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Old 11-04-2004, 05:15 PM   #1
ServerStorm
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Registered: Oct 2004
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Step by Step Perc2 configuration - hope it helps you!


Hi Everyone,

I just recently had a difficult time trying to get Linux running on my Dell PowerEdge 2400 server. I originally attempted to get Mandrake 10 running but after days of trying to overcome a 'can't find sda3' error, I had to pack it in and decided to try something different; so I turned to SUSE 9.1.

In my case it was again, not easy to install SUSE 9.1 on the PowerEdge. Largely the lack of easy was due to the fact that I am very inexperienced with Linux and even details that were obvious to most existing Linux users were not visible to me.

I decided to post this step by step through a newbies eyes so that I am less likely NOT to provide a little detail that more experienced Linux users may take for granted. So here goes:

Step 1: Getting SUSE
[list=a]a: Go to SuSE's website and go to the Downloads from Mirrors section.

b: Choose a mirror that you are closest to - I recommend you use an ftp browser to test the connectivity speed (even just eyeballing it) of several of the mirror sites and choose the one that gives you the best performance. I, being from Canada, chose a US mirror ftp://ftp.ale.org/pub/suse/ (Georgia, Atlanta) almost complete[/list=a]


Step 2: Creating BOOT media
[list=a]a: Navigate to the version of Linux you want to install - for SuSE 9.1 you go to the following directory:

http://ftp.ale.org/pub/suse/i386/9.1/boot/

b: Download the boot.iso image

c: Burn the boot.iso to CD. It is important to recognize that you must burn the CD as an ISO CD-ROM - Joilet is OK and that it is burn as an image rather than just copied as a file and then burned. Most CD-Burning packages enable you to load an .iso image for burning; so ensure that you use do this.[/list=a]


Step 3: Configuring your PERC
[list=a]Make sure that your PowerEdge's PERC2 is configured properly and the drives are initialized. This means:

a: Ensure that you have a 2.x firmware for the PERC2 controller. Mine has 2.10 and it worked without upgrading; although I've read posts on the RedHat forums that say anything below 2.x won't work. You can download firmware uploads from DELL if need be.

b: Decide on how you want to configure your drives.

Quote:
This from Allen Lair modified slightly to fit the context of this step by step: You can run the system off of the RAID alone. Of course it depends on what you plan on doing. If you want maximum throughput on your RAID for things like streaming data, etc. install a separate drive with the OS and swap partitions and use the RAID for the media (this is definitely an advantage). If that's not so much of an issue then by all means go ahead and make one big root partition on one big container. Also it's a good idea to make your swap partition roughly twice the size of your available memory (1 GB in your case). I always put the swap partition as the first partition on a drive but if it's going to be on the RAID it doesn't matter. The reasoning being the first partition on a single drive would be closer to the spindle giving you faster access. Of course on a RAID-5 it would be spread across the drives so it's irrelevant. If you can get by with 36 GB on the RAID and 18 GB on a stand-alone that's definitely a plus since you can upgrade the OS, reformat, whatever on the drive your OS is on without affecting the data on the RAID drives. It would also make backups simpler. However, if these things aren't so much of an issue in your case and you want to put everything on one big container then do so.
If you want a straight forward and nothing fancy setup of the controller then: On boot up select CNTRL - M (when prompted for the PERC BIOS Configuration Utility) and enter the PERC2 Setup Utility.

Select Configure and then select Easy Configuration. Follow on-screen instructions and select each drive by using the space bar. After selecting a drive hit enter which will bring up the window that will allow you to specify the type of RAID. Choose RAID 5, which if you don't know what you're doing in terms of RAID then this will be your best all round option. Raid 5 write parity data across all three (or more drives). If one drive should fail, it can be rebuilt using the parity located on these other drives. If you have 4 or more SCSI drives in your array then you can allocate on of the drives as a spare. In the case of a drive failure, you can configure the PERC to auto-rebuild the data from the failed drive onto that of the spare. Then at a later date you can rebuild the failed drive. This whole process works without taking down your server

Next go back to the Management Menu in the Configuration Utility and select Initialize. Again follow the onscreen tasks and select the first drive and then select initialize. This will ensure that you have clean drives to

install SUSE.

You don't have to Format the drives, Initializing should suffice. You should only use Format if you know that a drive contained disk errors.

