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.
- 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.
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