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the dc7700 just don't do linux

kiwi_3
Occasional Contributor

the dc7700 just don't do linux

If you are looking to buy those nice dc7700 desktops be advised that they don't boot any of the well known linux distros.

They don't run Redhat RHEL4, RHEL5beta2, Fedora Core 6, Fedora Core 5, Fedora Core 4, Ubuntu 6.10, ...

All the reported suggestions like
acpi=off pci=nommconf all-generic-ide jusjavascript:postMessageSubmit('submit');t don't work.

HP Official phone support does not want to open a case as linux is not a supported platform.

53 REPLIES
Alpha977
Valued Contributor

Re: the dc7700 just don't do linux

Hello kiwi!

This message is the same i have with an old Ibm GL300.
The problem was the ram.
Can you try to launch Knoppix - Live?
Knoppix 4.0.2 was the only distro start on my machine. Then i changed the ram.

Try to start knoppinx and see.

Regards

Re: the dc7700 just don't do linux

I know the pain.

Fortunatly, I've solved the problem with Debian GNU/Linux and some heavy alternate installing.

The whole problem boils down to the linux kernel not having support for all the neat Intel/HP hardware.

Linux kernel 2.6.19 (released a few days ago) *does* support all the hardware (minus ACPI).

You can get the kernel config I use for building the kernel here:
http://www.sron.nl/~mverwijs/files/2.6.19-rc6-desktops

The way to install Linux on this DC7700 is a pain, but so was the DC7600 when it was first released.

Back then, I wrote a dirty script that I ran from Knoppix. Basically, it did:

Knoppix Method (< DC7700):
==========================
1. boot knoppix
2. format disks
3. use debootstrap to install Debian on the harddrive
4. put my own kernel on the harddrive
5. install grub, pointing to the new kernel on the harddrive
6. reboot
7. profit!

* The Knoppix method will work on DC7700 when Knopper releases a knoppix cd with 2.6.19 kernels.

But, with the dc7700, I can't get Knoppix to boot. So, I now use PXE!

PXE Method:
===========
1. Boot over pxe+tftp using my 2.6.19 kernel
2. Mount / via nfs on a nfs server
3. format the disk on the client
4. install Debian using debootstrap
5. install 2.6.19 on harddisk
6. install grub
7. ....
8. Profit!

PXE is very scalable. And next time there's a new batch of DC9999's coming, I'll just replace the 2.6.19 kernel with the 2.6.51 kernel that'll be out by then.

Alternative method:
==================
1. get disk out of dc7700
2. place disk in older model
3. install debian
4. boot into debian on older model
5. apt-get install kernel-package
6. get kernel source from kernel.org
7. build 2.6.19 kernel with my config
8. place kernel in /boot, update-grub, reboot
9. check everything is in working order
10. remove disk from older model and place in dc7700
11. ...
12. Profit!

Ah... the Joy of Debian!

Pau Garcia i Quiles
Frequent Advisor

Re: the dc7700 just don't do linux

What about this method?

1. Take the hard disk out of the DC7700 and place it in another PC, one which boots Linux fine

2. Install Linux

3. Build your own Linux kernel, if needed (I do not fully understand if the problem is only with Linux not booting for the installation, or not booting at all once installed too)

4. Take the hard disk and place it again in the DC7700

While Windows needs to install in the exact machine you are going to use it, Linux does not take into consideration most of the differences in the systems thanks to the initrd system. The only detail you need to pay attention to is the kernel: make sure you install an i486/i586 kernel if your machine does not support amd64 instructions.

Re: the dc7700 just don't do linux

The only problem I have with taking the harddisk out is that is does not scale.

I have to install Linux on about 20 new machines per year. And I'm lazy. ;-)
T Swan
Occasional Visitor

Re: the dc7700 just don't do linux

If you can live without ACPI, just disable it. At the boot loader for Fedora/RedHat add acpi=off to loader line.

For example

#linux acpi=off

or

#text acpi=off

This disables ACPI support in the kernel. When RedHat or Fedora installs, it will keep the same the option on the grub.conf loader line.
Issam Mehssani
Occasional Visitor

Re: the dc7700 just don't do linux

After trying various distros I finally got Debian to install using the latest netinstall cd.

My problem now is that whatever I try, I can't get sound. It looks like it's working, with modules loaded, and songs playing in various software, but no sound coming from the speakers. It works ok in windows, so it's not a hardware problem.
Any tips?
Cedric Dupont
Regular Advisor

Re: the dc7700 just don't do linux

a simple Red Hat 7.3 is able to boot and install on DC7700, no sound, usb, lan and only vesa video after the installation, but it is capable so a new distrib must be ok.

