FAI – install, customize and manage Linux systems and software

FAI (Fully Automatic Installation) is a high quality tool for fully automatic installation of new Ubuntu, Suse, Fedora, Debian and other Linux systems (single computer or a whole cluster) via network, custom install cd, or into a chroot environment.

FAI is used for maintaining chroot environments, virtual machines as well as physical boxes in setups ranging from a few single systems up to deployments of large-scale infrastructures and clusters with several thousands of systems.

FAI can also be used for configuration management of a running system.

Features include:

  • Fast to deploy.
  • A tool for automated unattended installation.
  • Daily maintenance by updating running system without reinstallation.
  • Easy-to-use centralized management system for your Linux deployment.
  • Scalable. FAI users manage their computer infrastructures starting from a few computers up to several thousands of machines.
  • Different hardware and different configuration requirements are easy to establish using FAI.
  • Using the FAI class concept, you can group a bunch of similar machines.
  • Installation targets: desktops, servers, notebooks, Beowulf cluster, rendering or web server farm, Linux laboratory or classroom.
  • Linux rollout, mass installation and automated server provisioning are additional topics of FAI.
  • FAI is lightweight. No special daemons are running, no database setup is needed.
  • Full remote control via ssh during installation process.
  • Used for daily maintenance, and can set up chroot environments.
  • Shell, Perl, expect and cfengine script support for customization.
  • Compared to tools like kickstart or cobbler for Red Hat, autoyast for SUSE or Jumpstart for SUN Solaris, FAI is much more flexible. You can tune every small part of your configuration to your local needs using hooks.
  • Useful for XEN and Vserver host installations.
  • GUI for FAI using GOsa:
    • GOsa provides a graphical interface for FAI.
    • GOsa is a PHP based administration tool for managing systems in LDAP.
    • FAI config space is completely put into LDAP.
    • Config space can be managed using GOsa.

Website: fai-project.org
Support: FAI Guide
Developer: Thomas Lange
License: GNU GPL v2

FAI

FAI is written in Perl. Learn Perl with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

Back to Server Provisioning Home Page


Popular series
Guide to LinuxNew to Linux? Read our Linux for Starters series. We start right at the basics and teach you everything you need to know to get started with Linux.
Free and Open Source SoftwareThe largest compilation of the best free and open source software in the universe. Each article is supplied with a legendary ratings chart helping you to make informed decisions.
ReviewsHundreds of in-depth reviews offering our unbiased and expert opinion on software. We offer helpful and impartial information.
Alternatives to Proprietary SoftwareReplace proprietary software with open source alternatives: Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Autodesk, Oracle, Atlassian, Corel, Cisco, Intuit, and SAS.
Linux Around The WorldLinux Around The World showcases events and usergroups that are relevant to Linux enthusiasts.
AudioSurveys popular streaming services from a Linux perspective: Amazon Music Unlimited, Myuzi, Spotify, Deezer, Tidal.
Saving Money with LinuxSaving Money with Linux looks at how you can reduce your energy bills running Linux.
System ToolsEssential Linux system tools focuses on small, indispensable utilities, useful for system administrators as well as regular users.
ProductivityLinux utilities to maximise your productivity. Small, indispensable tools, useful for anyone running a Linux machine.
Home ComputersHome computers became commonplace in the 1980s. Emulate home computers including the Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari ST, ZX81, Amstrad CPC, and ZX Spectrum.
Now and ThenNow and Then examines how promising open source software fared over the years. It can be a bumpy ride.
Linux at HomeLinux at Home looks at a range of home activities where Linux can play its part, making the most of our time at home, keeping active and engaged.
Linux CandyLinux Candy reveals the lighter side of Linux. Have some fun and escape from the daily drudgery.
DockerGetting Started with Docker helps you master Docker, a set of platform as a service products that delivers software in packages called containers.
Android AppsBest Free Android Apps. We showcase free Android apps that are definitely worth downloading. There's a strict eligibility criteria for inclusion in this series.
Programming BooksThese best free books accelerate your learning of every programming language. Learn a new language today!
Programming TutorialsThese free tutorials offer the perfect tonic to our free programming books series.
Stars and StripesStars and Stripes is an occasional series looking at the impact of Linux in the USA.
Share this article

Share your Thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.