During the last stages of FAI installation, the configuration is
> obtained from the versioning system and applied with the cfengine. Among
> the configurations are instructions for cfengine itself to keep the
> machine up-to-date in the future. All future changes in configuration
> are done in the instructions to cfengine. Thus they get applied in
> similar manner both to existing systems, as well as new ones when those
> will be installed in the future.

i take a similar approach.  fai does the partitioning and installs just
enough packages and configuration files to bootstrap cfengine2.  at that
point all further configuration management is handed off to cfengine.
one benefit (imho) to this approach is modularity.  for a while
systemimager was the installation method of choice in our environment.
since the same principle was followed w/systemimager (i.e., start with
enough to kick off cfengine) it was relatively easy to replace
systemimager with fai.

in large part these choices might (and probably should) be driven by
your environment.  if you "often reconfigure" your clients then (always
imho) a configuration management tool along the lines of cfengine/puppet
might be the right choice.  if you deploy nodes that can run for years
without a new package being installed or an existing one removed, then
managing everything w/fai softupdate may be a viable option (disclaimer:
not having tried this, i don't have a good feel for its pros/cons)


> Finally, read http://www.infrastructures.org/ . I think this is the
> single most useful site which has influenced the way I look at systems
> management, even though they never mention FAI or cfengine, and the site
> has not been updated for years.

+1.  excellent site.  personally, as configuration mgmt tools mature i'm
becoming less a fan of the "gold server," but TMTOWTDI.


andrew bezella <abezella at archive.org>
Internet Archive

More information about the linux-fai mailing list