Light At The End Of The Tunnel

systems administration meanderings

CentOS 6.5 on Super Micro HFT server

Recently I had the chance to test the Super Micro 6027ax-72rf-hft3 server, which is meant for HFT environments, being over clocked including the supported network cards.  I was aiming to run performance tests with the ExaNIC X2 from Exablaze. Unfortunately, the Super Micro website doesn’t list CentOS 6.5 as a supported operating system.

My first couple of attempts in installing CentOS 6.5 on this server resulted in kernel panics, upon investigation I realised it was not seeing the disk controller.

The server uses a LSI SAS 2208 controller, so I downloaded the latest at the time MegaraidSAS RPM, kmod-megaraid_sas-06.703.11.00_centos6.5-2.x86_64.rpm.

On our PXE server I installed this rpm and then used the following steps to create a new initrd file:-

cd /tftpboot/centos6-x8_64
mkdir new-initrd
cd new-initrd
xz -dc ../initrd.img | cpio -id
cd modules/
cd 2.6.32-431.el6.x86_64/extra
rsync -av /lib/modules/2.6.32-431.el6.x86_64/extra/megaraid_sas .
cd ../../../
# download latest PCI ids to ensure thecomponents would be recognised
cd usr/share/hwdata
mv pci.ids.1 pci.ids
# Added the USB ids too
mv usb.ids.1 usb.ids
cd ../../..
find . | cpio -c -o | xz -9 --format=lzma > ../initrd2.img
cd /tftpboot/pxelinux.cfg/
vi <mac address> #edit it to use the new initrd2.img file.

Now it booted and CentOS 6.5 installed perfectly.