Jimmy's weblog


Escaped from the udev hell

Filed under: — jimmy @ 2:36 am

Since kernel 2.6.12 udev stopped to work on my workstation. I tested nearly everything and it took me days, without any effort. But one thing was clear: It can’t be udev itself, it’s something with my debian. The problem was that udevd always hanged at boottime. Tonight I tried strace again to find any information which might be useful. I realized that there seems to be a problem with name resolution because the last call in the output shows my dns server’s address. So I tried a a couple of things and found out that pinging an external address had a very similiar strace output. After a while it was clear: It’s a problem with /etc/nsswitch.conf. There’s one line in my! config that looks like this:

hosts:      files dns ldap

Although the ldap server works I decided to remove ldap. Believe it or not: This solved the udev problem.

Usually I track down every reason of a problem but in this case, I don’t care. At least for today ;-)


IBM x336

Filed under: — jimmy @ 10:01 pm

Today I’m testing an IBM x336 server. Since the IBM servers are certified for SuSE and Redhat there’s usually no problem to get everything to work. The only pitfall might be the hard disk controllers. If you use SuSE or Redhat you can get the drivers, if you use Debian you are not that lucky. But this is only a problem if the drivers are not open source, otherwise you can simply recompile them for the debian kernel (For ServeRAID the drivers are in the official kernel source so this controllers work out-of-the-box)
Last time I tested a x346 where the ServeRAID controller was an Adaptec fakeraid and the driver was closed source. Anyway, when I see a fakeraid I usually use mdadm which worked perfectly. But there is a drawback. In this case you have to use the usual scsi drivers but then hot swapping of drives could fail if the driver doesn’t support it or if the support is buggy. In this machine the kernel module was aic79xx and hot swapping didn’t work stable enough for me (Lazy as I am I didn’t check if the module even supports hot swapping, so maybe it’s simply my fault ;-) )
The x336 has an onboard LSI Logic (kernel module mptscsih). Hot swapping worked, I just had to remove and reinsert the adapter with scsi-add:

scsi-add -r 1 0 1 0
scsi-add -a 1 0 1 0

Since this is a real hardware raid I activated the mirroring function in the BIOS and tested again with grml… no problems.

X60s, update nr. 1

Filed under: — jimmy @ 9:49 pm

Most of the things that didn’t work out-of-the-box were fixed in no time:

Wireless LAN, ipw3945
The ipw3945 project provides the driver and userspace daemon for the card. Yes, you need a userspace daemon for that card and this is also the reason why it won’t be packaged that soon… again a licensing problem :-(
Beside that annoying facts it works perfectly.

Starting with version 7 you can use the i810 driver. DRI didn’t work but I didn’t spend much time to solve it.

I installed the alsa drivers from the cvs tree. When I booted the first time I had to tune the mixer values because they were all above 300, instead of < 100. Also I have to restart the alsa subsystem after booting once again to make it work. That’s ok for now because I think that this problem will vanish with the next kernel release