Cédric
afz
Occasional Visitor

Re: the dc7700 just don't do linux

Hello,

For my answer, I used a DC7700p, RN125ET (cpu E6600, chipset 965Q Express, net 82566 DM)

I was able to boot with kernel parameter :
*
pci=conf1
*

For some distributions, I need to retreive the network driver for the intel pro/1000.
Have a look at the howto :
http://www.intel.com/support/network/sb/cs-009209.htm
and you can find the driver at :
http://sourceforge.net/projects/e1000


[
I also needed sometimes to update the PCI ID's (file pci.ids) from
http://pciids.sourceforge.net/
and then 'lspci' displays full device names instead of the numeric ID's
]

I Hope it will help you.
roko
Occasional Visitor

Re: the dc7700 just don't do linux

Hello,

I just installed CentOS 4.4 x86_64 (kernel 2.6.9) on a DC7700p (RN123T). The onboard NIC however does not work with this kernel, you 'll need to compile a new one as mentioned by 'afz'.

I also changed a setting in the BIOS:

Storage > Storage Options > SATA Emulation = RAID

This setting will enable the harddrive DMA mode (/dev/sda). Check this with 'hdparm"

# hdparm -t /dev/sda

/dev/sda:
Timing buffered disk reads: 180 MB in 3.02 seconds = 59.59 MB/sec

Regards.
Frank Earl
Occasional Visitor

Re: the dc7700 just don't do linux

Heh... Guess I won't be buying 6-12 of them any time soon for the demo I'm building for a major industry segment. That attitude's going to cost them.
kiwi_3
Occasional Contributor

Re: the dc7700 just don't do linux


In response also to the folks coming from the UK news site the Inquirer

http://uk.theinquirer.net/?article=37136

As the original author of this thread I have spend hours and hours getting some sort of acknowledgment that there is a problem with the DC7700 hardware from HP.

After getting the funniest responses from the HP phone support , variations on , 'well yes you have to ask Microsoft for SATA drivers for Linux', 'Linux is that a new game ?' I got terminated with the 'linux is not supported on this platform'.

Funny thing is that you can order the DC7700 desktops without a Windows license, and then they comes with Freedos installed and a piece of paper about the limited use of Freedos and a pointer to linux.

Seems all a bit silly that HP brings out a business line of desktops for their business customers, then goes around Europe with a Linux Roadshow
http://www.hplinuxroadshow.com/ but does not even validate that their business machines can be booted or installed using a few enterprise linux distributions.

Don't get me wrong : It would be great if HP would bring out drivers and give support like they do for Vista but I would be glad to have a business machine where you could pop in a Red Hat CD and have it actually installing.

But the DC 7700 desktops hang without the acpi=off parameter and when you use this parameter the installation takes hours and the machines feel like Pentium II 300 Mhz machines. The workarounds suggested above are appreciated but not scalable and I'm still awaiting some response from HP.

With bios version 1.09 Rev. A (11 Jan 2007) that came out to support Vista I was finally able to get a RHEL5beta2 installed on this Core 2 Duo 6600 machine with the acpi=off parameter and with a more reasonable speed (comparable with a Pentium 4 2 Mhz)

Still a long way from the speed of a Core 2 Duo 6600. So if you are a business customer wanting to try out Linux on the Desktop, stay away from HP until the company takes Linux seriously enough to validate a response.



arthur molossol
Occasional Visitor

Re: the dc7700 just don't do linux

Hi Kiwi,

I think we need to be consistant on what we are asking.
I do agree that it is normal to be able to by PCs with no os preinstalled.

HP sells PC with
-windows
-linux
-no os, just freedos
Those PC are supported accordingly.

Support an os on a platform has a cost. If you buy a PC with no os you rely on the community to adapt the os to that platform.
And there is no doubts that into some weeks that platform will be supported under linux.
But I don't see how you can buy butter and keep the money.

Even Redhat and suse support are not free.
Debian support is free and is working on
it with some work.

If HP certify the PC on linux distribs, it cost money. Are you ready to pay more for that?

If you want a pc certified with linux, buy one which is sold as certified under linux.
Else just turn up sleeve, and work.

I think we must get rid of the impression that free os is free of charges, and that work is for free.

I want my PC to be certified, I pay for it.

HP sells PC certified under linux!

kiwi_3
Occasional Contributor

Re: the dc7700 just don't do linux

Hello Arthur,

Thanks again for your remarks.

I think we are very clear on what we are asking from HP.

