RE: Linux distros' legacy releases


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Thread: RE: Linux distros' legacy releases

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    RE: Linux distros' legacy releases

    I will be doing a custom-build to run XP Pro, and trial various Linux distros legacy releases (i.e. those having kernels 2.6.29 to 2.4.31). Do I need to focus on SCSI hard drives to accommodate Linux? Any other special hardware needs of Linux (that will not preclude XP Pro)? Advice welcomed!

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    Not too sure of the reason why it has to be an older kernel between 2.6.29 to 2.4.31. Modern kernels are a lot better in detecting hardware than the older ones.

    SCSI disks are same as Sata disk to Linux and long been given sda, sdb, sdc etc the device names when IDE disks were called hda to hde. Nowadays all hard disks and flash drives are called by the same device names sda, sdb, sdc etc and the detection order as per the setting in the motherboard.

    If you use a 2.4.xx kernel then your SCSI will be sda and your IDE disk will be hda. Never run a SCSI disk after I got into Linux but I did had a couple donkeys years running MS Windows.

    Xp will of course makes no distinction between hard disk type.

    Thus I don't think you need both with the hard disk types in both systems and just use whatever the system calls them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by saikee View Post
    Not too sure of the reason why it has to be an older kernel between 2.6.29 to 2.4.31. Modern kernels are a lot better in detecting hardware than the older ones.

    SCSI disks are same as Sata disk to Linux and long been given sda, sdb, sdc etc the device names when IDE disks were called hda to hde. Nowadays all hard disks and flash drives are called by the same device names sda, sdb, sdc etc and the detection order as per the setting in the motherboard.

    If you use a 2.4.xx kernel then your SCSI will be sda and your IDE disk will be hda. Never run a SCSI disk after I got into Linux but I did had a couple donkeys years running MS Windows.

    Xp will of course makes no distinction between hard disk type.

    Thus I don't think you need both with the hard disk types in both systems and just use whatever the system calls them.
    I had seen on another forum that Linux prefers SCSI, and SATA support is sketchy (especially before kernel 2.6.30). From what I understand, Linux can be fooled into thinking that SATA HDD is SCSI, but this is just a workaround, and not a good solution. If so, it would seem that simply going SCSI would be better. Since XP Pro is not picky about SATA or SCSI, my only concern is which is better for Linux kernel 2.6.29 & prior. As I'm doing custom-build, I can go either way. Not sure what you mean by IDE...are IDE connectors required for SCSI? Sorry, I'm not too familiar with SCSI!

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    IDE or ATA hard disks are the main hard disks used by the PC market. If you buy a motherboard say 3 to 5 years ago it will be the standard hard disk controller on board as will be the first hard disk detected. IDE is connected to a mobo by a ribbon cable that serves two units, a master and slave. Hardware wise only two connectors are provided so IDE hard disks or CD drives can only have device names hda, hdb, hdc and hde.

    SCSI hard disk are connected in series by different ribbon cables that are much wider and there are standard SCSI, wide SCSI and Extra wide SCSI connections. SCSI will have its own controllers which from my experience are plug-in adaptors as normal main stream PC mobo do not support them. When I used them the cable can support 8 or 16 units and the last needed a terminator to identify being the end of the chain.

    Sata is a compromise between the two but gives access speed faster than IDE disk.

    Many mobo are still sold with both IDE and Sata controllers as standard.
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    A Grub menu booting 100+ systems & A "Howto" to install and boot 145 systems
    Just cloning tips Just booting tips A collection of booting tips

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    Quote Originally Posted by saikee View Post
    IDE or ATA hard disks are the main hard disks used by the PC market. If you buy a motherboard say 3 to 5 years ago it will be the standard hard disk controller on board as will be the first hard disk detected. IDE is connected to a mobo by a ribbon cable that serves two units, a master and slave. Hardware wise only two connectors are provided so IDE hard disks or CD drives can only have device names hda, hdb, hdc and hde.

    SCSI hard disk are connected in series by different ribbon cables that are much wider and there are standard SCSI, wide SCSI and Extra wide SCSI connections. SCSI will have its own controllers which from my experience are plug-in adaptors as normal main stream PC mobo do not support them. When I used them the cable can support 8 or 16 units and the last needed a terminator to identify being the end of the chain.

