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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?


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Old 07-27-2003, 05:03 AM   #1
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ide hard disk controller - recommendation?


I want to buy a ide hard disk controller to add two 60 GB hard disks to run linux software raid. I am running debian (Woody). I am not looking for a raid controller.

Can anyone suggest a good linux compatible ide controller?


Last edited by elbe3321; 07-27-2003 at 05:33 AM.
Old 07-27-2003, 07:52 PM   #2
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I had that problem about 18 months ago and I did not make a good choice. So I will tell you how to approach the problem without mentioning any brand names. This problem could be called winmodems rehashed.

Linux compatibility, or lack thereof, is by chipset not by card brand name. The card brands sometimes vary the chipset they use literally box by box. I have seen identical IDE controller card boxes side by side on the shelf which have different chipsets on the cards.

The problem arises because many IDE chipsets have hardware bugs. The manufacturers find it cheaper to fix these bugs by writing a Windows driver that accomodates the bugs on the chipset. The combination of chipset and driver works on Windows, but often with a hidden performance degredation versus a "real" chipset. When you try to run the chipset with generic Linux IDE support they plain flat don't work. The kernel developers do write specialized code for buggy hardware, including buggy IDE chipsets, but they are always a year or so behind the hardware releases.

So do a Google search and make a list of Linux compatible IDE chipsets of the speed that you want. A Linux compatible chipset may be bug free in which case it will work on DOS as well as Linux. Or it may be a buggy chipset with a specialized Linux work-around. Then look for an IDE controller which actually has that chipset. Open the box and read the chipset number before you buy it.

Last edited by jailbait; 07-27-2003 at 07:55 PM.
Old 07-28-2003, 06:37 AM   #3
Registered: May 2003
Location: Canberra, Australia
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FWIW, I have a little-known IDE card which works well in Mandrake 9.1 - detected and installed without fault. It's a CMD0649 Ultra ATA100 PCI IDE Controller. It uses the Sil 0649 chipset:


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