FAI repo configuration

Toomas Tamm tt-fai at kky.ttu.ee
Mon Dec 30 12:21:33 CET 2013

On Mon, 2013-12-23 at 16:49 -0500, George VerDuin wrote:

> This note is a request for review to anyone with time and interest,

Some thoughts...

I do not think it is a good idea to add FAI repositories to every host's
APT configuration by default. One of the main advantages to using Debian
is the stability of the "stable" distribution. The FAI included in the
stable distribution is usually sufficient to install the same
distribution on any hosts, and a newer version of FAI is rarely needed.
When I have had the need to use a newer version of FAI, I put it in a
local repository and point APT at that instead. This gives me
consistency, stability, and control over the installed versions
throughout the lifetime of the hosts.

Also, addition of any external repositories to APT sources is prone to
causing problems down the road. Through 15+ years of using Debian I have
seen external repositories disappear, move, lose support for older
versions of Debian, etc. I am not saying that any of this would happen
to the FAI repositories, but we cannot exclude that either. As an
example, only recently the project repositories were moved to the
fai-project.org domain - a change which would require changing the
fai-specific APT configuration file on all installed hosts.

I have managed my sources.list files with cfengine for years without any
adverse side effects. My APT's are pointed at my local apt-cacher
anyway, and I also add a line pointing at a local APT repository. Using
a configuration management system, rather than FAI, allows for easy
centralized changes in the files, should such need arise in the future.

Best regards,

Toomas Tam

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