    Sata is a compromise between the two but gives access speed faster than IDE disk.

    Many mobo are still sold with both IDE and Sata controllers as standard.
    I am already aware of SATA, and to lesser extent IDE (all motherboards I'm considering have both), its how this relates to SCSI that my knowledge breaks down.
    NO motherboard I've seen mentions SCSI connectors, so I assume you are saying that either IDE or SATA connectors will adapt to SCSI? Yes, all motherboards I'm looking at are older models, as I figured that would be better for Linux kernel 2.6.29 or previous. Please tell more about SCSI....does it run on SATA or IDE connectors, which of three SCSI types do I need to best satisfy Linux (also should mention another consideration is I require mobile-rack HDDs), etc. As you can guess, I really know little about SCSI HDDs, so any links to info that would help me design custom-build/pick components for SCSI-based PC would be appreciated too!

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    I have already stated that you need to buy an adaptor (SCSI disk controller plug in card) which is available in Amazon.

    You cannot plug a SCSI disk into a SATA or an IDE controller.

    You can do a Google on SCSI disk controllers and there is plenty information in the Internet like this web page.

    I suppose you are using SCSI hard disks possibly because you get an endless supply of them. SCSI seems to have lost popularity and not available in large capacities.
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    Just cloning tips Just booting tips A collection of booting tips

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    Quote Originally Posted by Formido
    I will be doing a custom-build to run XP Pro, and trial various Linux distros legacy releases (i.e. those having kernels 2.6.29 to 2.4.31). Do I need to focus on SCSI hard drives to accommodate Linux? Any other special hardware needs of Linux (that will not preclude XP Pro)? Advice welcomed!
    Short answer: No. Not really. If you can install Windows XP Pro on it, you are more than likely able to install Linux on it. There are exceptions, but mostly related to peripheral devices such as Web Cams or new technologies, such as Wireless NICs.

    Long answer: I would suspect that any hard drive you throw at a Linux system it's going to handle. However, when you're getting into older kernels, you WILL run into support issues for newer hardware. If you're building a legacy system you will have to keep your kernel at least as new - probably a little newer - than your newest piece of hardware. One of the biggest issues with Linux I find is that some companies just don't want to play ball with the Open Source community and provide drivers, or the docs required to create such drivers. On hardware niche this is apparent in is Wireless devices, such as Broadcom based wireless wireless devices. What you end up doing is running the native Windows driver in a wrapper.

    However, the same is true for Windows. Early installers for Windows will require a driver disk for SATA drives. It prompts you at the start of the installer for this. The same goes with Linux although install time driver setup is a bit more complicated.

    If we had more specs as to what you're thinking of building - IE Motherboard, Video Card, Hard Drive, RAM, peripherals, specific 'legacy distros' - we might be able to better assist you and provide a more straight forward answer.

    I'm curious as to what you're planning on using to build this legacy system for kernels between 2.4.31 and 2.6.29.

    I have been using Slackware Linux since it was shipped with Kernel 2.4.18 - Slackware 8.1 - and I had no issues with IDE disks - AKA Parallel ATA. Since 2004 I have been using Slackware with SATA disks - aka Serial ATA - with out issue. As of late, using Linux Kernel 2.6.37 - with Slackware 13.37 - I have noticed some issue with my atempt to use a SATA SSD - AKA Solid State Disk. This might just be the disk though. Sometimes you get bad disks.

    As for hardware compatibility regarding disks, I have used over 20 different brands and technologies of disks, including SCSI disks using Splack many years ago on My Ultra Sparc 10. The first time I ever had an issue with PATA - AKA IDE, ATA - SATA or SCSI disks is with my latest venture with SATA SSD, although I suspect the disk technology is at fault.

    Quote Originally Posted by saikee View Post
    You can do a Google...
    I might have opened with this.

    Quote Originally Posted by saikee View Post
    I suppose you are using SCSI hard disks possibly because you get an endless supply of them. SCSI seems to have lost popularity and not available in large capacities.
    Can I have some?

