Kernel 4 or 5 with IBM X3850 X5

Kernels & Hardware, configuring network, installing services

Kernel 4 or 5 with IBM X3850 X5

Postby g7rau » 2019-08-31 06:41


I recently purchased an X3850 x5 to replace my aging HP webserver that runs a project for amateur radio- (Live MUF).

As I was used to Debian 8 I installed this and all was OK once I found the network drivers. I wanted to bring it up to date so I upgraded to Deb 9 and on reboot an error light came on the server that took a cold start to remove the error. I chose the kernel 3 that was in the grub list still and Deb 9 booted fine. I have tried loading the 4.9 kernel various ways to no avail (GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="mptbase.mpt_msi_enable_sas=0 iommu=soft amd_iommu=on").

I have downloaded all the non-free firmware from the deb repository but this made no difference. I even tried the backported 5 kernel but that was the same. Am I doomed to stay on Deb 8 for the next 5 years (not the end of the world) or can anybody point me in the direction of a solution? I went back to Deb 8 and I am now soak testing it to see if there are any funnies but so far so good. I want to get it in as a replacement in the next 4 weeks but being able to get to deb 9 beforehand would be a bonus. Patching the firmware is not an option, I do all this project for free and cannot afford a doorstop creation episode :).

P.S. I am asking here as I see that anything other than a SUSE or RedHat question on the IBM site gets a big boo from the audience! I have googled a lot which makes me wonder if nobody is using one of these with later than Deb 8 yet. I am amazed nobody else hit this issue as there are a lot of X5s in the 2nd hand market and many are like me trying to keep a free project going with minimal personal cost buying 2nd hand server kit.

I am willing to build my own kernel if I cannot do anything via a grub boot but does anyone know what I need to include? I have read a lot and to be honest I am more confused now than I ever was!

Many thanks, Dave Edwards
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Re: Kernel 4 or 5 with IBM X3850 X5

Postby stevepusser » 2019-08-31 17:08

There are some Debian-based distros that include all the non-free goodies in order to make setup easier for beginners---I'm involved with MX Linux myself. If they work, that holds out hope that vanilla Debian can be made to work with some extra effort.

You could try running a Live Session of MX 18 or the current MX 19 (Debian 10) beta to see how they boot up. MX 18 and 19 currently are using 4.19 kernels.
The MX Linux repositories: Backports galore! If we don't have something, just ask and we'll try--we like challenges. New packages: LibreOffice 7.0.0, QMPlay2 20.07.04, Pale Moon 28.12.0, KeepassXC 2.6.0, Arqiver 0.6.0+git, Foliate 2.4.2
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Re: Kernel 4 or 5 with IBM X3850 X5

Postby g7rau » 2019-09-06 03:04

Many thanks Steve, I will give that a go. I did upgrade to Deb 9 using 3 kernel so getting 4 running on this would be great. It must be possible as fedora server 30 uses the 5 kernel and that installed 1st time but it felt very alien to me hence I am back with Debian.

Cheers, Dave
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