Ideally I want to be able to buy and recommend HP business desktops with Linux preinstalled but I challenge you to find a machine that comes preinstalled with Linux in the price list. http://www.hp.be/pricelists/pdf/business_desktops.pdf

You just can't buy a HP business desktop machine with a preinstalled linux and you can't order build-to-order units with Linux installed unless the amount of machines is huge.

I'm stating here that I want to pay for a preinstalled Linux OS, and I would even pay the same amount for a preinstalled Linux as for a that installed XP license.

Lacking the option of buying a preinstalled Linux, the next best thing is to order a model with FreeDos and install the OS yourself.

Our problem is that the DC7700 can't be installed with Linux on any conventional, easy way due to both a broken ACPI support in the bios and incompatible hardware.

Bringing out a mainstream business desktop for the enterprise customer in 2006 that does not allow a enterprise linux distribution to be installed does not cut it.

There is a huge hap between the HP 'marketing and communication messages' around their support and commitment to Linux and the reality in the field.

Where can I buy that business desktop with Linux ?

Why does HP wave the Linux flag and then brings out their new mainstream desktop platform that is incompatible with Linux. Where are those supposedly close ties with Linux distributors and why did HP not cooperate with them so to make their platform compatible ?

I'm stating that I want to buy those Linux desktops and want to buy those Linux support contacts but HP does not want to take my money ?

None of the currently available desktops is certified to work with Linux:
http://h71028.www7.hp.com/enterprise/cache/317386-0-0-0-121.html

Regards,
BenTheMeek
Occasional Visitor

Re: the dc7700 just don't do linux

Using pci=conf1 passed to the kernel I successfully managed to install and also boot Redhat AS 4 Update 3 as well. (On Bios version 1.05 though I have since taken the liberty to go to 1.09a) Out of curiosity though what are the "side effects" of using that parameter? Hardware detection loss etc? The parameter also works with a boot up of knoppix 5.1.1 as well when i tested.
roadrash
Occasional Visitor

Re: the dc7700 just don't do linux

Have you tried Mepis linux ( http://www.mepis.org/ )? or Pclos? ( http://www.pclinuxos.com/news.php )Both can be tested like a live CD before you install them.
They have worked on every laptop ive tried them on.
Kees denHartigh_2
Occasional Visitor

Re: the dc7700 just don't do linux

I took delivery of a dc7700 demo unit on Friday
Jan 26. It came preinstalled with winXP and 1 gig ram.
I grabbed my openSUSE 10.2 x86 32 bit installation CD's and booted acpi=off and proceeded to the installation. The process included shinking the installed winXP NTFS partition and creating new partitions and filesystems (ext3) for the OS. The installation went very smoothly. The only thing that did not work out of the box was the intergrated sound however switching to alsa sound architecture
fixed that problem. I had a fully functional dualboot dc7700 winXP/SUSE10.2 within 1 hour of
first powerup. I then used vmware workstation 5.5 and created a new winXP virtual machine.
Both the linux host and virtual winXP client
performed very simultaneosly. One of our bench mark test suites to determine system performance is matlab bench which performs several operations to determine harware performance and compares to other hardware platforms. I tested both the virtual winXP virtual machine and the linux host performance and the dc7700 outperformed many other high end hardware kits.
/proc/cpuinfo reads as follows.
processor : 0
vendor_id : GenuineIntel
cpu family : 6
model : 15
model name : Intel(R) Core(TM)2 CPU 6300 @ 1.86GHz
stepping : 6
cpu MHz : 1862.047
cache size : 2048 KB
physical id : 0
siblings : 2
core id : 0
cpu cores : 2
fdiv_bug : no
hlt_bug : no
f00f_bug : no
coma_bug : no
fpu : yes
fpu_exception : yes
cpuid level : 10
wp : yes
flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe nx lm constant_tsc pni monitor ds_cpl vmx est tm2 cx16 xtpr lahf_lm
bogomips : 3727.03

processor : 1
vendor_id : GenuineIntel
cpu family : 6
model : 15
model name : Intel(R) Core(TM)2 CPU 6300 @ 1.86GHz
stepping : 6
cpu MHz : 1862.047
cache size : 2048 KB
physical id : 0
siblings : 2
core id : 1
cpu cores : 2
fdiv_bug : no
hlt_bug : no
f00f_bug : no
coma_bug : no
fpu : yes
fpu_exception : yes
cpuid level : 10
wp : yes
flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe nx lm constant_tsc pni monitor ds_cpl vmx est tm2 cx16 xtpr lahf_lm
bogomips : 3724.30

I also performed a number of hdparm tests
on various disk devices and disk IO performance was comparable or better than
any other pc's I am currently running linux on.

