CentOS and Scientific Linux Cern installations with FAI

Thomas Lange lange at informatik.uni-koeln.de
Thu Sep 15 14:19:18 CEST 2011

I'm very happy to announce, that FAI now can install and configure CentOS
and Scientific Linux Cern (SLC). You can use a Debian FAI server for
installing CentOS version 5 and 6 or SLC 5 and 6.

As an example I've also built a FAI multi-distribution CD which
installs those three different Linux distributions with different
configurations. Get this ISO image from


This installation is very quick. I've done a CentOS 6.0 installation
(with graphical desktop) in 199 seconds (in a kvm instance on a
quad-core 3.2GHz, hard disk in RAM) and it only needs 490 seconds on
the real hardware when installing from CD.

Below is a short description how to install CentOS or SLC via network
from your FAI server.

Feedback is always welcome. Please send your feedback to the linux-fai 
mailing list

Best regards,
   Thomas, in behalf of the FAI team

How to install CentOS or Scientific Linux Cern using FAI 3.4.8

- install FAI 3.4.8 on your Debian install server (squeeze)

- create the nfsroot as usual

- get the config space examples from FAI 4.x
  (or svn co svn://svn.debian.org/svn/fai/trunk/examples/simple config)

- get the basefile for CentOS/SLC version 5 or 6 for your architecture
  at http://fai-project.org/download/basefiles/ and put it into

- echo USE_SETUP_STORAGE=1 >> your-config-space/class/CENTOS.var

- add your install client to the class CENTOS and one of these classes:

  Edit class/50-host-classes. A host named slchost or centos will get
  these classes automatically.

- If you would like to install a graphical desktop onto your install
  clients, add the class XORG. This works similar for CentOS 5 and 
  SLC 5 (uncomment relevant line in package_config/CENTOS).

Enjoy the non-Debian installation.

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