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Q. wrt Debian Sarge amd64 and 3ware 9550 SX RAID controller

I want to summarize an off list discussion between Georg Rehm, Len Sorensen and myself on the above subject. We hope this helps someone else.


Summary by Georg:

Several users experienced a problem with regard to 3ware's RAID
controllers of the 9500 series in AMD 64-based servers that are
intended for a production environment: due to security reasons,
people would like to install Sarge on these machines but the current
Sarge amd64 Debian Installer ISO image contains kernel 2.6.8 that
does not contain the driver for 3ware's 9500 series. Therefore, the
installer is unable to find a hard drive.

The solution to this problem is very simple: on their Web site [1],
3ware provide two ISO images called

    - debian_sarge_3.1_9500S_9550SX_support_x86_64.iso
    - debian_sarge_3.1_9500S_9550SX_support_x86.iso

The first file is actually an amd64 (not ia64) installer (according to
"uname -a" it is a 2.6.8-11-amd64-generic kernel). This ISO image has
been installed successfully on a dual Opteron with a 3ware 9550 SX
controller and four 320 GB drives (the Debian installer reports one
SCSI devices with a capacity of 960 GB; contact georg.rehm < at >
uni-tuebingen.de for details).

An alternative option will be Kenshi Muto's custom-made Debian installer
that provides Sarge with a current 2.6.15 kernel [2]. This installer will
be available in an amd64 version as of late February 2006. The 2.6.15
already contains the driver necessary to run the 9500/9550 RAID controller.

[1] http://www.3ware.com/kb/article.aspx?id=14860
[2] http://kmuto.jp/b.cgi/debian/d-i-2615.htm

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