Debian does Dell

A few days ago I tried to install Debian on a new Dell PowerEdge 1600SC. The PXE Linux boot worked perfectly, but Linux couldn’t find the hard disk! It seems that the new Dell uses a MegaRaid card that doesn’t support RAID yet.

I was happy to discover that this new MegaRaid card is supported by the driver in the 2.4.21 Linux kernel. That hasn’t been released yet, but I compiled 2.4.21rc3 and the disk appeared.

Since I was doing well with pre-release software, I decided to try the new debian-installer. Unfortunately, it only partially worked for my needs. It didn’t appear to support reiserfs, and it failed to make swap. It’s still alpha, or pre-alpha, so I breifly used the older installation system to create the swap and reiser partitions. After that, the debian-installer was happy to continue.

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