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Installing Sarge on an HP NetServer LH4

Hello everybody,

after many problems I finally could install Sarge on an HP NetServer LH4.
This server has two SCSI hard disks.

The following info was gathered using a Gnome tool (maybe GST) from a previous RedHat installation.
Hard disks: two MegaRAID LD0 and LD1 RAID1 17365R.
SCSI devices: two 53c895 from LSI Logic/Symbios Logic with driver sym53c8xx; one MegaRAID T5, Integrated HP NetRAID from AMI with driver megaraid.
CDROM: one CD-540E

I couldn't install Sarge directly.
I tried with 2.4 kernel but got an error while executing "modprobe -v sym53c8xx_2".
As I didn't know what to do I tried also booting with acpi=off and pci=noacpi and also with a parameter which sounded something like sym53c88xx=safe:y.
So I the installer couldn't see my HDs.
I tried with 2.6 kernel but I got a Kernel panic message.

So I installed Woody.
I could only install booting with "vanilla".
But after installation I found that it didn't see my CDROM anymore.
So I couldn't upgrade to Sarge.

What I did worked for me, but actually I don't know why.
I installed devfs (I don't rememeber how I could do this and the exact sequence as I made so many tries...).
I installed SCSI emulation for CDROM by adding "ide-scsi" to /etc/modules, adding "append="hda=ide-scsi max_scsi_luns=1"" to /etc/lilo.conf, creating a symlink:
# rm -f /dev/cdrom
# ln -s /dev/scd0 /dev/cdrom
and modifying /etc/fstab accordingly.

Then I upgraded from Woody to Sarge by following instructions on the Release Notes for Debian Sarge (Chapter 4).

I tried to install a 2.6 kernel but I still got a Kernel panic message.
But I can stay with a 2.4 kernel.

I also wanted to install root on LVM.
But from many tries and from many searches the internet I found that there is no way to do it with Debian (unless you compile your own kernel and I don't want to, at least not now).
Essentially it seems to be a problem with lvmcreate_imagerd and cramfs (I got a "crams: wrong magic" message at boot).
So I left / on an ext2 partition and moved only /var to an LVM volume.

Although I couldn't do all the things I liked (ie. install Sarge directly, install root on LVM, install a 2.6 kernel) and this installation took me much time, I learned many things (well much more than I knew before:)) and I now have a working Sarge. Furthermore inserting the server on myy company LAN was so easy (thanks to Debian and Gnome tools!!!).
But I still don't understand some things.

So I have a few questions.
May anyone please explain me why what I did worked?
Why couldn't I install directly Sarge?
What was the best way to do it?
Why can't I install a 2.6 kernel?

Finally I wish to thank to everybody on this list who helped me answering my questions.

Best regards,
Marco Ballini

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