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disk names at boot

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I have servers with a SCSI disk for the system and a RAID1 of SATAs for
data. That's what I want, anyway.

What I want to happen is the SCSI disk should always be sda, the SATAs
should be sdb & c, anything IDE should be called hd<something>, and
externals should be just about anything else. I can get the BIOS to make
the SCSI be hd0 when grub takes over.

When the SCSI is the only drive in the box, it's called sda when grub
wants to load the kernel, and it's still sda when mount reads fstab. But
if there are SATAs in there, the SCSI is sdc; menu.lst is wrong, and so
is fstab.

I could handle that by editing a couple files. But if one or more of the
SATAs dies, the whole system would be broken. Besides, I'd like to
knowing what sda is when I go to use dd...

And if a USB drive is plugged in at boot time, everything is broken.

I've spent hours googling, RTFM'ing, writing udev rules, and even trying
to understand some source code. But I can't get things to be the way I
want. I'm beginning to thing I'm missing something.

I can't find anything that tells just what's happening in the boot
process (Debian lenny, amd64). It seems that udev is doing something
just before the boot menu is displayed (rules involving FS keys cause a
long pause; rules with only KERNEL keys don't). But I can't find out
what it's doing, and my rules don't seem to change the names.

I have no trouble getting udev to name the USB stick "sdu" with a
symlink "usb_stick" after the system is thoroughly booted.

I can post some of my rule attempts, if that'd help, but they're on the
machine in the other room...

Does it even have anything to do with udev? Or is it the order the buses
are examined by something? If so, how can I control this order?

Or am I looking at the wrong things completely?

- --
Glenn English

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