The configuration for a target host consists of two parts:

  • The NFSROOT, a very basic yet complete root file system, which is exported to clients. The NFSROOT is built using fai-make-nfsroot(8).

  • The configuration space, which is loaded as one of the first steps of a FAI run. Several tools and protocols are supported for maintaining and accessing the configuration space. See FAI_CONFIG_SRC below.

fai.conf defines the essential options to successfully start a FAI run. It must be valid bash(1) code. This configuration file is NOT copied into the nfsroot by fai-make-nfsroot.


FAI_CONFIG_SRC URL to access configuration space

A protocol-specific URL defining the server and directory/repository to fetch the configuration space from.

The following protocols and URL schemes are currently supported:

  • NFS: nfs://<server>/<exported directory>

  • Local directory: file://<directory>

    The directory has to be an absolute path. So, this URI always starts with three slashes like this: file:///

  • CVS: cvs[+ssh]://<user>@<host>/<cvs root> <module>[=<tag>]

  • Subversion: svn[+(file|http|https|ssh)]://[<user>@]<host>/<repository>

  • Git: git[+<protocol>]://<git path>

  • Mercurial: hg+(http|https)://<hg path>

  • HTTP: http://<server>/<filename> where <filename> is a (compressed) tar archive. For verification purposes, also an md5sum(1) generated hash must exist at the same location as <filename>.md5.

LOGUSER Account name on the install server to save log files and call

fai-chboot(8). At the end of an installation, fai(8) may connect to the install server using FAI_LOGPROTO (see below) to store the generated log files and to change the network boot configuration of the target host. To fully enable this, configure .rhosts and PAM such that the configured user can log in from all install clients without password. This account should have write permissions for /srv/tftp/fai. For example, you can use write permissions for the group linuxadm. chgrp linuxadm /srv/tftp/fai;chmod g+w /srv/tftp/fai. If the variable is undefined, this feature is disabled.

FAI_LOGPROTO Protocol for saving logs

Supported values are: ssh, rsh, and ftp. If undefined use ssh. Will only be used if LOGUSER is set.

FAI_DEBMIRROR Access Debian mirror via NFS-mounted directory

If defined, install clients mount the NFS share to $MNTPOINT. Syntax: <host>:<exported directory>

RELATED TO fai.conf…

fai(8), fai-make-nfsroot(8), fai-setup(8), fai-mirror(1), fai-cd(8)

This file is part of FAI (Fully Automatic Installation). See the FAI manual for more information. The FAI homepage is


This man page was written by Michael Tautschnig <[email protected]>.