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Alvin Chey 07-19-2013 11:13 AM

Successfully installed Slackware64 14.0 onto Dell PowerEdge T420
Hi all,

I would like to report success in installing Slackware64 14.0 onto Dell PowerEdge T420 (Dell Inc. PowerEdge T420/03015M, BIOS 1.5.1 03/08/2013)

Essential Hardware Configuration:

2 x Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2407
2 x 8Gb RDIMM Memory
PERC H310 RAID Controller
2 x SAS Harddisk (RAID 1 - Mirror)

Installation Procedure:

1. Create a full “USB equivalent” to a Slackware DVD on 4Gb USB thumbdrive

2. Put thumdrive in the front USB port.

3. During server booting up, press F11 to run the Boot Manager.

4. Select to boot from thumbdrive.

5. Slackware64 boots normally as it would from a Slackware64 14.0 DVD.

6. Partition using cfdisk

Only /dev/sda is visible with two partitions already created:
/dev/sda1 labelled [DellUtility] 24Mb
/dev/sda2 labelled [OS] 2Gb flagged Boot --> to remove Boot flag

(as I understand it, Slackware sees the virtual drive that is made visible by
the RAID controller)

I created 3 partitions in the empty space at the end of /dev/sda
/dev/sda3 flagged Boot (primary partition for root partition)
/dev/sda5 (extended partition for swap)
/dev/sda6 (extended partition for data)

7. Mounted the thumbdrive and installed default packages from a premounted directory.

8. LILO:

I placed LILO in root partition /dev/sda3 instead of MBR.
You should enable the global option "compact". Booting without this option is very
slow at the BIOS checking stage.

9. Started Slackware64. Success!

10. Started xfce without much problem. Success!

11. Download the latest patches and upgraded all packages.

Some thoughts:

1. I chose to use PERC H310 (the hardware RAID controller) instead of the PERC S???
(software RAID controller). I read somewhere that hardware RAID controller is
better for Linux.

2. I was tempted to choose one of the supported distro (Red Hat, SuSE, Ubuntu).
But since I am more familiar with Slackware64, I installed it instead.

3. A possible fallback was to install a free VMware hypervisor and install Slackware64
as a guest OS.

4. The root partition should be the only partition flagged as Boot.
I failed to do this at first and the server will not boot into Slackware64.

Thanks, Slackware team for a wonderful distro! Installation was a breeze!

Up next: Integrate Dell UPS with server.

Alvin Chey

onebuck 07-21-2013 06:56 AM

Member Response

Thanks for sharing your experience!

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