Installing Centos 7 / RedHat RHEL on an HP ML350 G5 w / CCISS Raid Controllers

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Installing Centos 7 on an HP ML350 G5

This  post is getting an unusual amount of traffic…it seems that the ML350 G5 (or its associated drive controllers) has the fortitude and staying power of the venerable HP LaserJet 4P.

ml350 g5 chassis
ml350 g5 chassis – it’s not that heavy.

Starting with RHEL / Centos 7, the drivers for the CCISS family of raid controller cards, the P400, P400i, E200i (and others), are no longer loaded / enabled by default. When you go to install Centos 7 on older HP hardware you will likely see that it doesn’t detect your controller / disk array.

When you boot up and go into the install, press tab to get to your install options. From here append hpsa.hpsa_simple_mode=1 hpsa.hpsa_allow_any=1 to your boot options.  Now one caveat.  On my server which is an ML350 G5 (old, but useful) with P400 / E200i raid controllers, the inclusion of both parameters prior to the install results in the installer not recognizing my disk array / controller.  I was able to get this to work by only appending hpsa.hpsa_allow_any=1.  This may be due to a variation in hardware configuration of the presence of other raid controllers in my specific system – so if you have difficulty, give this a try next.

The install should now locate your controller / disk array and you should be able to install as normal. After you reboot however you’ll have to make this more permanent. At the grub screen press e to get back to your boot options. From here append hpsa.hpsa_simple_mode=1 hpsa.hpsa_allow_any=1 again so that you can get into the machine.

Once you’re logged in open up /etc/default/grub and add these options to the file (depending on what was successful in the prior step). The file should now look something like:

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GRUB_TIMEOUT=5
GRUB_DEFAULT=saved
GRUB_DISABLE_SUBMENU=true
GRUB_TERMINAL_OUTPUT="console"
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="rd.lvm.lv=centos/root rd.lvm.lv=centos/swap crashkernel=auto rhgb quiet hpsa.hpsa_simple_mode=1 hpsa.hpsa_allow_any=1"
GRUB_DISABLE_RECOVERY="true"

Now run:

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grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg

Success! If you would like to see how to install hpssacli and other HP utilities see here.

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[root@ml350 ~]# hpssacli ctrl all show config

Smart Array E200i in Slot 0 (Embedded) (sn: QT84MP6777 )

Port Name: 1I

Port Name: 2I

Smart Array P400 in Slot 4 (sn: PAFGL0R9SX71W2)

Port Name: 1I

Port Name: 2I

Internal Drive Cage at Port 1I, Box 1, OK

Internal Drive Cage at Port 2I, Box 1, OK
array A (SAS, Unused Space: 0 MB)

logicaldrive 1 (410.0 GB, RAID 5, OK)

physicaldrive 1I:1:5 (port 1I:box 1:bay 5, SAS, 72 GB, OK)
physicaldrive 1I:1:6 (port 1I:box 1:bay 6, SAS, 72 GB, OK)
physicaldrive 1I:1:7 (port 1I:box 1:bay 7, SAS, 72 GB, OK)
physicaldrive 2I:1:1 (port 2I:box 1:bay 1, SAS, 72 GB, OK)
physicaldrive 2I:1:2 (port 2I:box 1:bay 2, SAS, 72 GB, OK)
physicaldrive 2I:1:3 (port 2I:box 1:bay 3, SAS, 72 GB, OK)
physicaldrive 2I:1:4 (port 2I:box 1:bay 4, SAS, 72 GB, OK)
physicaldrive 1I:1:8 (port 1I:box 1:bay 8, SAS, 72 GB, OK, spare)

For more on installing RHEL / Centos 7, have a look here.

Installing HP System Drivers / Tools on Linux

Lima

About the author

Lima is the visual nautical indicator for "stop instantly."

Comments

  1. Hi, thanks for the info.

    I had the same hardware, with the same array controller, but adding this during boot, don’t work also.><<<<<<<<<<<<

    I tried with both options or just one of them, but nothing work.<

    The system looks like is going to install, but then the dracut-initqueue again.

    in the dracut console i see the detection of the sda/b, the logical blocks of my raid 5 conf
    but i didn't get it why this is not installing.

    Any idea ?

    1. what OS / version are you trying to load; any screenshots or logs? Let me think on that, I’ve done this successfully on Centos 7 but have not tried others yet with the exception of ubuntu 18.04, which does not require any additional config. When you omit the above changes, I am assuming it doesn’t detect the block device at all, correct?

  2. Thank you for the reply Lima. I’ve tried to install Centos 7 1810 minimal server version and like i said even with this boot options, it crashes. I also tried with Ubuntu 18.04.3 but no luck too. I have HP E200i array configured with a 5 146gb 10k sas disks on a RAID 5 and one 146gb disk for hotspare. Everything wents well till the end when the installation asks for username and info stuff. As i start to input the username, the install crash with an error with the curtin command install and when i inspect the fulll log, says that no raid arrays were found. I found some similiar posts on internet with this, but no luck. Thank you.

    1. so when i first approached this, the installer (without the options) did not even detect my raid devices and i could not proceed past the disk selection – hardware is the same in both cases, software is the same … *BIOS of the controller, is it current? i know thats a bit of a reach, but its a variable. Also, have you tried installing an older version of centos / redhat that are “compatible” per se with this hardware – i’m thinking that probably would not work either based on what you have described, but is worth a shot. Also assuming this is your primary boot device, no other controllers / drives on other ribbons in the box.

      -whats critical is that we know it is detecting the array, and it is writing to the array – hardware failure with things this age – not uncommon, do you have another controller you can swap in and see if the issue persists?

  3. The Bios installed is D21 05/01/2017 and yours ?
    I didn’t tried with older versions yet, because i need it updated but i gonna try it.
    I think i have another ML350 G5 for pieces, i will try to swap the controller.
    Thanks 😉

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