Disclaimer: Content in this page is severely outdated, and most likely obsolete. It remains here for historical purposes only.

Installer Magic


For tips and tricks common to all types of storage, see Installer Magic

SAS RAID and non-RAID

The new PERC 5 and PERC 6 RAID controllers use SAS (Serial Attached SCSI), and a new driver, megaraid_sas. The new SAS 5 and SAS 6 non-RAID controllers use a new driver, mptsas, part of the mptfusion driver family. Both drivers are included in kernel.org 2.6.x kernels, and have been backported to the RHEL3 2.4.21-x kernels.
Use OMSA 5.1 or higher, including the OM Storage Services component, to manage your PERC 5 (and earlier) controllers.
The PERC 5 SAS RAID adapters cannot use the same LSI management tools as their SCSI RAID counterparts (PERC 4 and earlier). Instead, use the new LSI SAS RAID tools: MegaCLI, MegaRAID Storage Manager, MegaRAID SAS SNMP. Moritz Mertinkat has created a PERC 5/i + MegaCLI cheat sheet which provides useful instructions for managing this controller via the command line tool.
Please note that these LSI tools are not officially supported by Dell on Linux and are provided here for informational purposes only.

MegaRAID SCSI


Dell 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, 2.4.x, and 2.6.x kernels.


N.B.: PERC 5 controllers use SAS (Serial Attached SCSI), which uses the new megaraid_sas driver. This is a new family of products, and the tools used for managing the SCSI RAID adapters do not work for the SAS RAID adapters.
Add-in Types

  • PERC II - dual-channel add-in card, Ultra SCSI (aka AMI MegaRAID 428) - no longer sold
  • PERC2/SC - single-channel add-in card, Ultra2 SCSI (aka AMI MegaRAID 466) - no longer sold
  • PERC2/DC - dual-channel add-in card, Ultra2 SCSI (aka AMI MegaRAID 467)
  • PERC3/SC - single-channel add-in card, U160 SCSI
  • PERC3/DCL - dual-channel add-in card, U160 SCSI, no battery-backed cache
  • PERC3/DC - dual-channel add-in card, U160 SCSI with battery-backed cache
  • PERC3/DCP - dual-channel add-in card, U160 SCSI with battery-backed cache - for use on Precision workstations
  • PERC3/QC - quad-channel add-in card, U160 SCSI with battery-backed cache (aka AMI/LSI MegaRAID 471)
  • CERC ATA100/4CH - Cost-Effective RAID Controller - ATA100 quad-channel add-in card
  • PowerEdge 2600 ROMB - PERC4/Di - dual-channel U320 SCSI with battery-backed cache - Requires driver v1.18a or above
  • PERC4/SC - single channel add-in card, U320 SCSI - Requires driver 1.18f or above, 1.18k or above is recommended
  • PERC4/DC - dual channel add-in card, U320 SCSI with battery-backed cache - Requires driver 2.03 or higher. is recommended
  • PERC4/QC - quad channel add-in card, U320 SCSI with battery-backed cache - Requires driver 2.03 or higher

ROMB Types

  • PowerEdge 1750 ROMB - PERC4/Di - dual channel, U320 SCSI with battery-backed cache - Requires driver 1.18f or above, 1.18k or above is recommended.
  • PowerEdge 2600 ROMB - PERC4/Di - dual-channel U320 SCSI with battery-backed cache - Requires driver v1.18a or above
  • PowerEdge 2750 ROMB - PERC4/Di - dual channel, U320 SCSI with battery-backed cache - Requires driver 1.18f or above, 1.18k or above is recommended.
  • 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.

Mailing Lists

Drivers
Note: Use the mailing lists to get support for these drivers.

  • Dell posts updated megaraid drivers on support.dell.com.
  • LSI maintains the most recent megaraid-series drivers in the kernel.org SCSI development tree. If you're looking for the cutting-edge drivers, copy them out of Andrew Morton's -mm patchset from kernel.org.
  • LSI posts historical copies of the megaraid driver for 2.4.x and 2.5.x kernels on their FTP server. You should use these instead of the older driver versions below.
  • Archived older versions of the driver for 2.2.x and 2.4.x can be found in the megaraid directory. (You need a patch from the mailing list from 2 January 2003 to build with 2.2.x kernels.) A development-level megaraid 2.00 driver for 2.4.x and 2.5.x kernels is available in the megaraid directory.

