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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 7:11 pm 
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I've seen a few people ask about linux on this puppy but I haven't seen anyone else try it. After looking at the hardware, I decided it was all fairly common PC stuff and it should probably run linux just fine. I think the MediaSmart is a very capable box as is, but I'm more familiar with linux server environments and just wanted to try it. I also wanted to see if the amazing throughput this thing achieves was something I could get in linux, and I wanted RAID5.

In summary, I was able to boot linux on the server, but I wasn't able to do anything useful with it (yet). I experienced two major hang-ups along the way.

First, here's how I did it. Nothing too terribly fancy. I simply installed Ubuntu Gutsy on a SATA HDD using a spare PC. Once the OS was installed, I installed an ssh server (sudo apt-get install ssh). I wasn't sure I wanted X to try and run so I modified /boot/grub/menu.lst by changing the "splash" kernel option to "nosplash". I also removed references to /etc/init.d/gdm in the rc*.d folders to stop gdm/gnome from running. The update-rc.d command did this neatly. I also changed the power management settings so that the system would power down when I pressed the power button. This was done from the Power Management window because I don't know how to do this on the command line. Finally, I created a script to print the output of a few useful utilities (like lspci) to a file and added it to rc.local.

I'm writing this from memory so I may have forgot a couple of steps :) I took notes but they're at work next to the server. This is an after work but at work project.

I power-cycled the spare machine and made sure everything worked the way I wanted it to. Then I powered down the MediaSmart server, removed the existing Windows drive and replaced it with the linux drive. I pressed the power button and listened. To my surprise, it actually sounded like the thing was booting. I was pretty excited at this point. I tried to find the machine on the network, but no luck. So I powered down the server, removed the drive, and examined its contents on the spare machine.

The script I created did actually run on the server, so I have the output of the utilities I specified in the script and verified that the thing actually booted. Two major problems: first is that ethernet didn't work. lspci shows that the ethernet adapter is a SiS191. I'm hoping the information here: http://www.howtoforge.com/creating-the- ... -linux-2.6
will fix this issue.

The second issue is that the boot loader gets overwritten. I tried booting from the spare PC after the drive ran in the server and it didn't work. I'm guessing this is some kind of fail-safe feature of the hardware/BIOS. I'd like to try storing the known good MBR somewhere on the file system, then check the existing MBR and overwrite it if it has changed. Another rc.local entry and some dd action should take care of this (assuming the change happens at startup).

I'm going to try getting a fully functional system, so I'll post updates as I make more progress.

If you try this - good luck!

PS - The server booted the original Windows install just fine after I stuck
the original drive back in.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 8:20 pm 
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I'm curious have you gone here and tried grabbing on of these Linux drivers? Also you might want to think about installing Webmin. Just a thought...


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 11:06 am 
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Hey, I was just wondering if you made any further progress on this front?

Specifically if you got the network card working?

I think I'll give it a try this weekend, and see if I can get it up and running, so any more info would be great to have before I start.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 11:07 am 
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Getting all the right drivers on the system prior to moving the disk to the MSS is going to be the key...


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 2:55 pm 
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Well, I have the network interface up and running, the link in the original post was all that was needed to get the stock driver to work. Also the stock driver for the SATA controller works no problems. Working on getting the rest of the system setup but it's on the network and pingable!


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 Post subject: Update?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 8:18 pm 
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I'm thinking of taking this route as well. Do any of you have updates on this venture? Any major hiccups that you've overcome? I'll post my progress as well, if I make any.


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 Post subject: No NIC
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 2:56 pm 
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I hacked at this over the weekend. I can't get the Gb NIC working. I've run across every forum in existence. The problem is the SiS196 chip that drives the NIC. It is unsupported in the Linux community. I've hacked the sis190.c file every way you can imagine and it's a no go. I've used ndiswrapper and that's the closest I've come to getting it to work. At least with ndiswrapper the interface is acknowledged to be online. I can't seem to get it to configure properly, but it is clearly noted as up when using the ip tool to query it. For now I've plugged in a 10/100 usb ethernet interface into it which offers full 100. That's working fine, but I'd like to be able to move more than 12.5 MB/s. If anyone gets this hacked such that the onboard NIC is functioning properly and at Gb speed, please let me know.

On a side note, it is a really great linux server. I'm loving it.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 3:16 pm 
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I didn't have luck recompiling the kernel with the sis190 module, so I used ndiswrapper with Ubuntu. This is working successfully for me...


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 Post subject: ndiswrapper
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 5:31 pm 
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Which driver did you use with ndiswrapper? Also, are you using network manager for configuration or did you configure the interface manually? If manually, what settings did you need to use? Finally, was there any tweaking you had to do with ndiswrapper, or did you simply point it to the inf file and have it load at boot?

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 4:59 pm 
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ok, for those still trying to figure out how to recompile the driver you'll need to add a line to /usr/src/linux/drivers/net/sis190.c

find this section:
mii_chip_table[] = {
{ "Broadcom PHY BCM5461", { 0x0020, 0x60c0 }, LAN, F_PHY_BCM5461 },
{ "Broadcom PHY AC131", { 0x0143, 0xbc70 }, LAN, 0 },
{ "Agere PHY ET1101B", { 0x0282, 0xf010 }, LAN, 0 },
{ "Marvell PHY 88E1111", { 0x0141, 0x0cc0 }, LAN, F_PHY_88E1111 },
{ "Realtek PHY RTL8201", { 0x0000, 0x8200 }, LAN, 0 },
{ NULL, }


and insert into the list this line:

{ "HP EX470 PHY", { 0x4d, 0xd010 }, LAN, 0 },

it worked for me, no garauntees it'll work for you though


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 10:08 pm 
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Any chance of getting a tutorial on this?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 12:17 pm 
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Thanks, Muise. That appears to be working. I haven't been able to test it completely since I'm at work. However, I have recompiled the sis190.ko and loaded the module. The PHY is recognized, which I think was the only real problem I was up against. Now I just need to pop the network cable out of my usb interface and put it into the gig and see if it comes to life with an ifup.

Thanks again, much appreciated.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 6:02 pm 
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linuxed, Glad I could help, but a word of warning, I just hooked it up to my gigabit switch and it fails to negotiate the link at that speed.

deathstrike, would you mind giving a little detail about where you are getting stuck/lost? I can help you implement it if I know where things are going wrong for you.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 5:38 pm 
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I'm looking at getting a MediaSmart Server in the near future and have some questions:

How/how well does hotplug work on the SATA ports in Linux?
Will it boot off of a USB mass storage device?
Will it boot off the Ethernet?
How do you manipulate the front LEDs from Linux?
Has the 'wipes the MBR problem' been worked out?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:33 pm 
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GigE still isn't working properly with Linux.

I haven't tested booting off USB or ethernet.

Hotplug didn't work. After inserting the drive and rebooting the new drive is detected fine, but it isn't detected on-the-fly.

I'd also like to know how to manage the LEDs. Right now Linux only manages the power/network/status LED up front, not the HD LEds.

There is no "wipes the MBR" problem. I believe that was mis-reported by the individual who started this thread. No one else has seen that problem.


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