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Old 06-05-2008, 04:22 PM
Anthony
 
Default Automatic debiian installation

Hello,

I would like to use a system to install automatically all my debian pc.
But
i don't know wich could be the best between FAI and PRESSEED.

Somebody could explain the difference ....

the avantage and disavantage of the two methodes...!

Thank you
very much

Anthony


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Old 06-05-2008, 04:22 PM
Anthony
 
Default Automatic debiian installation

Hello,

I would like to use a system to install automatically all my debian pc.
But
i don't know wich could be the best between FAI and PRESSEED.

Somebody could explain the difference ....

the avantage and disavantage of the two methodes...!

Thank you
very much

Anthony


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Old 06-07-2008, 12:37 PM
Michael Tautschnig
 
Default Automatic debiian installation

[sorry for cross-posting, I guess this thread should move away from
debian-devel, but I'm not subscribed to any of the others]

> Hello,
>
> I would like to use a system to install automatically all my debian pc.
> But
> i don't know wich could be the best between FAI and PRESSEED.
>
> Somebody could explain the difference ....
>
> the avantage and disavantage of the two methodes...!
>

It depends a lot on your specific needs. If you're fine with setting whatever is
debconf-configurable (be it at install time, using d-i's preseeding options, or
rather at the level of the installed packages), preseeding may be an appropriate
way to go.

FAI, on the other hand, is a very flexible framework for installing systems.
Debconf preseeding is supported, but just one option out of many. You might want
to run several scripts for fine-tuning your system, copy over config files, etc.
Flexibility comes at the cost of probably slightly higher complexity, but people
tend to get to know it quite easily.

HTH,
Michael
 
Old 06-07-2008, 12:37 PM
Michael Tautschnig
 
Default Automatic debiian installation

[sorry for cross-posting, I guess this thread should move away from
debian-devel, but I'm not subscribed to any of the others]

> Hello,
>
> I would like to use a system to install automatically all my debian pc.
> But
> i don't know wich could be the best between FAI and PRESSEED.
>
> Somebody could explain the difference ....
>
> the avantage and disavantage of the two methodes...!
>

It depends a lot on your specific needs. If you're fine with setting whatever is
debconf-configurable (be it at install time, using d-i's preseeding options, or
rather at the level of the installed packages), preseeding may be an appropriate
way to go.

FAI, on the other hand, is a very flexible framework for installing systems.
Debconf preseeding is supported, but just one option out of many. You might want
to run several scripts for fine-tuning your system, copy over config files, etc.
Flexibility comes at the cost of probably slightly higher complexity, but people
tend to get to know it quite easily.

HTH,
Michael
 
Old 06-11-2008, 10:18 AM
Tim Cutts
 
Default Automatic debiian installation

On 7 Jun 2008, at 1:37 pm, Michael Tautschnig wrote:


[sorry for cross-posting, I guess this thread should move away from
debian-devel, but I'm not subscribed to any of the others]


Hello,

I would like to use a system to install automatically all my debian
pc.

But
i don't know wich could be the best between FAI and PRESSEED.

Somebody could explain the difference ....

the avantage and disavantage of the two methodes...!



It depends a lot on your specific needs. If you're fine with setting
whatever is
debconf-configurable (be it at install time, using d-i's preseeding
options, or
rather at the level of the installed packages), preseeding may be an
appropriate

way to go.

FAI, on the other hand, is a very flexible framework for installing
systems.
Debconf preseeding is supported, but just one option out of many.
You might want
to run several scripts for fine-tuning your system, copy over config
files, etc.
Flexibility comes at the cost of probably slightly higher
complexity, but people

tend to get to know it quite easily.


I use both systems, in different contexts, and the above is pretty
much what I'd agree with. If your requirements are fairly simple, and
you're principally installing very standard workstations which don't
deviate much from the default answers, then preseeding works very
well. Score +1 for preseeding.


But FAI is much more flexible, and allows you to mess with pretty much
any stage of the installation process in great detail. Score +1 for
FAI.


It's also more complicated to set up. Score -1 for FAI.

FAI is easier to troubleshoot - as soon as the install starts, the
machine runs an ssh server, even before hard disk partitioning has
happened, so you can log in and inspect what's going on (or going
wrong!). Score +1 for FAI.


However, FAI usually depends on NFS -- yes, I know about fai-cd -- and
so isn't very appropriate for installing machines which are not part
of the same network (FAI: -1), whereas a preseeding install can easily
use http or whatever to fetch its configuration information, and
that's more WAN friendly (Preseed: +1). You might want to talk to the
Munich guys who've done cool stuff with FAI there, including
installing on wide networks.


