PERC320/DC and RHL7.3

Matt Domsch Matt_Domsch at
Sat Oct 18 17:14:17 CDT 2003

> I'm gonna be using a software package which is only
> supported on 7.3 at this point

What's the software package?

> i want to start to look into option 3.  Problem:  I'm a newbie.  Do
> you think i have a chance?  If so, do have any reccommendations
> where i can get info on how to hack up a driver?

It's not trivial, but I can give you a head start, if you're willing
to try something that isn't completely polished yet. :-)

Dell has been working on a tool called DKMS - Dynamic Kernel Module
Support - which allows building device drivers (and driver diskettes)
outside the kernel source tree.  In your case, you want to build a
version of the aacraid driver that has support for your card, because
the driver in the version of your OS doesn't have it.  Perfect example
of what DKMS should be used for.

You've got a RHL7.3 system elsewhere do to this work on, right?  If
not, find a good friend who does. :-)  (I don't have any RHL7.3
systems built and running right now, else I might have made it for you.)

First, get the DKMS RPM from and install that.
Second, get the aacraid_dkms tarball and GPG signature file from and see the README shown there.

In your case, you've got several steps you need to do.

Verify the file you downloaded was signed by me.  Just a precausion,
not strictly necessary, but a really good idea.
  gpg --verify aacraid_dkms-

Load the aacraid tarball into the DKMS framework
  dkms ldtarball --archive=aacraid_dkms-

Make sure you have kernel-source installed.
  rpm -q kernel-source
should say you've got kernel-source-2.4.18-3 installed.  If not,
install that, it's critical.

Build the aacraid driver for each of the various flavors of kernel
you need on the driver diskette - the uniprocessor, SMP, bigmem, and
-BOOT kernels.  
  dkms build -m aacraid -v -k 2.4.18-3
  dkms build -m aacraid -v -k 2.4.18-3BOOT
  dkms build -m aacraid -v -k 2.4.18-3smp
  dkms build -m aacraid -v -k 2.4.18-3bigmem

Now make the driver diskette
  dkms mkdriverdisk -d redhat -m aacraid -v -k 2.4.18-3,2.4.18-3BOOT,2.4.18-3smp,2.4.18-3bigmem

That should have created the driver diskette image and put it in

Write that to a floppy disk:
 dd \
   if=/var/dkms/aacraid/*.img \
   of=/dev/fd0 bs=72k count=20

You *do* have a RAID container built on the controller already,
right?  If not be sure to use the BIOS Ctrl-A utility (Ctrl-M?  I
don't remember) to create one. 

Then take the floppy to the system you want to install, boot the
install CD, and at the boot: prompt, type:  linux dd
This makes it use the driver disk to load your driver, and it should
find and use your PERC320/DC.

After install is complete, you should use Red Hat Network 'up2date'
tool to update your system.  You'll get the latest errata kernel,
includes an aacraid driver in there natively that recognizes the

If that all works great, please email me the driver disk you
created, I'll post it to for others to enjoy.


Matt Domsch
Sr. Software Engineer, Lead Engineer
Dell Linux Solutions
Linux on Dell mailing lists @

More information about the Linux-PowerEdge mailing list