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Re: Debian Installation upon an Alpha Server 4000 5/400

[this has nothing to do with the debian installer AFAICS; M-F-T set.]

On Fri, Oct 19, 2007 at 11:44:16PM -0400, Robert Garron wrote:
> To Whom It May Concern at Debian:

> First -- Love the release 4.0r1 -- best yet!  Used Debian on 32 bit before.

> Next, not sure who to report this to and/or ask the question, as I am 
> relatively new to using the Debian site (used Redhat and SuSe in past), 
> anyway hopefully I have the right people I am e-mailing to in Debian --->

> The issue is booting Debian Disk1 KDE on an Alpha Server 4000 5/400 system 
> -- after many iterations and contortions with different Ultra Wide 
> Differential SCSI controllers -- I was able to utilize an Adaptec 
> AHA-2944UW controller card to have Debian locate a disk and complete a full 
> installation 99% successfully.

> The last 1% is the booting of the formated, file system created, installed 
> Debian system which does NOT boot with the AHA-2944UW controller because 
> the driver for this card is in the distribution and thus found a disk 
> during the cdrom boot process, but the Alpha BIOS does NOT know about this 
> card so any "auto" boot sequence is out of the question... So reporting to 
> Debian my experience(s) is that:

> *** the Adaptec AHA-2944UW - ultra wide differential scsi card is NOT
> supported in the BIOS of Alpha Server 4000 and 4100's

It's possible that this is a question of firmware versions, either on the
alpha or on the SCSI card.  The card I'm currently booting my alpha from is:

00:06.0 SCSI storage controller: Adaptec AHA-2940U/UW/D / AIC-7881U (rev 01)

I previously booted the machine using the QLogic ISP1020 that came stock,
but unfortunately the driver support for that card seems to have atrophied
in Linux 2.6 and it can no longer access the disks.

> *** the preferred controllers (used for VMS clusters and/or Tru64 Unix on
> any 4000 or 4100 Alphas) KZPSA, KZPSA-BB, KZPSA-BB_N, or KZPSA-PS used for
> Raid support with Ultra Wide Differential SCSI support for SCSI disks and
> Storageworks is supported withing the BIOS of any 4000/4100 AlphaServer but
> there is NO DRIVER within the Debian Linux Distribution that I could find
> (or any Linux that I can find) and thus auto booting is impossible.

How does these cards show up under lspci?  The only useful reference to
KZPSA that I find on Debian lists seems to imply that this is the same as
the Mylex DAC960 so commonly seen.  The DAC960 module is included in the
installer, as part of the scsi-extra-modules udeb; I know this was
historically supported, but that there were also some problems with it early
in 2.6 because of the non-standard device names that it exposed.  These are
probably worth a try, anyway.

Of the other cards you inquired about, the DAC960 cards and the QLogic
ISP1040 are probably the best bets.  The ISP1020 does not work for me, but
the later QLogic cards are still widely used.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
vorlon@debian.org                                   http://www.debian.org/

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