Debian Linux on PowerEdge R210

Moe, Justin Justin.Moe at
Wed Sep 7 16:34:12 CDT 2011

> -----Original Message-----
> From: linux-poweredge-bounces at [mailto:linux-poweredge-
> bounces at] On Behalf Of Brian Knudson
> Subject: Debian Linux on PowerEdge R210
> Anyone,
> I'm thinking of purchasing an R210 with the following specs:
> Onboard SATA, 1-2 Hard Drives connected to onboard SATA Controller -No


> On-Board Dual Gigabit Network Adapter


> I'm wanting to install Debian Lenny (5.0.x).  My concerns are for the
> hard drive controller and the network adapter mainly.  Does anyone know
> if there any issues installing Debian Lenny on this machine?  I've read
> some discussions online about the BCM5716 chipset for the network
> adapter, but that it was apparently fixed in Lenny 5.0.5.

Your list specifies no RAID, so you would be using the chipset's own SATA/AHCI routines.  From what I can find, that machine uses a Intel 3420 chipset, which from a quick google appears to work under Debian.  If you are wondering about the Intel Matrix (jokingly called) "RAID", don't bother.  Not only is it not available under anything but windows, but it's a form of proprietary software RAID.  If you have to have a RAID, use the standard Linux software RAID tools (which is very good) or get a dedicated RAID card (which is not my preferred choice due to that being proprietary as well, but at least it's not motherboard specific).

The network cards are another matter.  For Lenny, it looks like one of the backported kernels and firmware packages contains the driver that will work with the newer BCM chips.  The firmware package is not installed by default, nor is it included in the default repositories (IIRC, it's in non-free) due to licensing issues, so you would have to have it downloaded and on some kind of media (floppy, usb flash stick, etc) if you need it during the install.

The other question that comes to mind is why Lenny?  Squeeze is the current stable with Lenny being the old-stable release.

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