New FAI version 5.2 is going to the cloud

Thomas Lange lange at
Sun Oct 16 23:04:37 CEST 2016

I'm happy to announce FAI 5.2, the newest version of the Fully
Automatic Installation tool set, which now supports creating disk
images for virtual machines. You can create a customized virtual
machine image in less than a minute[1], which is then run in your
virtualization environment like KVM, VMware or VirtualBox.
It can also be used for booting a guest on your cloud platform.

FAI can create images for different Linux distributions and provides
out-of-the-box configurations for Debian, Ubuntu and CentOS. These
images can be used for virtual machines or bare metal. Examples of the
log files for several installations can be found at [2].

The new command fai-diskimage uses the normal FAI process for building
disk images of different formats. An image with a small set of
packages can be created in less than 50 seconds, a Debian XFCE desktop
in nearly two minutes and a complete Ubuntu 16.04 desktop image is
created in four minutes.

fai-kvm, the command for easy starting a KVM virtual machine
was enhanced to boot from an image created by fai-diskimage. It also
boots a KVM host from CD or from network via PXE.

FAI 5.2 includes many minor improvements in the configuration
examples and a lot of test cases where done for this release.

The new FAI CD images now are available at [3].

The homepage of FAI is:

About FAI

FAI is a set of tools for mass unattended Linux installations of
different Linux distributions like Debian, Ubuntu, CentOS and others.

FAI provides network installations from the FAI server or creating
customized installation media for CD and USB stick.

Was was started in 1999 and is used for desktop deployments, building
servers or installing huge compute clusters.
Some FAI users are:

- The Internet archive ( using FAI for nearly 1200
  bare-metal machines and 800 KVM machines
- The City of Munich deploys 16000 desktops using FAI
- Stayfriends (700 hosts)
- LVM german insurance (10.000 hosts)
- Albert Einstein Institute, 1725 hosts mostly compute nodes
- Stanford University, 450 hosts

More than 300 detailed user reports can be found at [4]


regards Thomas

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