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I've installed a HighPoint RocketRAID 2720SGL card that I've connected 3 x 1.5 TB HDDs. After creating a RAID 5 within the RocketRAID BIOS using the 3 disks, I am attempting to install Ubuntu Server 12.04 on the array. However, the installer is locking up during the Detecting hardware phase.

Steps taken:

I'm using the standard Ubuntu Server 12.04 64-bit installation CD. In order to install the RocketRAID drivers so the installer can recognize the RAID array, I am using two driver packages from the HighPoint website.

  • rr272x_1x-ubuntu-11.10-x86_64-v1.4.12.0502.tgz (Drivers for Ubuntu 11.10; latest Ubuntu specific drivers)
  • RR272x_1x-Linux-Src-v1.4-120424-1752.tar.gz (Linux open source driver, which require a build against a kernel)

The rr272x_1x-ubuntu-11.10-x86_64-v1.4.12.0502.tgz driver has a preinst.sh script that is meant to load the driver while the Ubuntu installer is "Loading additional components". At that point, you use ALT + F2 to enter the console, mount the USB flash drive you have the driver package extracted to, and run the preinst.sh script. This is unsuccessful "as is" because the drivers included in this package are for the Linux 3.0.0-12-(generic/server) kernel and 12.04 has the 3.2.0-29 kernel.

To workaround this problem, I used the open source drivers listed above to build a driver off the 3.2.0-29-generic kernel, which I have on a Ubuntu Server 12.04 VirtualBox VM. I extracted the archive and navigated to ../rr272x_1x-linux-src-v1.4/product/rr272x/linux and ran a make against the 3.2.0-29-generic kernel as outlined in the open source driver README using the following sudo make KERNELDIR=/lib/modules/3.2.0-29-generic/build. This successfully builds the following rr272x_1x.ko.

I take the resulting driver and GZIP it into an archive that has the correct naming convention so the preinst.sh script will recognize it, rr272x_1x3.2.0-29-genericx86_64.ko.gz. I then place it in the boot folder of the extracted rr272x_1x-ubuntu-11.10-x86_64-v1.4.12.0502.tgz package, which is where it is supposed to be.

When launching into the console during the Ubuntu installation, this time the preinst.sh script runs successfully. I then press ALT + F1 to go back to the installer and continue until I hit the "Detecting hardware" phase, which is where the whole operation locks up.

I've tested the Ubuntu installation CD and it doesn't have any errors. I've also attempted this process multiple times in case it was a one time lockup, but it continues to lock up in the same place. Can anyone offer insight on what I may be doing incorrectly here?

NOTE: The installer will progress past the detecting hardware phase if the RocketRAID drives are not loaded, so I know it is something with the driver causing the issue.

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2 Answers

Advice: don't use the RocketRAID in the first place - or at least not as more than a SATA controller. For pretty much any conceivable setup, mdraid will thoroughly outperform it... and won't leave you dependent on a quirky proprietary setup, to boot.

(I say this as someone who has actually used RocketRAID controllers for years, because they supported FreeBSD incredibly well and directly. They don't do so well with Linux, though, and they just aren't very high performance.)

If you want some tips on how to set up your server using kernel raid (mdraid), feel free to come back with questions about that. :)

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Not true at all (Maybe as far as SATA goes) I great great performance on my 0, 1, 5, SAS arrays. If your looking for performance on a 10 array you should probably buy a better card. As far as I am concerned the 2720SGL is a great piece of HW as long as it does what you need. Have not had any issues what so ever. Highpoint also has very good support, any time I have dealt with them it has been top notch.

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