Distributions

  • kernel.org distributed kernels
    • LSI engineers maintain the megaraid_mbox driver in kernel 2.6.x. This supports Dell PERC 3 and PERC 4 series cards. Older PERC 2 and earlier cards can be made to work with the megaraid_legacy (name as of 2.6.16, formerly 'megaraid') driver, though their use is unsupported by Dell or LSI. Report issues to the public mailing list linux-scsi@vger.kernel.org.
    • Marcelo's 2.4.x-stock contains megaraid and megaraid2 drivers. megaraid2 is preferred, especially for PERC 3 and PERC 4 cards.
  • Red Hat
    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 (kernel 2.6.9-5.EL and above) includes the 'megaraid_mbox' driver for all PERC 3 and PERC 4 series cards. Support for older PERC 2 and earlier generation cards has been dropped.
    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 (kernel 2.4.21-4.EL and above) includes megaraid and also megaraid2.
    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 2.1 AS (kernel 2.4.9-e.3) includes megaraid v1.18, and works with most LSI/AMI MegaRAID controllers, except PE2600, 1750, 2750 PERC4/Di (ROMB), and the PERC4/SC cards. For these, you'll need the 'megaraid_2002' driver disk available from Red Hat on their support pages.
      • errata kernel 2.4.9-e.12 includes a new megaraid_2002 driver (v2.00.2) which supports PE2600 ROMB too.
      • Driver disks for installing are available at http://www.redhat.com/security/notes/. Use 'expert noprobe dd' at the boot: prompt, and manually choose the megaraid_2002 driver first, then any other drivers you need, like e1000. Because this driver disk is broken, it installs the uniprocessor driver into the SMP kernel. To fix this, after using the driver disk, boot into the uniprocessor kernel, upgrade to the latest errata kernel, which will remake your initrds with good drivers, then reboot again.
    • Red Hat Linux 9 (kernels 2.4.20-6 or 2.4.20-8) includes megaraid v1.18f, and works with all LSI/AMI MegaRAID controllers, including PERC3 and PERC4.
    • Red Hat Linux 8.0 (kernel 2.4.18-14) includes megaraid v1.18d, and works with all PERC2, PERC3, and PERC4/Di on PowerEdge 2600 LSI/AMI MegaRAID controllers, but not PERC4/Di on PowerEdge 1750 and 2750. For PERC4/Di, get the 1.18h driver disk.
    • Red Hat Linux 7.3 (kernel 2.4.18-3) includes megaraid v1.18a, and works with all PERC2 and PERC3-series LSI/AMI MegaRAID controllers, but not PERC4/Di on PowerEdge 2600, 1750 or 2750. For PERC4/Di, get the 1.18f driver disk.
    • Driver Disk for Red Hat Linux 6.2 Retail or SBE2 for use with all megaraid cards. Untar this onto a FAT-formatted floppy so all the files are in the top-level directory. Install using 'expert'. Dell hasn't done a lot of testing with this, but we think it's OK. Use at your own risk.
  • Novell / SuSE
    • SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 (SLES 9) carries the megaraid_mbox driver for use on Dell PERC4 and higher adapters. Dell has not tested PERC 3 adapters on SLES9, but in general it should work fine (as it does in RHEL4).
  • Debian

Management Utility

Qlogic


QLogic now posts their drivers in DKMS RPM format. You can download them from ftp.qlogic.com.

To remain an EMC qualified solution you should be sure to check the list of qualified kernels on EMC's support matrix.

Emulex


Emulex now posts their drivers in DKMS RPM format. See them on EMC's list of qualified Emulex drivers.

To remain an EMC qualified solution you should be sure to check the list of qualified kernels on EMC's support matrix.

IEEE1394 (firewire)


For those using RHEL3, the native ieee1394 driver has quite a number of instability issues. To address this, John Hull has put together a dkms-enabled update RPM for the driver based off of the updated code found in the 2.4.25 kernel. It also includes the necessary hotplug script hooks to allow you to use your ieee1394 device with devlabel to assure device naming consistency. The RPM (it's in the tarball) can be found at ftp://ftp.dell.com/rmsd/ieee1394-2.4.25-1.tar.gz.

SATA

Precision 370 with SATA Drives
For Linux kernels 2.6.15 and higher, you can use AHCI mode and the ata_piix module. The Linux kernel (ata_piix module) < 2.6.15 has no support for the Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) available on the Intel ICH6R SATA controller for the Precision 370. The symptom of this problem will be that the OS installer will not find any SATA hard drives to partition, and will not be able to access the drives at all. To work around this issue until AHCI support is released, you must switch the controller mode from "AHCI" to "ATA" mode (aka legacy mode). Perform the following steps:
  1. Reboot the system, enter the system BIOS setup by pressing F2 at the Dell splash screen.
  2. From the BIOS menu, selct "Drives", and then select "SATA Operation".
  3. Choose "RAID Autodetect/ATA"
  4. Save your changes, and then reboot the system.

CERC SATA 2S


The CERC SATA 2S RAID controller is a combination BIOS and driver-based software RAID solution, which uses the system motherboard's SATA controllers. It is not a hardware RAID solution such as the aacraid and megaraid controllers listed above.

Systems with this controller include the PowerEdge 800, SC1425, and 420SC.
Under Windows and Netware, there are special device drivers which operate in conjunction with the system BIOS to present the system SATA disks as a RAID volume.
Under Linux, the disks should be treated as two independent disks, which use the standard Linux "MD" software RAID layer for RAID 0 or 1 operation (if you so desire). System Documentation on support.dell.com describe how to configure the system BIOS to either disable the RAID mode, or to set up the disks as two independent RAID volumes (effectively disabling the BIOS software RAID feature).