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Areca SATA RAID controllers are a high performance hardware raid controller supporting RAID6 and 4/8/12/24 channels in both PCI-E and PCI-X standards. The driver is open source, and is in in the mainline kernel tree. This wiki should handle how to install onto the Areca card from the Live CD, as well as how to setup the web based management. Information for this entry was taken from this post as well as my own personal experience.

Detecting the Hardware

First you should make sure your card is being detected, as lspci should contain something like this:

Code: Output of lspci
08:0e.0 RAID bus controller: Areca Technology Corp. ARC-1220 8-Port PCI-Express to SATA RAID Controller

Getting LiveCD Support for pre-2007.0 LiveCD's

Note: 2007.0 has a 2.6.19 kernel, which includes the Areca driver. If you are using a 2007.0 or newer LiveCD you can skip this step.

If booting from the LiveCD, your Areca array will not be detected. You need to get the modules, download them from the list above. Once you have downloaded the modules you can load them using insmod. This should detect any arrays you created under /dev/sd*, and you will know which letter to use by looking at the output of dmesg as seen below:

Code: Output of dmesg
        Driver Version
  Vendor: Areca     Model: ARC-1220-VOL#00   Rev: R001
  Type:   Direct-Access                      ANSI SCSI revision: 03
SCSI device sda: 1874999808 512-byte hdwr sectors (960000 MB)
SCSI device sda: drive cache: write back
SCSI device sda: 1874999808 512-byte hdwr sectors (960000 MB)
SCSI device sda: drive cache: write back
 sda: sda1 sda2 sda3
Attached scsi disk sda at scsi0, channel 0, id 0, lun 0
Attached scsi generic sg0 at scsi0, channel 0, id 0, lun 0,  type 0
arcmsr device major number 254

You can now continue with your installation as normal until you need to make the kernel.

Patching Areca Kernel Support for pre-2.6.19 Kernels

Note: If you are using kernel sources that includes the driver by default, skip this step. As of 2.6.19, the Areca drivers are included in the baseline kernel.

Simply download the Areca-supported driver source from and follow the directions in the README file. Don't forget to edit BOTH the Kconfig file AND the Makefile in the SCSI directory as instructed.

You are now ready to configure and compile your kernel!

Configuring the Kernel

Since the Areca driver works as a SCSI drive, we need to have SCSI support and SCSI disk support enabled along with the actual Areca driver itself.

Linux Kernel Configuration: Kernel 2.6 Config
Device Drivers  --->
  SCSI device support  --->
    <*>   SCSI disk support
    <*>   SCSI tape support 
    <*>   SCSI generic support
    [*]   Probe all LUNs on each SCSI device 
    SCSI low-level drivers  --->
      <*> ARECA (ARC1110/1120/1130/1160/1210/1220/1230/1260) SATA RAID HOST Controller

Your kernel now should have Areca support ready to go, compile and continue the installation. Note: "Probe all LUNS" is necessary if you intend to use multiple raidsets or configured raidsets will not be visible beyond the first raidset

Installing Web Management Software

Note: This is not necessary to install, but is very helpful for monitoring the health of your arrays.

One of the advantages of the Areca card is its web management software, which provides the same capabilities as the BIOS RAID manager. With this utility you can modify arrays, monitor temperatures, change configuration settings, and create new arrays or delete old ones. First you need to download it from Areca here. You can put it wherever you want, and you can run it straight from the console if you want, though it is suggested to extract it to /usr/local/sbin. Additionally, an init script would be wise for easily turning the service on and off.

File: /usr/local/sbin/
     cd /usr/local/sbin/

File: /etc/init.d/areca

depend() {
        use net logger

start() {
        ebegin "Starting Areca Webserver"
        start-stop-daemon --start --exec /usr/local/sbin/
        eend $?

stop() {
        ebegin "Stopping Areca Webserver"
        start-stop-daemon --stop -s INT -n archttp64
        sleep 5
        eend $?

Once running, you can now login with your normal BIOS login to http://localhost:81, note that there are problems using Lynx logging in, so I suggest using Firefox or a similar client. The default login is admin/0000 as noted in the Areca manual.

Note: The Areca web server uses the Digest method of user authentication. This causes lynx, links, and wget to fail to connect. elinks works correctly, as does curl, if you force it to use the Digest mode and not the Basic mode: The following curl command will list the drive hierarchy page: curl -u admin:0000 --digest http://localhost:81/ http://localhost:81/hierarch.htm Note: The server requires the connection to be kept alive, and started on the root page for the server, so just trying to get http://localhost:81/hierarch.htm by itself will fail.

Installing Command Line Management Software

Note: This is also not necessary to install, but is very helpful for monitoring the health of your arrays in a way that's easy to script

The Areca cards also include command line management software, which is particularly useful for monitoring temperatures and the controller's event logs. First you need to download it from Areca here. You can put it wherever you want, and you can run it straight from the console if you want.

There are some examples showing usage of the Areca cli, including what disk failure looks like, at Linux disk failures.

Tip: Upgrading Raid Levels

One of the benefits of having an Areca card is being able to switch RAID levels easily. However, you may run into the problem where even though you have a free drive or a hot swap drive, you can't upgrade upwards, only downwards. To fix this problem you need to have at least one free drive (if you have it as a hot swap, delete the hot swap drive to make it available as free). The first step is you have to do is expand the array. You can do this under the RaidSet functions, select the free drives you want and hit escape (or confirm if using HTTP). Next it will prompt you if you want to modify the array, select YES.

Warning: You lose the ability to upgrade raid levels if you do not select the upgraded level here. You are unable to change this later.

From here you can now select whatever raid level you want, go forward with the procedure and be prepared to wait hours.

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Last modified: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 22:56:00 +0000 Hits: 12,709