Once your complete Initializing, exit the configuration utility and you will have to reboot. Make sure that the boot.iso disk that you created in step 2 is in the CD-ROM drive when you reboot.

I opted to build one container as I did not have an IDE controller to install another hard-drive for the OS and SWAP partitions. You could choose to create on the RAID two containers, and on one create your partitions for boot , swap, and Kernel, and on the other partition use for data.[/list=a]

Step 4: Installing
[list=a]Boot from the boot.iso CD-ROM that you earlier created in step 2. and follow the install instructions.

a: look at the bottom of the screen and you will see F3 CD-ROM, select this, or hit F3 and change this setting to FTP.

Option Server: enter the ftp mirror that you choose in Step 1. In my case this value was ftp.ale.org

Option Directory: enter the directory to the main SuSE install director on the ftp site. To clarify this, on

ftp.ale.org the appropriate directory path was

pub/suse/i386/9.1/

Don't forget to put the trailing slash because otherwise it will not work.

Don't enter anything into the User and Password options.

Select OK.

b: Select Manual Installation. It will boot the kernel

c: Choose your language at the language screen

d: Next screen choose your keyboard layout. IMPORTANT If you are using a PS2 mouse and choose English US then the keyboard characters get shifted by one character, which is bad news for entering data in the later install steps
(like configuring GRUB). Instead select English (UK)

e: Next you will see the Main menu. You might want to go to System information and then Modules to see what

modules are already loaded. But if your install was like mine then you will not have the aic7xxx.ko, megaraid_old.ko, or the E100.ko loaded.

If you don't know what Network card/cards you have in your PowerEdge then boot into the bios when you start the PowerEdge and find it in there. My PowerEdge 2400 has the E100 10/100 card and most 2400 also have this card.

f: In the Main menu select kernel modules

Select Load IDE/RAID/SCSI modules. When it open arrow down the list until you see aic7xxx : Adaptec 274x/284x/294x. Select this module this will detect your Raid containers and your SCSI NEC 466 CD-ROM drive.

After aic7xxx is loaded successfully, which takes 20 or so seconds then reopen Load IDE/RAID/SCSI modules and select the megaraid : LSI Logic MegaRAID (old driver) and again wait until it successfully loads. If for some reason you have a PERC2 that was not built by megaraid (and some PowerEdge 2400 controller are NOT megaraid) then you will not have to load this, however my PowerEDGE was a megaraid. The megaraid module allows the SCSI backplane to be loaded. Without this module you will not be able to detect your SCSI hard-drives.

Next move to Load network card modules and then scroll down and select e100 : Intel PRO/100 / EtherExpr. PRO/100

Next move to the Load USB modules and select the usb-storage : USB Mass Storage Device Driver.

g: Exit out of the Kernel modules menu by selecting Back and then select Start installation / system

First you will be asked for the ftp. It should already be filled in as you set this up in Step 4 a:. Verify that it is correct and then proceed to the next page.

You will then be asked for the directory. Again you set this up in Step 4 a:, so just verify that it is correct (no typos) and then proceed.

The installer will then proceed by creating a RAM disk. It does so by contacting the FTP and downloading the installer files from the directory that you specified.

Wait until the RAM disk is loaded and proceed with the installation. It will ask you for your configuration preferences such as keyboard layout (again for English select English (UK)), Time Zone, and there will be the Partition Option.[/list=a]


Step 5: Partitioning & Continuing Installing (Stage 1)
[list=a]a: Select the Partitioning menu. You are now in the YaST installer environment and the underline text link Partitioning is a menu option that you select. Once in it will give you options to go the easy way or the expert mode. I recommend that if you are not fully sure how you want to configure the Linux partitions that you go with what YaST recommends. Make sure you write down what each partition is named and how much space is allocated to it.

Mine were:

dev/sda1 boot with ext2
dev/sda3 with reiser 32.7GB
dev/sda2 with swap 1018Mb

b: Once you have completed partitioning then accept the options you configured and begin the install. It will take between 35 - 60 minutes to perform the install, so you can watch it if you want, but I recommend that you grab a coffee or go for a walk or something. However be sure you get back before it finishes because you need to be there when the installer reboots itself.[/list=a]

Step 6: Reboot & repair

You may have this happen:

Quote:
This from Allen Lair modified slightly to fit the context of this step by step: Once you reboot, the kernel is likely to find your RAID and your drive designations are going to be wrong and you'll likely be sitting in front of a black screen that says "GRUB" in the top left leading one to assume they are screwed but all is not lost...

