I know MAAS is intended for installing cluster nodes. But can MAAS be used for the install of desktop computers, or laptops? How to proceed?

2 Answers 2


Yes, although MAAS is not specifically designed for that purpose it could easily be used to manage a deployment of desktop machines. MAAS expects machines to use cloud-init in the boot process, which connects to a metadata source over the network on boot to configure the operating system. Linux operating systems and windows servers can run cloud-init.

MAAS also expects to be able to power on and off each node, which is certainly possible with certain desktop hardware, but not all hardware. If it has IPMI, then it should work. Intel has AMT on some of it's hardware that can work, but it is not as reliable.

But provided that the power management is reliable and the network is always connected then it would work just like in the data centre with servers.

Then you have to consider what operating systems you would like to deploy. Linux desktops would work once you had cloud-init installed into the image.

Windows servers would work using the work done by Cloudbase (http://wiki.cloudbase.it/maas). I have no knowledge if this also works with standard Windows desktops or not.

There is a package for creating CentOS or RH based images available in Launchpad here: https://launchpad.net/maas-image-builder

As long as the image boots over the network and has cloud-init package installed, then it should work.

There is no cloud-init for Mac OSX as far as I know.


Another solution is to use curtinator[a]. There is already detailed how to in this question as well:

Using MAAS to deploy graphical shell on office workstations

Please refer to it.

[a] https://launchpad.net/curtinator

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