Re: Debian (sarge) on HP Proliant (DL320/DL360)
From: botio (botio_at_no-log.org)
Date: Fri, 04 Feb 2005 15:26:21 +0100 To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> I'm planning an installation of Debian (sarge) on a HP Proliant DL320 
> (with ATA RAID and 2 BroadCom Gbit NICs) as soon as sarge is officially
> released (because I guess it is wise to wait?), but i am hesitating
> because I've read previous threads in different mailing lists archives
> that mention some problems when it comes to installing Debian (woody and
> sarge) on HP Proliant servers.
I've just installed sarge on a DL320 last week.
> * Need proprietary binary driver from Broadcom to get the NICs to work.
no, the tg3 driver is used automatically from the start and works, but for
better performance you can use the bcm5700-source package to compile a
module package for your kernel.
> * Similar problems with the IDE-controller () as with the NICs (?).
the "ATA RAID" IDE controller was not so easy as the NICS.
actually this controller is very poor quality, it doesn't do hardware RAID,
this feature is provided by the windows-only driver.
also you cannot disable the "RAID" BIOS, it's more anoying than useful.
but it kind of works with CMD649 driver, setting up 1 array for each whole
I've setup a software mirror (RAID-1) between the 2 disks with raidtoos2, it
works very well.
I had also some weird problems:
- sometimes I had freezes when booted the kernel with nosmp option, when
displaying hda geometry.
- i had to pass noapic option to the kernel to get rid of bad kernel
messages about interrupts, related to the IDE controler.
I don't trust this controller at all.
> * No support/warranty from HP (?), because Debian isn't a supported OS
> according to the specifications for Proliant. Also Debian with HP
> Extensions isn't available for Proliant (I'll guess it would be good if HP
> Extensions was available?).
you still have a hardware warranty.
btw, what kind of extra support from HP do you have when you choose redhat
or suse, apart from not be able to use another kernel than the exact one
given by RH or Suse?
I had some trouble to get HP agents to run on sarge, I finally only kept
hpasmd to slow down fans and get CPU temp.
HP sould really try to make this package less distro/revision dependant.
> My main question is if the installation problems have been solved in sarge
> since last time it was discussed (about a year ago )? Are there less
> problems with i.e. DL360  with SCSI RAID instead of IDE RAID (it didn't
> seem so a couple of months back according to ? Or have some hardware
> components/chipsets in newer versions of the Proliant servers been changed
> so that there are open source drivers available?
in my opinion the DL360 is much better than the DL320, it has much better
components, scsi, drives hot swap etc.
drivers for Compaq/HP scsi RAID controllers are included in the kernel and
I've installed debian without problems on various proliants and the DL320 is
the first one I find so much crappy.
> Or should I completly avoid HP Proliant servers if I want an almost
> painless installation of Debian (though my options to choose other
> hardware than HP Proliant is unfortunately in this case limited)? The last
> question because the server will be located at a different location where
> I am not able to go and therefore I am paying the datacenter's employees
> per hour to do the installation for me. I don't want to be ruined to get
> Debian (sarge) to work, but at the same time I don't want to be forced to
> run i.e. RedHat or Fedora because I am very happy with being a Debian
you should take this decision after giving debian a try, it works well on
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