a: When the machine reboots (and keep an eye on the installer, it reboots after the first CD is done by itself), select install again and it will realize "hey you already have linux on this machine" and give you the option to "repair" the installation. This is what you want. It will go through and find problems and fix them for you. You could do all this by hand but the repair wizard is generally pretty smart and since you have nothing to lose yet just let it do it's thing. Go grab a coffee as it takes a good 10 or 15 minutes sometimes. If it finds no problem with the GRUB boot setup, make sure you re-write it anyway to ensure the MBR is where it should be and all references are correct. Both of our 2400s had the RAID containers show up BEFORE the boot drive (e.g. RAID container 1 = /dev/sda, container 2 = /dev/sdb, boot drive = /dev/sdc) so keep that in mind while you're checking things.

Now reboot and you should be able to continue the installation from where you left off.
[list=a]If the situation that Allen describes above does not work and you are left with a Kernel error:

Loading kernel/fs/reiserfs/reiserfs.ko
Waiting for device /dev/sda3 to appear:......not found -- device nodes:
console fb0fd0 loop - loop1....

b: Then reboot the machine and when the CD-ROM first starts, hit ESC several times. The install menu will have hilighted 'Boot from Hard Disk' and will be counting down, so don't dilly dally, instead select Manual Installation.

Choose Language option - I selected English

Choose Keyboard map - Select you preferred keyboard set. If English select English (UK) Load Kernel modules (as described in step 4 f: and it will ask if you want to boot from hard-drive or repair.

Select Repair and wait the 10 or 15 minutes for it to do its' thing. It will likely find some errors and at the end of the repair it will may tell you that the GRUB boot loader is OK, but choose to go into it and view the GRUB files. Specifically select the Edit Configuration and review the GRUB loader settings. You don't have to change anything but after you are done reviewing then select OK and it will re-write the GRUB boot loader file.

reboot the machine and let it try to load from hard-drive.


c: If you again experience the error:

Loading kernel/fs/reiserfs/reiserfs.ko
Waiting for device /dev/sda3 to appear:......not found -- device nodes:
console fb0fd0 loop - loop1....

then re-preform the steps outlined in step 6 b: , but this time instead of continuing with the repair you will only perform the following steps:

Fill in Language and Key Map options

Select the Start installation/system menu item. Immediately following a menu with appear with the following:

Start installation/update
Boot installed system
Start rescue system

You want to select 'Boot installed System'. When you do the very next screen will ask where you where your

root partition is. If you don't know then refer to the partition info you wrote down in step 5 a:. The root partition on my system is: dev/sda3. You can see that sda1 is boot and sda2 is swap, so although sda3 doesn't say root that is what it is:

dev/sda1 boot with ext2
dev/sda3 with reiser 32.7GB
dev/sda2 with swap 1018Mb

Choose the drive with the reiserfs configuration in my case this is sda3. You will then boot off of the hard-drive and continue with the installation.[/list=a]


Step 7: Getting SuSE to boot from Hard-drive without CD-ROM

If everything goes well on the second stage of the install you should have the first look at SUSE 9.1 running on your system. To this point you were only able to succesfully boot using the CD-ROM boot.You will not want to have to boot from CD-ROM every time you need to, so a little configuration in SUSE 9.1 to get it all working correctly.
[list=a]a: While on the SUSE 9.1 desktop, select the GREEN 'start applications' button at the far left bottom of the screen.

b: In the menu select 'System' and on the sub-menu that appears select 'YaST'. You will be asked for the root password (that is if you are not currently running in root).

c: When YaST opens, at the far left select 'System'. In the pane at the right select '/etc/sysconfig' Editor (You could also edit this file with a text editor like pico or kate , but it is most basic to use the GUI).

d: Once '/etc/syconfig' loads, to the left select 'System'. Then select 'Kernel'. Then select 'INITRD_MODULES'.

You will likely see the following properties in the Right Pane field of 'Setting of: INITRD_MODULES':

aic7xxx aic7xxx aic7xxx aic7xxx reiserfs. You will want to add and change this to the following:

megaraid-old aic7xxx aic7xxx aic7xxx aic7xxx reiserfs

You will notice that we added the megaraid-old module. Remember you need this one to detect your backplane.

e: Once you have set the megaraid-old module then select 'Finish' and then close YasT.