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    Quote Originally Posted by saikee View Post
    I have already stated that you need to buy an adaptor (SCSI disk controller plug in card) which is available in Amazon.

    You cannot plug a SCSI disk into a SATA or an IDE controller.

    You can do a Google on SCSI disk controllers and there is plenty information in the Internet like this web page.

    I suppose you are using SCSI hard disks possibly because you get an endless supply of them. SCSI seems to have lost popularity and not available in large capacities.
    I assume you are saying this is an adapter card that goes to a PCI slot?

    No, my thinking was that as I keep running across people complaining about Linux not playing well with SATA HDDs, and as the workaround seems to be to fool Linux into thinking that SATA is SCSI, then simply using SCSI from the start would be less irritation for me than trying to get Linux to work with SATA. Secondly, as I'll be limiting my trial of Linux to those distro releases using kernel 2.6.29 (or prior), the SATA problem would likely be even greater, while I seen it said that Linux has well supported SCSI "since forever". I've no preference over SATA, SCSI or SAS (although not a big fan of SSD), just want mobile-rack type HDDs that will be stress-free where Linux is concerned.

    Taking into account that I require mobile-rack HDDs, and will be trying out distro releases using only kernels 2.6.29 to 2.4.31, do you still think SATA is the way to go, or is SCSI or SAS better suited for my needs?

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    Now that I think of it, I did have an issue with a SATA controller. I have a motherboard that has two controllers - luckily - and one of them couldn't even be enabled in the BIOS in order to get the other to work. The issue was that the [scratch that]controller[/scratch that] chipset does not have support under Linux, for the same reason that some Wireless NICs or Web Cams don't have support - yet. Their manufacturers still consider their work into their chipsets 'trade secret' and don't want to divulge this information to the public, even though it's probably somewhere in a patent.

    When purchasing your motherboard, not your SATA disk, you should check on support in Linux for the chipset with the SATA controller associated.

    This might be a useful resource for you:
    http://linuxmafia.com/faq/Hardware/sata.html

    A hardware list would still be beneficial in this topic.

    PS an add on card could be ISA, PCI, PCI Express. Some motherboards will even have a proprietary slot for the card to go in, more commonly seen in servers.
    Last edited by WrinkledCheese; 09-20-2012 at 07:49 PM.

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    Unless you have a MB that has a onboard SCSI controller card, like saikee said you will need to buy a SCSI controller card that will plug into either a 32bit pci or a 64bit pci. If you plan on buying a new card plan on spending $200 - $700 US dollars. Then unless you buy used scsi harddrives you can plan on spending over $200.00 for a 73.3GB drive, at least that's about what they cost a few years ago. I have used both scsi and sata and I have never had any problems with linux seeing either usless you plan on running a scsi raid config then you may need to find linux drivers. Another thing to think about is scsi is not like sata or ide, you have to know how to set the jumpers for each scsi drive and you need to have a terminator on the end of the cable, (most ribon cables will have one) if you are using a standard pc with a scsi controller card you will want to use 68pin scsi harddrives unless you buy 80pin to 68pin adapters then you can use a 80pin scsi drive.

    By far the least expensive way to go is to use SATA, just plug it in and go. Oh and did I mention that you would need to go into the motherboard BIOS and configure it to boot to the scsi controller and then you need to go into the scsi controller to set the paramiters for the scsi harddrives. If you don't know anything about scsi but want to learn then see if you can pickup some used hardware and just play with it, but it is a learning curve for sure.

    As a side note, I stopped using scsi about 2 years ago because for the same money I could buy a new 1TB drive vs 36GB used scsi drive and have just as much dependability.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrrangerman43 View Post
    I have used both scsi and sata and I have never had any problems with linux
    You may want to check the link I posted up above. I had a motherboard - Asus A8V-Deluxe luckily - that the main SATA controlelr in the chipset did not have drivers available for Linux. Luckily the Deluxe meant it had another SATA controller that I could use 2 SATA disks on. This was only months ago with a 2.6.37 kernel. Drivers were not to be found anywhere for the chipset on that board.

