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This page describes how to get started and install the faiserver. All other machines are deployed from the faiserver. Please report failures to the mailing list.

Installing the faiserver

The installation of the very first machine, the faiserver, is the most involved step when deploying a Debian-LAN. As soon as the faiserver has been set up, the installation of all other machines is only a matter of booting over the network.

We prepare a CD image which is in turn used to install the mainserver of Setup_A from CD or USB stick.

It is also possible to install the mainserver via network (PXE).

CD approach: Creating an iso image for installation

Install the package debian-lan-config. Follow the instructions provided in /usr/share/doc/debian-lan-config/README.Debian.

/!\ This description might be not up to date!

We assume you have an installation of Debian wheezy available. For example, install a minimal Debian system (no graphical desktop environment required) on a machine you plan to use later in the Debian-LAN or use a virtual machine (a 3GB disk image is sufficient). On that system, install the following packages:

aptitude -R install fai-server genisoimage git

Replace the configuration space by the Debian-LAN configuration space:

mkdir -p /srv/fai/
cd /tmp/
git clone --branch wheezy git://
cp -r /tmp/debian-lan/fai/config /srv/fai/
cd -

Take a look at the variables in /srv/fai/config/class/SERVER_A.var and the class mappings in /srv/fai/config/class/50-host-classes. Customize them to your needs if necessary. Replace /etc/fai/grub.cfg and /etc/fai/NFSROOT by the Debian-LAN version:

cp /srv/fai/config/files/etc/fai/grub.cfg/SERVER_A /etc/fai/grub.cfg
cp /srv/fai/config/files/etc/fai/NFSROOT/FAISERVER /etc/fai/NFSROOT

Check /etc/fai/apt/sources.list; you might want to use only Debian's repositories:

sed -i "s/^deb.*fai-project/\#&/" /etc/fai/apt/sources.list

If you prefer not to use diskless clients, modify the partitioning scheme activated in class/50-host-classes ("FLAVOR"). Then run as root:

fai-make-nfsroot -v -l

Now create a fake Debian mirror. It will not be used at all (cf. 682796), but is needed to satisfy fai-cd. The CD image is then created by fai-cd:

mkdir -p /tmp/debmirror/dists/fake/main/binary-i386/
touch /tmp/debmirror/dists/fake/main/binary-i386/Packages
fai-cd -m /tmp/debmirror/ fai-cd.iso

Burn the CD image (~340M) or prepare an USB stick.

You need network access to install the mainserver. Make sure the machine can access the internet via DHCP and boot from the prepared CD. All necessary packages will be downloaded. After installation, connect the machine to the internal network (with no other DHCP server connected).

Other issues related:

After boot follow the message displayed to create the mainserver's FAI-nfs-root.

You are now ready to install the other machines in the Debian-LAN from the mainserver. Take a look at the desktop package selection in /srv/fai/config/package_config/DESKTOP. Choose the prefered environment and add all packages you need. Boot the clients over network and PXE-install. If your machines cannot boot via PXE, take a look at iPXE and burn a CD.

For instructions on how to add users and machines to the Debian-LAN, see the corresponding setup page, for example Setup_A.