want to setup FAI on a running server

Michael Tautschnig mt at debian.org
Mon Oct 31 20:23:47 CET 2011


> A newbie here, just joined the list to explore the FAI.

You're most welcome! Just a quick note: if you're into IRC, you might want to
join the #fai channel on irc.debian.org for some more interactive help.

> I have a running debain server which is doing many responsibilities,
> started from gateway, then apache,mysql,vsftpd,samba,git etc.. server
> and finally a DHCP too. I like to install the FAI too on this very server.
> I have some question in mind and like to solve it before going further.
> - I already have DHCP running. What modification should I add to work it with FAI ?
> - How to disable the DHCP comes with FAI ?

FAI doesn't ship any DHCP server - it's just the fai-quickstart package that
will install one, if none is found on the system. You will need to make sure
that a proper hint to the TFTP server and a hostname is provided. I think the
FAI Guide (http://fai-project.org/fai-guide/) has some more information here.

> - I like to provide debian, ubuntu as well as windows for the client. So How can I make the
> images and more than that how to configure so that during installation the kernel adjust
> itself with the client H/W. Clients are Desktop as well as laptop from different make and
> sometimes assembled too.
> - clients must have firefox,filezilla,thunderbird etc.. for both linux and windows.
> How can I predefined it ? Linux has repos, but what should I do with windows ?

Debian will work out-of-the-box. For Ubuntu I'd ask more knowledgeable people to
speak up; it's pretty straight forward AFAIK, but I haven't used that myself.
For Windows, maybe see


Myself, I'm using "unattended" as suggested in the last post of that thread, but
I don't have any proper integration with FAI. Others might have more elaborate

> - Is it possible to use the extended free partition to use for installation,
> with out touching the existing partitions and data ?

Yes. See the preserve_always option of setup-storage. The man page of
setup-storage has examples.

> - In Linux; during installation it detects the installed window/Linux OS (if any) and
> add the grub.cfg accordingly. Is it possible with FAI ?

I'm not sure whether any extra configuration is required here, maybe installing
os-prober is necessary.

> Please guide me to have a start. A beginners guide (web link) is very much welcome.

Did you already take a look at the FAI guide (see link above)? We wouldn't claim
it's perfect and we are just looking into improvements of the documentation,
hence all kinds of feedback on that are most welcome.


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