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Debian 5 (kernel 2.6.18) cannot boot from Supermicro X9SRL

标签: debiankernellinux kerneldesignserver
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Environment: Supermicro X9SRL server, which usesC600/X79 series chipset 6-Port SATA AHCI Controller

Linux OS to boot: Debian 5.10 (kernel 2.6.18)

Error message:  ALERT! It could not find the /dev/sda1  Kernel panic.  ..

Reason: 

I found the reason why native linux kernel 2.6.18 cannot boot from the server.  The error message said that "It could not find the /dev/sda1". This is because the SATA/AHCI driver in 2.6.18 kernel is outdated.  Our Supermicro server is using the C600/X79 series chipset 6-Port SATA AHCI Controller (dev id: 1d02).  According to http://cateee.net/lkddb/web-lkddb/SATA_AHCI.html,  linux kernel include a built-in ahci driver for this type of controller starting from version 2.6.19. But unfortunately 2.6.18 misses its chance. 

I tried to hack into the 2.6.18 ahci driver source code.  What I did was compared the ahci.c file between 2.6.19 and 2.6.18. However, there was a dramatic change in driver design right after 2.6.18.  The ahci driver implementation seems very different between these two versions. Backporting the ahci driver to 2.6.18 is just too painful. 

A Workaround:
Try to connect the hard drive through a SATA-USB cable.  2.6.18 kernel has a built-in USB driver, so it can detect the drive where the root file system is in. 

UPDATE on Aug 24, 2014:
Or you can have another SAS/SATA controller card which has open-source driver.  Then you build its driver into the 2.6.18 kernel.
Forward reference:  http://blog.csdn.net/kevin_ut/article/details/38799629

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