[Server-devel] CentOS hardware support doubts

Daniel Drake dsd at laptop.org
Fri Feb 3 09:07:45 EST 2012

On Thu, Feb 2, 2012 at 9:09 PM, Martin Langhoff
<martin.langhoff at gmail.com> wrote:
> I assume here that CentOS is reasonably in sync with RHEL. Does
> http://elrepo.org/bugs/print_bug_page.php?bug_id=126 help? More
> generally, does any of the external repos have a kmod-staging or
> kmod-atl1e that works for you?

I've returned that system now; if I get the time and opportunity to
test again, I will do so. Where is the list of external repos?

I'm worried about the expertise required in order to identify such
repos and packages. We need this process to be doable without me in
the room.

> My assumption is that RHEL/CentOS have fairly decent hardware support
> from backported drivers, some in the RH kernels, EPEL or external
> repos (in order of decreasing quality expectations...).

I assume that RHEL is pretty good for server-class hardware found in
US/EU; I can imagine why the support of desktop-class hardware found
in the poorer parts of latin america may be lesser so.

> I wonder if you've been unlucky in the mix of hw you got there; or
> whether the driver support situation for essential things like NICs
> and disk controllers is weaker than I had expected. Maybe others with
> more practical experience with current RHEL/CentOS can comment...?

I've now seen 3 failure cases - the AR8152 mentioned above, and
another case which I only had time to do a quick boot check of
F9/C6/F16 (F16 was the only one that recognised the onboard NIC of the
asrock motherboard).

Yesterday we received 10 servers based on an Intel motherboard (and 12
more will be coming next week). F9 doesn't recognise the onboard NIC.
C6 recognises the onboard NIC but isn't able to send/receive packets.
F16 works fine (using e1000e driver). As these boards only have 1 PCI
socket it is not possible to have 2 NICs (unless we resort to USB...)
unless we move beyond C6.
Also, F9 and C6 do not recognise the SATA DVD drive in these systems -
no /dev/sr0 created, error in dmesg during boot. This will be a pain
for field work. With F16 this works fine.

I haven't yet found a case where the F9-->C6 upgrade adds hardware
support for any hardware that we have here.

I like your idea of using a F16 kernel on top of CentOS 6.2. So far,
his seems to be working fine (and solves all of the compatibility
problems mentioned above). If this continues to work I would like to
push it as the default for XS install media.


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