This morning (Jan 29) I was pleasantly surprised when I loading my dreamlinux live CD and booted with acpi=off
After choosing a proper video res for my current LCD and configuring my network settings (rightclick desktop/Settings/Network settings.) I had a fully functional linux OS
running live from CD with all system devices
detected and working (including sound!)
http://www.dreamlinux.com.br/english/download.html

dreamlinux is based on debian
uname
Linux Morphix 2.6.18.1-kanotix-1 #1 SMP PREEMPT Wed Nov 29 15:15:15 EST 2006 i686 GNU/Linux

I will be performing many more tests with other alternative OS's over the course of this week but if what I have seen so far is any indication of the potential for the dc7700 and alternative OS's I would have no reservations in suggesting that this hardware kit up to the task of being certified for any current linux distribution.








Geyres Eric
Occasional Visitor

Re: the dc7700 just don't do linux

HP does not support Linux, but the Diagnostics CD given with the DC7700 is an ISOLINUX CD ! (without the driver for the ethernet card)
Mogens Kjaer
Frequent Advisor

Re: the dc7700 just don't do linux

I had success installing Fedora 6 with
the following kernel parameters:

acpi=off hda=noprobe hdc=noprobe

After installation "hda=noprobe hdc=noprobe"
needs to be added to /boot/grub/grub.conf.

Without this, the IO performance will be
very bad.

However, after upgrading to a 2.6.19 kernel
it doesn't boot anymore, so don't use a
respin'ed FC6 to do the installation.

BIOS 1.09A makes no difference.

Both the i386 and x86_64 version of FC6
work.

I've also tried the i386 xen kernel and
have installed w2k and wxp as fully
virtualized guests.

The virtualization needs to be enabled
in the BIOS.

I do have some problems with the NIC,
it looses connection at gigabit, I had
to connect the NIC to a 100Mbit switch.
This occurs both in i386 and x86_64,
with or without xen.

Re: the dc7700 just don't do linux

> However, after upgrading to a 2.6.19 kernel
> it doesn't boot anymore, so don't use a
> respin'ed FC6 to do the installation.

Could you be more specific about the errors you get?
Mogens Kjaer
Frequent Advisor

Re: the dc7700 just don't do linux

I had to boot with acpi=off and noapic in order
to run a 2.6.19 kernel on a dc7700

BTW, I got the NIC to work with a newer e1000
driver than the one included in Fedora 6.
Mogens Kjaer
Frequent Advisor

Re: the dc7700 just don't do linux

One funny thing:

I've tried booting the HP Insight Diagnostics,
version 7.7.0 A on this machine (this
CD is Linuxbased).

It doesn't!

If I raise loglevel to 9, I get the usual
kernel messages during boot, and it hangs
at the same place as my Fedora boot:

ACPI: Assume root bridge [\_SB_.PCI0] bus is 0

I can boot the CD if I add acpi=off

So the machine fails diagnostics :-)
Steven E. Protter
Exalted Contributor

Re: the dc7700 just don't do linux

Shalom,

Its pretty clear Linux should NOT be used on this box.

If you want support you should probably contact HP and demand it. This is typical of entry level HP computers though its mostly laptops with this problem that I've seen in ITRC.

Truth in advertising there is nothing on the HP website saying anything different.

Before you buy, look for the penguin.

SEP
Steven E Protter
Owner of ISN Corporation
http://isnamerica.com
http://hpuxconsulting.com
Sponsor: http://hpux.ws
Twitter: http://twitter.com/hpuxlinux
Founder http://newdatacloud.com
Florian Heigl (new acc)
Honored Contributor

Re: the dc7700 just don't do linux

i think pci=1 should change the irq routing, which would appear reasonable.

I'll save You the rant over broken BIOSses being delivered. But I can't share the 'support' reasoning at all - if You buy a PC You should get a PC that adheres to standards to some extent.
yesterday I stood at the edge. Today I'm one step ahead.
awa
Occasional Visitor

Re: the dc7700 just don't do linux

My dc7700 is running SuSE 10.1 very well
The installation was smooth. I used the boot CD to perform a resize of the NTFS partition, repartition the disk and finally install on new partitions.
The only issue is with the sound system. but this seems to be fixed by using ALSA.
To be honnest I must add that neither knoppix nor gparted were able to boot. Both distro had a kernel hang-up during the PCI probe step. Fixed with SuSE :-)