FAI has an "update" mode, which preseeding doesn't. So if you want to
update machines, you can use the same FAI config that you're using to
install new machines to bring old machines up to your new standard.
Of course, there are other ways to do that (cfengine, for example,
which is what I use rather than FAI updates).


I think FAI works better when you have a wide variety of system
configs to install, because you can define multiple classes and have
machine very flexibly belong to any combination of those classes.
Preseeding is rather more monolithic, and becomes hard to maintain if
you don't want your machines absolutely uniform.


So there are arguments in favour of both. On balance, I prefer FAI,
mainly because of easier trouble-shooting and customisation. But I
happily use both.


This is all IMHO, naturally. Your mileage may vary.

Tim


--
The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute is operated by Genome Research
Limited, a charity registered in England with number 1021457 and a
company registered in England with number 2742969, whose registered
office is 215 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BE.



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Old 06-11-2008, 10:18 AM
Tim Cutts
 
Default Automatic debiian installation

On 7 Jun 2008, at 1:37 pm, Michael Tautschnig wrote:


[sorry for cross-posting, I guess this thread should move away from
debian-devel, but I'm not subscribed to any of the others]


Hello,

I would like to use a system to install automatically all my debian
pc.

But
i don't know wich could be the best between FAI and PRESSEED.

Somebody could explain the difference ....

the avantage and disavantage of the two methodes...!



It depends a lot on your specific needs. If you're fine with setting
whatever is
debconf-configurable (be it at install time, using d-i's preseeding
options, or
rather at the level of the installed packages), preseeding may be an
appropriate

way to go.

FAI, on the other hand, is a very flexible framework for installing
systems.
Debconf preseeding is supported, but just one option out of many.
You might want
to run several scripts for fine-tuning your system, copy over config
files, etc.
Flexibility comes at the cost of probably slightly higher
complexity, but people

tend to get to know it quite easily.


I use both systems, in different contexts, and the above is pretty
much what I'd agree with. If your requirements are fairly simple, and
you're principally installing very standard workstations which don't
deviate much from the default answers, then preseeding works very
well. Score +1 for preseeding.


But FAI is much more flexible, and allows you to mess with pretty much
any stage of the installation process in great detail. Score +1 for
FAI.


It's also more complicated to set up. Score -1 for FAI.

FAI is easier to troubleshoot - as soon as the install starts, the
machine runs an ssh server, even before hard disk partitioning has
happened, so you can log in and inspect what's going on (or going
wrong!). Score +1 for FAI.


However, FAI usually depends on NFS -- yes, I know about fai-cd -- and
so isn't very appropriate for installing machines which are not part
of the same network (FAI: -1), whereas a preseeding install can easily
use http or whatever to fetch its configuration information, and
that's more WAN friendly (Preseed: +1). You might want to talk to the
Munich guys who've done cool stuff with FAI there, including
installing on wide networks.


FAI has an "update" mode, which preseeding doesn't. So if you want to
update machines, you can use the same FAI config that you're using to
install new machines to bring old machines up to your new standard.
Of course, there are other ways to do that (cfengine, for example,
which is what I use rather than FAI updates).


I think FAI works better when you have a wide variety of system
configs to install, because you can define multiple classes and have
machine very flexibly belong to any combination of those classes.
Preseeding is rather more monolithic, and becomes hard to maintain if
you don't want your machines absolutely uniform.


So there are arguments in favour of both. On balance, I prefer FAI,
mainly because of easier trouble-shooting and customisation. But I
happily use both.


This is all IMHO, naturally. Your mileage may vary.

Tim


--
The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute is operated by Genome Research
Limited, a charity registered in England with number 1021457 and a
company registered in England with number 2742969, whose registered
office is 215 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BE.



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Old 06-11-2008, 01:07 PM
Tzafrir Cohen
 
Default Automatic debiian installation

I'll start by saying that preseeding is a method of automating the
standard Debian Installer. It is not an installation method on its own
right.

