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nfsroot.conf(5) File Formats Manual nfsroot.conf(5)


nfsroot.conf - nfsroot configuration for FAI




The nfsroot is a file system on the install server. It is used during installation by the install clients.

nfsroot.conf defines the essential options for the install server, which are mostly used inside the nfsroot. Use bash(1) syntax for defining variables.


Two or three parameters for debootstrap(8), space separated. Debootstrap is called as the first part of fai-make-nfsroot unless -B is used. This variable defines SUITE and MIRROR for debootstrap. The third parameter is the name of the bootstrap script variant to use. Example:


This multiline variable is added to /etc/hosts inside the nfsroot. You can use this when DNS is not available on the clients. Example:

NFSROOT_ETC_HOSTS=" faiserver"

The encrypted root password on all install clients during the installation process. Used when log in via ssh. This is not the password for the new installed system. Example:

FAI_ROOTPW='$1$kBnWcO.E$djxB128U7dMkrltJHPf6d1' # pw is fai

Use mkpasswd, htpasswd or md5pass for generating the password hash.

echo "yoursecrectpassword" | mkpasswd -m md5 -s

Directory on the install server where the nfsroot is created.

Directory on the install server for the tftp data, used by PXE network boot.

Location of the configuration space on the install server. Used by fai-cd(8), fai-mirror(1) and fai-setup(8).

Used to specify the interface when detecting the subnet for the exportfs line. Only needed when the install server has multiple interfaces.

Location of a ssh public key file. This user can log into the install clients in as root without a password. Only useful with FAI_FLAGS="sshd". Example:


Directory of hooks to be sourced at the end of fai-make-nfsroot, i.e. they have to be shell scripts.

IP address of the NFS server for the rootfs if not on the DHCP server. This is only used by fai-chboot to work around dracut's DHCP handling which prefers the DHCP server's IP address above all other DHCP options.

Options that will be passed to debootstrap(8). Used for excluding packages and for specifying a different architecture.


Normally, the nfsroot is mounted by the install kernel via NFS. It's also used on the FAI CD. FAI clients can also receive the nfsroot via http. There you have to create a compressed squashfs image of the nfsroot with fai-cd(8).


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

This file is part of FAI (Fully Automatic Installation). The FAI homepage is


This man page was written by Thomas Lange <>.

September 2022 FAI 6.0