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Re: Fibre Channel and Debian

Noah, Kenneth,

Bdale was kind enough to forward this to me.
Please reply to me directly as I'm interested in FC support on linux
though not a Debian Developer.

noahm@debian.org (Noah L. Meyerhans) wrote:
> On Fri, Dec 13, 2002 at 11:34:17PM +0100, Kenneth Lund wrote:
> > I'm trying to install a Qlogic fibre channel card (QLA2310FL) on a 
> > debian woddie system. But I have had no luck yet. Qlogic only 
> > support it on Redhat and Suse systems. Have you guys tested any 
> > Qlogic fibre channel cards on debian systems? Which cards? Any 
> > other fibre channel cards that works?

Yup. Emulex only supports "commercial" distro's as well.
cpqfc (Agilent 5100/5166/5200), LSI (fusion driver) and Qlogic seem to be
the only FC drivers available from kernel.org.

cpqfc only supports older Tachlite (5100/5166) cards and Agilent XL2
(2GB/s) HBA from Compaq.  I'm annoyed because I have access to lots
of HP 2GB/s FC HBAs, cpqfc won't work with them, and the division that
owns the HBA won't fund work to support their card under linux.
I've looked at it and just don't have time to figure out the details.

LSI's drivers/cards are still fairly new and I just haven't played
with their FC HBA yet. Have had very good experience with fusion driver
and LSI u320 SCSI HBAs.

> Yes, I use QLA2200s with no problems.  I use the drivers written by Matt
> Jacob, who also wrote the drivers for *BSD and Solaris.  The drivers are
> available from www.feral.com.

I haven't tried those.
I'll see if I can try them this week.

> My Debian mirror (debian.lcs.mit.edu) accesses all its mass storage,
> including root filesystem via fibre channel.  I have no problems with
> it.

This sounds very promising.

> I never tried QLogic's own driver modules.  I did not have much success
> with the ISP drivers included with Linux 2.4.  They seemed to be able to
> access the disks OK, but they caused interoperability problems with
> other machines in the loop.  Of course, if you're not using a fibre hub,
> this may not be a problem.  I suspect that, had I been able to afford a
> switch, the stock kernel driver would have worked OK.

I've tested Qlogic's 6.04.03b driver + 2.4.20 + ia64 patches on HP ZX1
(ia64) box.  That's Loop, w/o hub or switch connected to HP 7100 array
(one channel) and HP "FC-10" (JBOD) on the other channel of a
Qlogic 2342 (PCI-X, Dual channel, 2GB/s).

Only problem was one of the JBOD reporting hard read errors and those didn't
get handled exactly right all the time.  Don't know if thats a qlogic driver
problem, SCSI mid-layer, or bug in FC device firmware.  But system didn't
crash, lock up, or lose data in normal code path. I don't rate this
error very likely for normal use and until this gets tracked down,
I feel comfortable using this combination (sans bad drive).

I've made a patch for 2.4.20 and posted it on

thanks and hth,

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