Debian Edu FAI

Over the past month I worked on re-scripting the installation process of a Debian Edu system (minimal installation profile and workstation installation profile for now) by utilizing FAI [1].

My goal on this is to get the Debian Edu FAI config space into Debian bullseye (as package: debian-edu-fai) and provide an easy setup method for the FAI installation server on an existing Debian Edu site.

Note: I do not intend to bootstrap a complete Debian Edu site via FAI. The use case is: get your Debian Edu main server up and running, add host faiserver.intern and install all your site's client systems via this FAI installation server.

Debian Edu Installation Methods (until today)

Currently, we only have a D-I based installation method (over PXE or ISO image) at hand with several disadvantages:

  • requires interaction
  • not really customizable
  • comparingly slow (now that I have seen FAI do these things)

All of the above problems can be solved by installing Debian Edu via a FAI configuration.

Debian Edu Installation via FAI ( This rocks so much!!! )

As you may guess, but I need to repeat the above (because I am so excited about it), here are the advantages of installing Debian Edu via FAI:

  • Debian Edu installation via FAI is incredibly fast
  • Customization: drop in some more files into the FAI config space and you have a customized setup. [2]
  • FAI supports zero-click installs, so no more interaction is required except from booting via PXE
  • FAI supports stuffing the FAI installation bootstrap system into a bootable ISO image

Get it!

The whole setup process of a FAI server on a Debian Edu network still requires some documentation and testing, but the config space for FAI, I have already provided on Debian's GitLab server:

Have fun with this and provide feedback, if you try this out. Thanks!


References and Footnotes

  • [1]
  • [2] For our local "IT-Zukunft Schule" project I added several FAI config extensions without having to touch the Debian Edu FAI configuration files.