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Re: debian on HP proliant

On Thu, Apr 22, 2004 at 11:54:39AM -0600, Lucas Albers wrote:
> We are planning to get some proliant DL380G2 systems.
> With the HP Smart Array HP Smart Array 6402 controller.
> You installed onto this system using sarge?
> Or drivers disks with bf24?
> I'm very interested in your setup steps.

So far I've installed onto a DL360 with the sarge debian-installer.  I
have not tried the woody boot-floppies at all.

I'm getting another DL360 and a DL380 (which AIUI is mostly the same
components, including the SmartArray). I will certainly share my
experiences! The DL380 gets ordered Monday, so it'll be a good week or
two before I get this going.

Here's the procedure I used to get the first DL360 going. This
procedure requires access to another linux box so you can compile a
kernel.  This procedure is hackish and gross.

* get the d-i iso and burn it.  I used sarge-i386-businesscard.iso
* get the d-i boot.img floppy image and dd it to a floppy.
* on another box, compile a kernel.  Link in modules you want like
  cciss.  I kept tg3 as a module though.  The kernel you compile has
  to allow module loading and contain other obvious support like IDE,
  filesystem types, etc.
* mount the floppy you created and copy your new kernel to it, using
  the same name as the old kernel ("linux").
* edit syslinux.cfg on the floppy and change the "append" line after
  "default linux" to something like

    append vga=normal devfs=mount,dall rw root=/dev/cciss/disc0/part1

  Make sure the device name matches the root partition you plan to
  install into, and use the old names if you don't compile devfs into
  your kernel.
* Insert the CD and fire up the target machine.  You should be able to
  install without any problems, with two caveats:

  1) d-i uses devfs.  However, the "mini-base" system that is
     installed initially uses makedev to create device nodes in /dev.
     This is a problem because when the kernel-image installs it
     attempts to create an initrd.  It gets confused because the
     current root device (e.g. /dev/cciss/disc0/part1) does not exist
     in /target!

     I got around this by manually creating the devices nodes in
     /target/dev/cciss/disc0 once the installer formatted and mounted
     the root partition.  The major number is 104, minor 0 is "disc"
     and minor numbers 1 through 15 refer to partitions 1 through 15

 2)  The bootloader will not install (try it, if it works for you let
     me know so we can compare and figure out the difference).
     Therefore I chose "Skip Bootloader" (or whatever the exact choice

* at this point the system wants to reboot to begin the second stage
  of the install.  Here you want to remove the CD and insert your boot
  floppy.  Once you hit enter at the syslinux prompt you should boot
  to your new install and complete the installation.
* at this point I downloaded the necessary packages to compile a
  kernel (make-kpkg, kernel-source, etc.) and compiled a kernel
  locally.  If you were more clever than I you could use the kernel
  you created earlier.
* I installed the grub package, ran "grub" and installed manually.

End result: I have a fast server that was a pain in the ass to set up!
Nice machine though.  I hope to be able to come up with a more
seamless install for the next two.  To that end I've subscribed to
debian-boot to see if I can help with d-i.

One other hint: if you have the Compaq flatscreen monitor that they
sell for rackmount installs, disable the framebuffer at the syslinux
screen - you'll be much happier.

Feel free to ask questions if my directions suck, but please keep it
on the list.

Best regards,

Nathan Norman - Incanus Networking mailto:nnorman@incanus.net
  I'll tell you what kind of guy I was. If you ordered a boxcar full
  of sons-of-bitches and opened the door and only found me inside,
  you could consider the order filled.
          -- Robert Mitchum

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