Ten years ago, on December 21st, 1999, Thomas Lange announced the release of version 1.0 of FAI (Fully Automatic Installation).

FAI is a non-interactive system to install, customize and manage Linux systems and software configurations on computers as well as virtual machines and chroot environments, from small networks to large infrastructures and clusters.

It is a tool for mass unattended Linux installation. You can take one or more virgin systems, turn on the power, and after a few minutes, the systems are installed, and completely configured to your exact needs, without any interaction necessary.

The tool was developed at the University of Cologne, because the author was too lazy to install Debian on 16 hosts manually.FAI now also supports the installation of Ubuntu and RPM-based Linux distributions. It is used worldwide in very different environments; even installations on two zSeries z10 mainframes are reported.

A detailed report in German about the 10 years of the FAI project can be found at http://www.informatik.uni-koeln.de/fai/otherdocs/10jahre.html.

Thomas Lange