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fai-diskimage - create a disk image for booting a VM

fai-diskimage(8) System Manager's Manual fai-diskimage(8)


fai-diskimage - create a disk image for booting a VM


fai-diskimage imagename


fai-diskimage creates a disk image that can be used with Qemu/KVM, VirtualBox, VMware, Xen or by your cloud infrastructure. It runs the Fully Automatic Installation using a list of FAI classes. In the end you have a bootable disk image.


-c, --class CLASS[,CLASS]
Define list of FAI classes
-h, --help
Print help
-N, --new
This option will be passed to the fai call. It then executes the scripts in class/[0-9]* for defining classes.
-S, --size SIZE
Set size of raw image (suffixes k M G T are supported)
-s, --cspace URI
Location of the config space. If location starts with /, the prefix file:// will be added. See fai.conf(5) for all supported protocols. Default is /srv/fai/config.
-u, --hostname name
Set hostname to name
-v, --verbose
Be verbose


First, setup the configuration space. You will get an initial configuration including several examples.

# fai-mk-configspace
You can now build your fist disk image.

# fai-diskimage -vu cloud3 -S2G -c$cl cloud.raw
Creates a Debian system with a small set of software packages without graphical desktop. The disk image cloud.raw will be of size 2 GB and the host is called cloud3.

# fai-diskimage -vNu ubuntu -S7G -c$cl ubuntu.qcow2
Creates a disk image of size 7GB called ubuntu.qcow2 for a Ubuntu 16.04 desktop.


Before creating an image, make sure you have the configuration space available. Create the config space for FAI by using the examples from the fai-doc package.

# fai-mk-configspace
fai-diskimage is not limited to creating images for virtual machines. The raw images can also be copies (via dd) onto a real disk for booting bare metal hosts.
You can start fai-diskimage in a clean shell environment by calling:

# env -i /usr/sbin/fai-diskimage -vNu cloudhost -S5G -cSTRETCH64,GCE disk.raw
You can also build cross-architecture disk images using fai-disimage. See the chapter "Building cross-architecture disk images" in the FAI guide for details.


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


Thomas Lange <>
November 2017 FAI 5.4