On Wed, Jun 11, 2008 at 11:18:17AM +0100, Tim Cutts wrote:
>
> On 7 Jun 2008, at 1:37 pm, Michael Tautschnig wrote:
>
> >[sorry for cross-posting, I guess this thread should move away from
> >debian-devel, but I'm not subscribed to any of the others]
> >
> >>Hello,
> >>
> >>I would like to use a system to install automatically all my debian
> >>pc.
> >>But
> >>i don't know wich could be the best between FAI and PRESSEED.
> >>
> >>Somebody could explain the difference ....
> >>
> >>the avantage and disavantage of the two methodes...!
> >>
> >
> >It depends a lot on your specific needs. If you're fine with setting
> >whatever is
> >debconf-configurable (be it at install time, using d-i's preseeding
> >options, or
> >rather at the level of the installed packages), preseeding may be an
> >appropriate
> >way to go.
> >
> >FAI, on the other hand, is a very flexible framework for installing
> >systems.
> >Debconf preseeding is supported, but just one option out of many.
> >You might want
> >to run several scripts for fine-tuning your system, copy over config
> >files, etc.
> >Flexibility comes at the cost of probably slightly higher
> >complexity, but people
> >tend to get to know it quite easily.
>
> I use both systems, in different contexts, and the above is pretty
> much what I'd agree with. If your requirements are fairly simple, and
> you're principally installing very standard workstations which don't
> deviate much from the default answers, then preseeding works very
> well. Score +1 for preseeding.
>
> But FAI is much more flexible, and allows you to mess with pretty much
> any stage of the installation process in great detail. Score +1 for
> FAI.
>
> It's also more complicated to set up. Score -1 for FAI.
>
> FAI is easier to troubleshoot - as soon as the install starts, the
> machine runs an ssh server, even before hard disk partitioning has
> happened, so you can log in and inspect what's going on (or going
> wrong!). Score +1 for FAI.

d-i has a shell running all the time in a different shell. There is an
optional ssh server d-i udeb if that is what you really want.

>
> However, FAI usually depends on NFS -- yes, I know about fai-cd -- and
> so isn't very appropriate for installing machines which are not part
> of the same network (FAI: -1), whereas a preseeding install can easily
> use http or whatever to fetch its configuration information, and
> that's more WAN friendly (Preseed: +1). You might want to talk to the
> Munich guys who've done cool stuff with FAI there, including
> installing on wide networks.
>
> FAI has an "update" mode, which preseeding doesn't. So if you want to
> update machines, you can use the same FAI config that you're using to
> install new machines to bring old machines up to your new standard.
> Of course, there are other ways to do that (cfengine, for example,
> which is what I use rather than FAI updates).

"update" is out of the scope of D-I because you have apt-get / aptitude
for that. The equivalent of "preseed" here is probably
dpkg-set-selections. Recall that in Debian after the basic debootstrap
stage of the installation, all packages are installed with basically the
same apt/dpkg code as you use on a live system.

No need to re-invent the swirl.

>
> I think FAI works better when you have a wide variety of system
> configs to install, because you can define multiple classes and have
> machine very flexibly belong to any combination of those classes.
> Preseeding is rather more monolithic, and becomes hard to maintain if
> you don't want your machines absolutely uniform.

absolutly uniform?

preseed allows rather arbitrary (shell commands) run-time tests.

--
Tzafrir Cohen | tzafrir@jabber.org | VIM is
http://tzafrir.org.il | | a Mutt's
tzafrir@cohens.org.il | | best
ICQ# 16849754 | | friend


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Old 06-11-2008, 05:17 PM
Holger Levsen
 
Default Automatic debiian installation

Hi Tim,

thanks for sharing your experiences.

On Wednesday 11 June 2008 12:18, Tim Cutts wrote:
> However, FAI usually depends on NFS -- yes, I know about fai-cd -- and
> so isn't very appropriate for installing machines which are not part
> of the same network (FAI: -1)

This isnt really accurate (anymore): first, fai-cd works fine with usbsticks
now, too. second, it's trivial to install with d-i (as fai indeed needs nfs
for network installation, as you said), and then use fai's softupdate for the
rest.

I completly use fai without nfs nowadays.


regards,
Holger
 
Old 06-11-2008, 05:17 PM
Holger Levsen
 
Default Automatic debiian installation

Hi Tim,

thanks for sharing your experiences.

On Wednesday 11 June 2008 12:18, Tim Cutts wrote:
> However, FAI usually depends on NFS -- yes, I know about fai-cd -- and
> so isn't very appropriate for installing machines which are not part
> of the same network (FAI: -1)

This isnt really accurate (anymore): first, fai-cd works fine with usbsticks
now, too. second, it's trivial to install with d-i (as fai indeed needs nfs
for network installation, as you said), and then use fai's softupdate for the
rest.

I completly use fai without nfs nowadays.


regards,
Holger
 

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