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    I believe the current Sata HD is a clever implementation with a SCSI infterface on what is basically an IDE or ATA hardware. Since the cabling is a lot simpler and cheaper Sata HD has been the most successful hard disk so far.

    I kept a list of hard disks I used. For the 3.5" I have run 54 units from 2Gb to 3Tb covering both IDE and Sata. For 2.5" my list covers 17 HD from 40Gb to 1TB capacity on both IDE and Sata. I use any of my disk both internally or externally by mobile racks.

    I have never had an issue with a hard disk in Linux including SSD.

    With the MS Windows the early Xp, without Service Pack 2 I think, did require the Sata drivers slipstreamed into the installation CD otherwise its installer could not recognise the Sata HD. Linux will have a propblem with Sata if one digs up a kernel assembled before the Sata HD was invented. However Linux is pretty advance than MS Windows so I have never run into any difficulty.

    I doubt if users appreciate the cost of cable connectors as some SCSI cables have 80 conductors. There seems to be 10 variants of connections possible. It is the cost of the ribbon cable that killed the SCSI disk off.

    Sata HD has only one connector for Sata I, II & III. The same connector is used on both 3.5" and 2.5" disks.

    This web page has a very good write-up on the SCSI disks.
    Last edited by saikee; 09-21-2012 at 04:43 AM.
    Linux user started Jun 2004 - No. 361921
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    Adding extra Linux & Doing it in a lazy way
    A Grub menu booting 100+ systems & A "Howto" to install and boot 145 systems
    Just cloning tips Just booting tips A collection of booting tips

    Judge asked Linux "You are being charged murdering Windoze by stabbing its heart with a weapon, what was it?" Replied Linux "A Live CD"

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    You will need to make sure that the motherboard you get isn't one that has no controller support in Linux. IE the ASUS A8V non-deluxe only has one controller and there is no Linux driver for it. It does not work. The deluxe version, however, has a second promise raid controller, and the main controller has to be disabled in the BIOS in order for this controller to work.

    SATA drives themselves are ATA drives. Early SATA drives were just PATA hardware with SATA interface but newer disks are SATA throughout.

    In the end just make sure that whatever you buy has Linux drivers. Most things do and usually only don't when manufacturers don't release the documentation required to make them and a developer doesn't have one.

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    I suppose it is fair to say SCSI disks are designed for commercial applications with reliability and longevity top of the agenda. They are therefore used in large arrays and with Raids for the important servers. The problem of SCSI disk in normal desktop (or single disk arrangement) may be vastly different to those in commercial servers where a large fleet of disks are manipulated. The quality of the controllers and drivers may have to be more selective for the latter.
    Linux user started Jun 2004 - No. 361921
    Using a Linux live CD to clone XP
    To install Linux and keep Windows MBR untouched
    Adding extra Linux & Doing it in a lazy way
    A Grub menu booting 100+ systems & A "Howto" to install and boot 145 systems
    Just cloning tips Just booting tips A collection of booting tips

    Judge asked Linux "You are being charged murdering Windoze by stabbing its heart with a weapon, what was it?" Replied Linux "A Live CD"

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    Quote Originally Posted by WrinkledCheese View Post
    You may want to check the link I posted up above. I had a motherboard - Asus A8V-Deluxe luckily - that the main SATA controlelr in the chipset did not have drivers available for Linux. Luckily the Deluxe meant it had another SATA controller that I could use 2 SATA disks on. This was only months ago with a 2.6.37 kernel. Drivers were not to be found anywhere for the chipset on that board.
    Firstly, many thanks for all the info in your first two answers. Please know that I'm not ignoring you, it just required alot of research to answer. I was ready to do so today, unfortunately I confused your post here, with one at another forum, and wasted too much time trying to find it there, so will try to get back to you tomorrow.

    Yes, the drivers issue is maybe the top complaint I see in other forums about Linux and SATA HDDs! Either Linux doesn't like the HDD itself (no support?), or has a problem with the motherboard chipset. If I knew how to solve these two pitfalls, picking SATA mobile-racks would be my first choice. I suspect this will be even worse for distros using kernels 2.4.31 to 2.6.29! Just how bad, I got no idea...nor how to best deal with it.

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