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I am trying to install slackware 10.2 on a dell power edge 2850, and I cannot figure out how to, or which kernel to use. I have tried all of the kernels that are on the install disk, but none seem to work. I have installed 10.2 a few times, and even with a hardware RAID. I have never had any trouble. The dell power edge has 4 different drives that are controled with the RAID card that comes with the server. The only way I know to install slackware is to use whatever kernel, and fdisk /dev/sda or /dev/dha, or whatever device it is using. I cannot figure out which device this is trying to use, or if it doesn't find a device at all.
Does anyone know of a kernel that works, or of any way to know what device it finds?
Dell is not great with linux support, but they are fairly good. In the disks that came with the server they have a drivers disk, and that usually has the hardware drivers. The disk will mostly be .exe and .rpm junk which won't help you much at all, but I do believe there are some .tar.gz drivers for the raid controllers, which is what you are looking for.
A few suggestions to help -
Enter the service tag at dell.com, and find out specifically what was on the machine when it was shipped. There are at least 12-15 hardware raid devices that could be on there, and you don't want to play with trying each driver.
I haven't installed any linux onto a 2850 in a long time, but I know getting debian onto the bottom of the line poweredge SC430 or SC420 is a nightmare. You need to find a very specific .iso to deal with the mobo SATA controller. It takes only one particular kernel with a ton of modules. Real PITA. The only reason I mention that is you can get the 2850 configured many different ways. You may have a beautiful one with hardware scsi raid, in which case you just need to find the right module, or you might have one that was shipped with 2 SATAs, and the mobo controller I mentioned.
If all else fails, stick knoppix or any other live distro in there, and see what controller it finds.
Check the Dell Linux resource page for additional info and links http://linux.dell.com/storage.shtml
There is a section that touches on slackware, but it mentions an older version and aacraid drivers..
Dell also sells a number of RAID cards or ROMBs which use the LSI (formerly AMI) MegaRAID driver which is part of the stock 2.2.x and 2.4.x kernels.
PowerEdge 2800, PowerEdge 2850, PowerEdge 1850 - PERC4e/Di - dual channel, U320 SCSI, PCI Express, with battery-backed cache. Requires megaraid2 driver 2.00.3 or higher on 2.4.x kernels. On 2.6.x kernels (x < 9), there is no driver for these adapters. On 2.6.x kernels (x >= 9) use the 'megaraid_mbox' and 'megaraid_mm' drivers.
The fact that the controller is built into the motherboard is a little discouraging. From the quote that farslayer provided, it looks like you either need to build it with a fairly new kernel (newer than 2.6.9), or go with the default slack 10.2 kernel, which appears to be 2.4.31. The good news about the default is that you should just be able to install, as the 2.4 kernel should include the megaraid driver.
I managed to squeeze in some server time today, and I tried the default kernel. No luck. I'm going to do a bit more over the weekend. I'm going to try to drag a friend of mine over here to have a look at this sommanabotch. He is quite experienced with linux, but is a real PITA to get out of the house.
It does seem that the more adept you are at computers, the more the rest of the world considers you a first rate jack@ss. The guy who was my linux "teacher" was and is a complete dweeb, yet he is very very talented, and cool once you get past his dweebiness.
No clue why that happens, it just seems to.
I still recommend trying live distros, seeing if any of them see your disks, then do something like
and see what modules it used to see the drives. You'll need to get those modules into your install media.
My friend ended up doing this for me, and was paid. He had to do a custom compile, using 2.6.17 kernel. The megeraid driver that comes on the slackware 10.2 boot disk, isn't the correct one needed. You need the "megaraid2", or "megaraid newgen", I can't remember. I do remember him using the test26.s kernel, but he custom compiled it, so that's probably not very helpful to those in the future.
He just sort of did this for me, and didn't really explain a lot abuot how he was doing it, so I know this will not be very helpful to a newbie that will read it later, but hopefully, knowing what drivers you need will be.