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Installing debian-amd64 on a machine with Adaptec SCSI 2120S Raid controller

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I just got in a new Penguin Computing Altus 1200 server with the following specs:

	∙ 	Dual AMD Opteron 246 Processors
	∙ 	 4GB Low Profile PC3200 ECC DDR (4 x 1GB)
	∙ 	 Hardware RAID: 1-Ch Adaptec SCSI 2120S 64MB w/battery
	∙ 	 35.0 GB RAID 1 Volume (2+0) 36GB, 15,000RPM Low Profile SCA
	∙ 	 Slimline 8/24 IDE DVD-ROM

It had a special build of SuSe 9.1 on it when it arrived. As usual, the first thing I did was slap a Debian CD into the beasty ... this time, all did not go well.

Odd odd things were happening during the install process. I could partition the drives, then POOF! the drives would disappear, where did they go?

After talking to the folks at Pengiun, turns out that the 2.6.10 driver for the Adaptec 2120S Raid controller (aacraid) kinda doesn't work. (After several tries, I had been able to get the system booting, but its drives would crap out in a few mins.,, Note, SuSe 9.1 doesn't see the drives at all.) They said only the latest drivers from the Adaptec sight would work... so I took a look at: http://www.adaptec.com/worldwide/support/drivers_by_product.jsp? sess=no&language=English+US&prodkey=ASR-2120S&cat=%2fProduct%2fASR - -2120S and was presented with a dizzying array of choices and selected the "AACRAID Driver for SuSeE 9.0 & 9.1, SLES 9, Red Hat AS 2.1 & RHEL 3.0" http://www.adaptec.com/worldwide/support/driverdetail.jsp? sess=no&language=English+US&cat=/Product/ASR - -2120S&filekey=aacraid_drv_linux_1.1.5-2371.rpm

I used alien to extract the contents of the rpm .... specifically opt/Adaptec/aacraid/source/. They had a bunch of patches there, but none were suitable for the 2.6.10 source I had downloaded with apt. I ended up replacing /usr/src/kernel-source-2.6.10/drivers/scsi/aacraid with opt/Adaptec/aacraid/source/. Yeah I know sloppy, but it did the trick.

The machine seems to be running now happily using the kernel I compiled with the driver from the Adaptec site.

I have no idea how long it will take for these changes to make their way into the mainstream kernel, but until that time, any folks running a system with one of these newer Adaptec SCSI RAID controllers will need to grab the drivers off the Adaptec site and recompile to get your system working.

Mark Demma
iWin, Inc.
Senior Network and Systems Administrator

Version: GnuPG v1.2.4 (Darwin)


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