The next time you reboot you will not need the CD-ROM as the system should boot directly into your SuSE 9.1 OS.[/list=a]



I would like to thank Allen Lair, he was such a big help and really provided me with so many great ideas and rapidly accelerated my learning curve for Linux and specifically SuSE 9.1. Allen runs www.intuitionsys.com were you can buy a preconfigured Linux based servers. Check his products out as he really knows what he is doing and you know that you will get a properly configured machine.

If you have any questions and would like to correspond with me further about any step in this document then write me at gninworb@hotmail.com.

If you see any error in the steps above then please correct them by posting the error.

I hope this information is help to some of you!

Truly,
ServerStorm

Last edited by ServerStorm; 11-04-2004 at 10:32 PM.
 
Old 11-04-2004, 10:30 PM   #2
ServerStorm
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Sorry about the earlier typos and formatting issues. I have since corrected as many errors in this post as possible.
 
Old 11-10-2004, 01:39 AM   #3
ServerStorm
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Another way for Step 7

Hi,

I was having too much fun messing around and learning as much as I could about the under pinnings and I screwed some fairly vital system operations up, so I had to reinstall. I did so using the step x step in this post; however I was dismayed this time when I followed step 7 and it didn't work.

What had I done differently? The only thing was that I downloaded a newer set of patches than the last time I installed.

I added the megaraid-old to the /etc/sysconfig area under YaST/System/Kernel/INITRD_MODULES but when I would restart, megaraid-old would not load. I tried clearing all settings, then re-entering them in the INITRD_MODULES field and then re-wrote them by opening a konsole and using the activation command 'sbin/mkinitrd'. But it did not work.

I fixed it this time by directly editing the /etc/sysconfig/kernel file in the Kate editor. I opened the file and then manually entered megaraid-old as the first entry on the line in the Kernel file that contained INITRD_MODULES. I then reopened a konsole and issued the 'sbin/mkinitrd' command (no quotes) and it compiled and found the Megaraid-old's dependencies.

I rebooted and it worked like a charm.

Again an alternative way of going at it. I don't know why it didn't work the same way as my first documented fix, but hey if the first step 7 above doesn't work for you then try this way and you might be pleasantly surprised.

Hope this helps at least one of you!

Truly,
ServerStorm

Last edited by ServerStorm; 11-10-2004 at 01:41 AM.
 
Old 07-02-2005, 01:54 PM   #4
ServerStorm
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Registered: Oct 2004
Posts: 76

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Yet another addition to this thread.

Curiosity killed the cat and yet again I found a way to take down my Suse operating system. I had updated the Kernel and Suse no longer recognized the megaraid-old driver, so I did some reading (to see if anything had changed in the last 8 months and sure enough there is a lot more discussion around Suse and the megaraid driver.

If you are interested in a discussion regarding the Megaraid controller and drivers here is a good one:

https://bugzilla.redhat.com/bugzilla...buglist=138590

If you follow the step by step in the above posts and megaraid-old in INITRD_MODULES is NOT working: i.e. when you reboot it can't find your RAID controller then, please in step 7, instead of setting the megaraid driver to megaraid-old just set it to megaraid. The total line entry will be:

Quote:
megaraid aic7xxx aic7xxx aic7xxx aic7xxx reiserfs
That's all,
ServerStorm

Last edited by ServerStorm; 07-02-2005 at 02:03 PM.
 
Old 08-16-2007, 03:30 PM   #5
vakanderson
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Registered: Dec 2006
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Simple solution for Perc2 on SuSE 10.2

I'm not sure if there are still folks out there trying to get old PERC cards to work with newer distros, but I wanted to convert a few PowerEdge 4400 systems we have into iSCSI targets so I filled them with drives and tried to load SuSE 10.2. After much searching for solutions I was having no luck getting the RAID volume recognized by the installer. Then I found this mailing list entry:

http://lists.us.dell.com/pipermail/l...ch/030075.html
and
http://support.dell.com/support/edoc...m#Objects_Menu

In a nutshell, changing the adapter's emulation mode to Mass Storage (from I2O) was all that was needed for the megaraid driver to load at install, as well as subsequent reboots.

Note: make sure you update the firmware on the card to ensure stability, and also change the emulation mode after the update - I found out the hard way that a firmware update reverts this setting to the default of I2O!


This may work for other distros and legacy PERC cards as well, but I haven't tested any.

Hope this helps...
 
  


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