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Linux on DL380 G2

 
tomcv
Occasional Advisor

Linux on DL380 G2

I'm looking for the mostly cookbook approach to installing RHEL 5.3 (or at least a recent RHEL version) on a DL380 G2.
I only need to do this install once asap. I did a Win2Ksvr install on a DL3xx some four years ago, and I don't regularly manage servers ... so that's my knowledge level with DL servers.

I tried the SmartStart CD (v7.20) that came with the system or at least some other admins thought was the one to use, it doesn't work out for installing Linux. When I get to the SmartStart OS selection screen, Only Netware, Win2000, and Win2003 are listed as OS choices.

So, I look on hp.com for a SmartStart that I think should be my ticket to easy RHEL install. The hunt leads to SmartStart v7.70 listed here :
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/SoftwareIndex.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&prodNameId=3288128&prodTypeId=15351&prodSeriesId=316587&swLang=8&taskId=135&swEnvOID=2025

That page is the result of following the "Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 (x86)" link at
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/DriverDownload.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&prodNameId=3288128&taskId=135&prodTypeId=15351&prodSeriesId=316587&submit.y=6&submit.x=6〈=en&cc=us

Since RHEL 4 is that latest RHEL version listed there I'm presuming that might be the latest version that I can install with SmartStart.

So, SmartStart v7.70 indicates Linux support :

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/SoftwareDescription.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&prodTypeId=15351&prodSeriesId=316587&prodNameId=3288128&swEnvOID=2025&swLang=8&mode=2&taskId=135&swItem=MTX-b7c2aad969a347b9ac3734bcae

Description : Setup and installation for ProLiant ML and DL 300, 500 and 700 series and ProLiant BL Servers and supported server options.
Type: Software - CD-ROM
Version: 7.70 (20 Dec 2006)
Operating System(s): Microsoft Windows 2000, Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Novell NetWare 5.1, Novell NetWare 6.0, Novell NetWare 6.5, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 2.1 (x86), Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 (x86), Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 (x86), SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 8
File name: smartstart-7.70-0.zip (517 MB

Anyhow, trying v7.70 results in the same problem when I get to the SmartStart OS selection screen. Only Netware, Win2000, and Win2003 are listed as OS choices.

So, more reading in http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/SoftwareDescription.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&prodTypeId=15351&prodSeriesId=316587&swItem=MTX-b7c2aad969a347b9ac3734bcae&prodNameId=3288128&swEnvOID=2025&swLang=8&taskId=135&mode=5 leads to this conclusion :

v8.10 says -
New Operating System Support
* Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.7 (x86 and AMD 64/EM64T)

v8.15 says -
New Operating System Support
* Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.3 (x86 and AMD64/EM64T)
but also -
As of SmartStart version 8.20 only baseline support will be available for the below servers and will be removed from 8.30 versions of SmartStart and ProLiant Support Packs:
# HP ProLiant DL380 G2 Server

What exactly does "only baseline support" mean ?

Should I use SmartStart v8.10 or v8.15 ?

Thanks.
6 REPLIES
Michal Kapalka (mikap)
Honored Contributor

Re: Linux on DL380 G2

hi,

yes you could use : v8.15

mikap
tomcv
Occasional Advisor

Re: Linux on DL380 G2

It seems that the problem with installing Linux on DL380 G2 is that SmartStart doesn't really support it in spite of indications to the contrary at various HP.com pages like :

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?objectID=c00408416〈=en&cc=us&taskId=101&prodSeriesId=316587&prodTypeId=15351

and

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/DriverDownload.jsp?prodNameId=3288128〈=en&cc=us&taskId=135&prodTypeId=15351&prodSeriesId=316587

and

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/SupportTaskIndex.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&taskId=115&prodSeriesId=316587&prodTypeId=15351&supportTaskId=23211

This page lists what platforms Linux is supported on :
http://h18004.www1.hp.com/products/servers/linux/hplinuxcert.html

So, the indications of support seems conflicting in someways ... but, it appears that the hplinuxcert.html document is controlling what platforms that SmartStart will enable Linux OS support for.
And, what Linux "supported" on DL380 G2 means at HP in this scenario is ambiguous in the big picture. Although, in the specific case of SmartStart, it's not supported.

Can anyone offer some guidance for a RHEL or CentOS manual or semi-auto install procedure on DL380 G2 ... since SmartStart isn't going to offer any help.
What Linux drivers and support packs do I really need from HP to enable proper operation of RHEL or CentOS on the DL380 G2 ?

Remember, the original question was :
"I'm looking for the mostly cookbook approach to installing RHEL 5.3 (or at least a recent RHEL version) on a DL380 G2."

An acceptable broadening of the solution beyond RHEL would be to include CentOS ... if anyone has that install process worked out for the DL380 G2.

Thanks to all the wiser and more experienced folks than I, who will offer a solution to this rainy day server admin :-)
Michal Kapalka (mikap)
Honored Contributor

Re: Linux on DL380 G2

hi,

did you try to install the OS directly, without the smartstart CD ???

mikap
tomcv
Occasional Advisor

Re: Linux on DL380 G2

Yes,
I did a blind CentOS network install to see how good or bad it works. I have been concerned that lack of Lunix drivers in CentOS for unsupported or not-well-supported components would have some effect ... maybe lingering mysterious effects. I know from the reading I've done so far that the fans will not be temperature controlled without a driver.

But, perhaps my fears are mostly unfounded ? Initially, CentOS is working through the install in spite of a few bootup error messages about "agpgart" and the FMP fan noise.

Yet, how do I know what subtle effect there might be from lack of HP Linux drivers for some component ?
Greybeard
Esteemed Contributor

Re: Linux on DL380 G2

Hi, if installing Windows without smart start you can run the CD afterwards and the support paq will patch the drivers, there may be a similar option with the RHEL installation, try the smart start CD with the OS running and see what options the smart start interface offers.
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Re: Linux on DL380 G2

OK, on a G2 I would configure my HDDs/Arrays by hitting F8 when prompted by either the 5i or the Smart Array that you have installed in the machine and then just install RHEL 5.3 from the RH Install Media. I would then use the Proliant Support Pack on the 8.15 SS CD to install the accompanying tools/agents to get it running with HP support software.

The important thing to check though is \etc\Redhat_Release (or something similar, cant quite remember the EXACT file name off top of my head) as it will be used by the SS install script to check the version of RHEL that is installed on the machine.

Assuming that it IS 5.3 and the Support Pack you have on the CD (or have downloaded) tally up, you should be OK to install.

One caveat though is that hardware support for devices that are in your G2 may have been removed from the latest Support Pack (as a G2 is quite old now) However, I would expect 5.3 version of RHEL to have all the drivers you could possible need already compiled into the kernel...

thanks

Dongers