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Note: Follow this howto at your own risk.

Note: Most of this also applies to the Compaq Proliant 1850

Note: 1600r and 1850r are the same as 1600 and 1850, just in a rack case, not a tower

Compaq Proliant 1600
Compaq Proliant 1600


SmartStart 5.50 & BIOS

If you need to setup your Server for Gentoo and don't have any SmartStart CD at hand, you get it at (Many people on the net state that HP only offers newer SmartStarts and you would have to buy 5.50...well Gentoo users know better ;)

Note: SmartStart 5.50 is the last version that supports the Proliant 1600

SmartStart 5.50 also ships with the latest available BIOS-update P08, which is absolutely neccessary to run Gentoo (as far as I know), as earlier versions only support Redhat

The latest Update for SmartArray 221 is 4.50, which is available at: The Linux Online Rompaq did not work with my gentoo (stating that I do not have the correct kernelmodules), so the only way to update is to get the floppyimage and update via floppyboot or SmartStart.

Manuals, software, forums and additional help is available at HP's supportpage: HP Proliant 1600 Support


One of the most interesting information about the RAID system is where to find the hard-disc. Since it is an hardware RAID, it should be completely transparent for the software to use. You only need to know the following things.

While running the live CD your harddiscs can be found here:

/dev/ida/c0d0 is like /dev/hda but for the raid.

/dev/ida/c0d0p1 is like /dev/hda1 is for the raid partion.

You can follow the normal gentoo howto till the kernel and bootloader.

Note: with Gentoo 2004.* and earlier the partitions of the Proliant 1600 had devicenames like that: /dev/ida/c0d0/disk is like /dev/hda but for the raid.

/dev/ida/c0d0/part1 is like /dev/hda1 is for the raid partion.

Note: with Gentoo 2006.1 LiveCD, users found it worked best to boot with the options of: gentoo nousb nox doscsi

Note: You cannot use the gentoo-installer to install to this system however. It has been tried several times with varying options without success.

Useful Tools


A very useful tool is the fdisk tool, take a look around your system using fdisk:

 fdisk -l 

example output on a laptop that is dual boot:

Disk /dev/hda: 40.0 GB, 40007761920 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 4864 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/hda1   *           1        1912    15358108+   7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/hda2            1913        1925      104422+  83  Linux
/dev/hda3            1926        1957      257040   82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/hda4            1958        4864    23350477+  83  Linux


Here just FYI is a df -h of the system up and running...

bash-2.05b# df -h
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/ida/c0d0p4    49G  2.0G   47G   4% /
/dev/ida/c0d0p3   981M   33M  949M   4% /tmp
none              441M     0  441M   0% /dev/shm
/dev/ida/c0d0p1    97M  8.5M   84M  10% /boot



You need to setup /etc/fstab accordingly to get your system up and running. This is an example configuration with a the default partition layout the gentoo installation guide suggests.

File: /etc/fstab
# /etc/fstab: static file system information.

# <fs>                  <mountpoint>    <type>          <opts>          <dump/pass>

# NOTE: If your BOOT partition is ReiserFS, add the notail option to opts.
/dev/ida/c0d0p1         /boot           ext2            noauto,noatime  1 2
/dev/ida/c0d0p3         /               reiserfs        noatime         0 1
/dev/ida/c0d0p2         none            swap            sw              0 0
/dev/cdroms/cdrom0      /mnt/cdrom      iso9660         noauto,ro       0 0
/dev/fd0                /mnt/floppy     auto            noauto          0 0

# NOTE: The next line is critical for boot!
proc                    /proc           proc            defaults        0 0

# glibc 2.2 and above expects tmpfs to be mounted at /dev/shm for 
# POSIX shared memory (shm_open, shm_unlink).
# (tmpfs is a dynamically expandable/shrinkable ramdisk, and will
#  use almost no memory if not populated with files)
shm                     /dev/shm        tmpfs           nodev,nosuid,noexec     0 0



You need to compile in "Compaq SMART2" support to do so do this. In the quide when it says to do "genkernel --udev all" you need to do this.

Code: Genkernel
# genkernel --udev --menuconfig all

Then go to Device Drivers, then "Block devices" then goto "Compaq SMART2 support" and hit y. Then hit the esc button until you get to a screen that askes if you want to save your kernel config. Go to yes and it enter. Note: it may take 1 or 2 seconds from the time you hit esc for something to happen. Don't hit it a bunch of times if nothing happens right away

Non-genkernel users

You need to build-in "Compaq SMART2" support. It is under Device Drivers->Block devices->Compaq SMART2 support.



First off you need to install Grub; do this by

Code: Emerge Grub
# emerge grub

Now that we have grub installed check to make we have the two stages.

Code: Checking for stages
ls /boot/grub/stage?

If you don't have stage1 and stage2 there is something you did wrong or they are somewhere else.

GRUB installed on SmartArray RAID

Make sure /boot/grub/ looks like this:

File: /boot/grub/
(fd0)     /dev/fd0
(hd0)     /dev/ida/c0d0
Code: run Grub that way:
# /sbin/grub --batch --device-map=/boot/grub/  --config-file=/boot/grub/grub.conf --no-floppy
grub> root (hd0,0)
grub> setup (hd0)
grub> quit

Example Grub config:

File: /boot/grub/grub.conf
default 0
timeout 10

title=Gentoo Linux 2.6.19-r4
root (hd0,0)
kernel /kernel-gentoo-2.6.19-r4 root=/dev/ida/c0d0p3

In my case access to system configuration through F10 stopped working but if you can still boot the system partition by adding this to grub.conf:

File: /boot/grub/grub.conf
title System Setup
rootnoverify (hd0,2) # Assuming the system partition is the 3rd one
chainlaoder +1

GRUB installed on Floppy

Note: This method is generally discouraged and should only be used if the above one fails. To install grub you will need one blank floppy disk. Put a floppy disk in /dev/fd0 (Dos a: drive). Its now time to install grub to the floppy disk.

Jottt also had no luck with Grub and the SmartArray, however booting from the Internal SCSI-Controller works fine with Grub.


Get lilo

next create your /etc/lilo.conf

then run lilo to install to disk

Get lilo:

emerge -up lilo


emerge -u lilo

Edit your /etc/lilo.conf


        append="ro video=vesafb:mtrr,ywrap,1024x768@60"

as you can see it is MUCH different than /etc/fstab primarly because it looks to be using the same syntax as the LiveCD... BUT, take a look at the root= line and note the drive isn't /../../part4 it is /../../c0d0p4 (of course the 4 will be your root partion)

Also the append is just a few video tricks as mentioned in the Gentoo Handbook but, the "ro" is important for a journaled filesystem...

After you have your /etc/lilo.conf just run either dolilo or lilo -v



lilo -v
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Last modified: Wed, 13 Aug 2008 02:47:00 +0000 Hits: 23,580