At HP's Certification Matrices it is mentioned that there are no Smart Array B120i RAID controller drivers. It is suggested to use the controller in AHCI mode, use software RAID instead and forget about the HP maintenance tools. On the other hand

Useful AskUbuntu questions are here and here; excellent setup description is available at Neowin. However, there is no indication that anybody ever managed to use the hpvsa drivers and MCP outside of HP.

Has anyone installed the drivers and successfully used the tools? I was trying to, but goofed it. It would help to see how the RAID is recognized by the OS. At which point is the array detected? What's the kernel message? What does hdparm -i say? smartctl --all?

Details on my failure:

I installed Ubuntu Server 14.04.2 LTS on the server's microSD card without problems (traditional way using external USB optical drive / USB stick since the intelligent provisioning thing did not provide the option to install Ubuntu) and installed parts of the MCP (since some packages contain unmet dependencies). hplog -t already provides some output:

 1  Basic Sensor Ambient         Normal    73F/ 23C 107F/ 42C 
 2  Basic Sensor CPU (2)         Normal   104F/ 40C 158F/ 70C 
 3  Basic Sensor Mem. Brd. (3)  Normal    86F/ 30C 188F/ 87C 
 5  Basic Sensor System Board    Normal   136F/ 58C 221F/105C 
 6  Basic Sensor System Board    Normal   109F/ 43C 154F/ 68C 
 7  Basic Sensor System Board    Normal   111F/ 44C 190F/ 88C 
 9  Basic Sensor System Board    Normal   109F/ 43C 161F/ 72C 
11  Basic Sensor I/O Zone        Normal    96F/ 36C 147F/ 64C 
12  Basic Sensor Chassis         Normal   104F/ 40C 154F/ 68C 

Would have been great if this information would have been available to sensorsd. Other hplog options produce plausible output as well. So does hpasmcli -s "show dimm".

I am not sure in which mode the HDDs are used. BIOS configuration was set to RAID mode (RAID 1 volume for slots #3 and #4), but the OS provides access (fdisk, smartctl) to all individual disks -- which indicates that there is no RAID array? The logical volume was set up using the built-in Intelligent Provisioning system. The hpvsa drivers require kernel 3.13.0-32 while Ubuntu came with 3.16.0-45. I installed that kernel as well and was able to load the hpvsa module. Starting hpssa -local the system reported that no array controller was detected. Huh?


I've installed 14.04.2 following the steps from the HP guide located at:


However, the HP logical volumes where not visile during the install process.

After installation, I've updated hpdsa and installed the Storage Administration (hpssacli) utility from here:


However, the hpssacli utility output is as follows:

root@hp:/home/user# hpssacli
HP Smart Storage Administrator CLI
Detecting Controllers...Done.
Type "help" for a list of supported commands.
Type "exit" to close the console.

=> ctrl all show config

Error: No controllers detected.


Trying to get some info on the module:

root@hp:/home/user# modinfo hpdsa
    filename:       /lib/modules/3.16.0-30-generic/updates/dkms/hpdsa.ko
    license:        HP
    description:    HP raidstack firmware version (d71/s249/r2994)
    author:         Hewlett-Packard Company
    srcversion:     7E67ABFB6EA64BD6130FFA0
    alias:          pci:v0000103Cd0000193Fsv0000103Csd00003381bc*sc*i*
    vermagic:       3.16.0-30-generic SMP mod_unload modversions

lsmod lists the module:

root@hp:/home/user# lsmod
Module                  Size  Used by
hpdsa                2686323  1

I'll keep digging.

| improve this answer | |
  • What did you find after digging? – Benoit Duffez Oct 10 '16 at 8:25
  • I've manage to install the driver in both Ubuntu and CentOS. It requires building a special disk and starting the OS installation with additional kernel parameters. However, RAID 0 performance was abismal, something like 30MB/s. I ended up going back to madm. – Florin Oct 12 '16 at 10:37
  • Oh, I feared that I had to install this way. I'll pass then, thanks a lot. – Benoit Duffez Oct 12 '16 at 13:28
  • @Florin Would you mind pointing out those parameters? (Even though it was 4 years ago ahah) – Alberto Bellini Nov 21 '16 at 12:03
  • This details it step by step for another distribution, but it is the same for ubuntu – Florin Dec 4 '16 at 21:25

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