This command is only called internally by FAI and not directly by the user.

install_packages is a Perl script written for FAI to selectively install, hold, remove, or purge packages or tasks. Its function is to parse the package_config files based on the class definitions of the client. For example, if the client belonged to the SMTPSERVER class, install_packages would parse ../package_config/SMTPSERVER for instructions on what packages to install, hold, remove, or purge.



Only download packages instead of installing them. Variable $aptoptions must be set.


Show help, version and summary of options.


Show list of all available commands for the file in package_config.


Print only the list of all packages that would be installed, then exit.


Print the list of all packages with version number that would be installed, then exit.

-m MAX

Install only MAX packages at a time. Same as setting the shell environment variable MAXPACKAGES.


Dry run. Do not execute installation commands, just print them.


Do not check package names whether they are valid.


Read the configuration files from DIRECTORY instead of $FAI/packages_config.


Download source of binary packages that are installed. Currently supported only for apt-get/aptitude based installations.


Be verbose.


install_packages expects to find the FAI_ROOT directory, the location of class definitions, package configurations, and custom install scripts, somewhere in the filesystem. This location is configurable in /etc/fai/fai.conf and defaults to /srv/fai/config.

RELATED TO install_packages…

apt(1), aptitude(8), apt-get(8), dpkg(8), tasksel(1)

This program is part of FAI (Fully Automatic Installation). See the FAI manual for more information on how to use install_packages. The FAI homepage is



The FAI configuration file.

The FAI package configuration directory.


Thomas Lange <[email protected]>