Upgrading the RedHat 7.2 kernel on a PE-2650

Matt_Domsch@Dell.com Matt_Domsch at Dell.com
Thu Jun 13 11:54:00 CDT 2002

Kernel 2.4.9-31 or -34 already have the PCI IDs for the module built-in, and
no longer recognize passing 'aacraid_pciid=.....' options.
1) remove 'options aacraid aacraid_pciid=.....' line from /etc/modules.conf
2) Remake your initrd for the new kernel:  /sbin/mkinitrd -v -f
/boot/initrd-2.4.9-31smp.img 2.4.9-31smp
    You'll see it loading the aacraid driver into the initrd file, with no
3) Make sure /etc/grub.conf has the entry for the 2.4.9-31smp kernel you
want to boot.
4) Reboot and choose 2.4.9-31smp kernel.
Sometimes when the kernel install makes a new initrd for you, that initrd
doesn't work.  I don't know why, but I've heard of that.  Remaking it by
hand solves that.
Matt Domsch
Sr. Software Engineer
Dell Linux Solutions www.dell.com/linux
Dell internal Linux lists @ http://insidelists.us.dell.com
Dell public Linux lists @ http://lists.us.dell.com
#1 US Linux Server provider for 2001 and Q1/2002! (IDC May 2002)

-----Original Message-----
From: Alex St. Amand [mailto:alex.st.amand at trebia.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2002 10:25 AM
To: 'linux-poweredge at dell.com'
Cc: 'alan_mayer at dell.com'
Subject: Upgrading the RedHat 7.2 kernel on a PE-2650

Dear linux-powedege list;


My company (Trebia Networks, Inc.) has purchased a Dell PowerEdge 2650 with
dual 2.4GHz Xeon processors with the intention of testing its performance as
an ASIC chip simulation tool.  We need to patch the kernel on it to 2.4.9-21
or later to support Hyper Threading on the Xeon processors (this information
is directly from RedHat support).  Without it, our jobs seem to ping pong
back and forth on the first physical CPU (which is representing itself as
two in the OS - RedHat also confirmed this to be true).  We have already
successfully installed RedHat 7.2 (kernel 2.4.7-10) on the system (using the
Dell recommended aacraid install method).  RedHat 7.3 is not an option as
our tools are not qualified on this version (nor is the Dell).


There are several links to performing this type of kernel update on Mr.
Domsch's site but no true road map to follow.  All of our attempts to
upgrade have resulted in failure.  Simply upgrading the kernel in the normal
fashion causes it to panic as it can't find the raid controller.  I
understand the reason for the problem as the controller contains newer
technology than RedHat supported at the time.  However, we are left with a
server that does not *truly* support RedHat 7.2 (no Hyper Threading support,
which is why we purchased a Xenon powered Dell -our tools take advantage of
Hyper threading extensively).


Dell support has been very helpful to this point, but no one has been able
to put their finger on the solution.  I know (call it intuition) that
someone at Dell has the solution for this problem.  After all, the server is
listed as supporting RedHat 7.2 and it does have Xeon processors.  One would
expect we would be able to properly use them, right?  Dell support has told
to purchase a RedHat support contract, which we have done, (for $1000.00),
but this just gets us transferred directly to RedHat engineers who are now
working the problem from the ground up.  Now I am working with RedHat to
solve a hardware compatibility problem that they have no real background in.


I apologize if it sounds like I am venting on this list, but this "cry for
help" only reflects our frustration on getting this system to work as
advertised.  Our intentions are good, as we plan to purchase and additional
9 to 19 (10 to 20 total with this one, depending on performance) this
quarter alone.  I am very impressed with the build quality of this system
and it performance so far.  If I can not get this resolved this week, we
will not be able to convince the board to purchase the additional Dells (or
even keep the one we have).  


I really want this Dell to work and we appreciate any assistance anyone can


Best regards,


Alex St. Amand

Sr. UNIX Administrator

Trebia Networks, Inc.

alex.st.amand at trebia.com <mailto:alex.st.amand at trebia.com> 

(978) 264-7679

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