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Installing Ubuntu Linux Workstations

This is all controlled from the admin database. We use FAI to install the machines and Ansible to configure them. These instructions are for Computer Officers.

  1. In the database find your machine in the 'System Image Autoinstaller' view
  2. Set its MAC address and architecture
  3. Set its OS to Ubuntu XX.XX (20.04 is current)
  4. Check its FAI classes. Add any extra tags that seem appropriate. Some FAI classes are calculated from the research group the machine is a part of, so you may need to change the group membership.
  5. Set it to install on next boot
  6. Netboot it
  7. Go to and click in the appropriate place to allow the machine to start installing. This might seem redundant, but it avoids accidents.

The autoinstaller should detect previous managed Linux installs. It will format any root or /boot partition it finds but keep other partitions. If it doesn't find any partitions, it will wipe the disk and start over. So don't try this without a backup. If you want to wipe the disk, use the DSK_NUKE flag.

If there's no suitable root partition found and the machine has more than one disk, it won't actually be an automated install: it will prompt for a disk config.

System status 

System monitoring page

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