FAI (Fully Automatic Installation) is a non-interactive tool to install, customize and manage Linux boxes and software configurations. It allows you to deploy, in a matter of minutes, any Linux distribution in a set of computers, from a few single systems to a cluster or a cloud with several thousands, and all this requiring zero interaction. FAI is flexible: you can define multiple “classes” of systems to manage heterogeneous infrastructures and provision different software to systems with different architectures or functions. FAI is lightweight: it is based in shell and perl scripting, uses no special daemons and no database, and it is fully managed from the command-line. FAI is flexible: it allows you to tune every detail of the system provisioning by using “hooks”.
FAI was started in 1999 by Thomas Lange at the University of Cologne, and nowadays is developed by a team of 6 people. In this talk we will see a very brief introduction to the main features of FAI and its basic configuration to deploy and update a Linux cluster.