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Welcome to SALI!

SALI is a acronym for SURFsara Automatic Linux Installation and is widely used on our systems:

SURFsara formerly used SystemImager for automatic installation of our machines. Due to new hardware we needed more up to date drivers and GRUB2 support. We thought this could be easily added, but during this process we decided to upgrade all software to the newest levels and replace some key software components. The biggest hurdle is detecting which hardware is in the system (udev). We believe that SALI is better in detecting which hardware components are available in the system than SystemImager due to more up to date udev version.

The main focus for development of SALI is:

  • The SALI kernel/initrd contains all kernel modules and software utilities. In SystemImager this software is distributed as a separate package (BOEL binaries).
  • We have switch monolithic installation script to a UNIX like runlevel setup. To avoid kernel panics.
  • Support for more installation protocols such as ftp, http, bittorrent


The documentation is far from perfect. We have to write reorganize this section. Contributions or suggestions are appreciated



If you have any issues, create an issue on our git repository.

There are also 2 mailing lists:

Source code

For SALI 1.6 or higher please visit our git repository at Please notes we keep Trac for documentation and tickets.

Authors / Contributers


  • Bas van der Vlies
  • Dennis Stam
  • Michel Scheerman
    • PPC64 development and testing
    • The author of the SALI xCAT plugin

SALI xCAT plugin

Currently we are investigating the possibilities to use SALI with xCAT.

First SALI is used to restore the machine with an image. Then xCAT is used to finalize the installation. In our setup the installation time of 55 minutes is reduced to 15 minutes.

We have tested this on a Power 6 machine with SLES 11.

The xCAT module can be found in the contrib directory.

Last modified 2 years ago Last modified on 05/03/21 16:53:54