Linux compatibility with Adaptec AIC-7880 on Intel Providence motherboard?

Linux compatibility with Adaptec AIC-7880 on Intel Providence motherboard?

Post by Jason Farnswort » Sat, 02 Aug 1997 04:00:00



I am looking into buying a dual pentium pro system to run Linux on.  Most
companies with this configuration use the Adaptec AIC-7880 SCSI controller
built on the Intel Providence motherboard.  I just need to know if Linux
supports this configuration before I spend this much money.

Also, anybody have any opinions on VA Research Linux based computers?  I am
looking at their and it would be nice to hear from somebody who has dealt
with them beofre.

Thanks!

Jason Farnsworth

 
 
 

Linux compatibility with Adaptec AIC-7880 on Intel Providence motherboard?

Post by Sean Holdswor » Sat, 02 Aug 1997 04:00:00




>I am looking into buying a dual pentium pro system to run Linux on.  Most
>companies with this configuration use the Adaptec AIC-7880 SCSI controller
>built on the Intel Providence motherboard.  I just need to know if Linux
>supports this configuration before I spend this much money.

The 7880 is from the same family as the chip that goes on the Adaptec
2940 card. I havn't used that particular motherboard but have had no
problems with two other models of motherboard with that chip on them.
I just configured the kernel as I would for an AHA-2940.

You might want to look at the the file drivers/scsi/README.aic7xxx in the
Linux 2.0.x kernel source for more details.

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1. Adaptec AIC-7880 and Red Hat 5.0/Intel

What is the general failure mode of these partially-supported Adaptec
SCSI controllers?  We have a Dell PowerEdge 2200 system with an
on-board AIC-7880 controller which got ordered by mistake because the
word "Linux" got left out of the PO request for this system even though
the purpose for ordering it was specifically to run Linux.

Blecch, I thought.  Now we're stuck trying to convince purchasing to
return a system with a turkey SCSI controller.

Just for the hell of it, I tried installing Linux, and darned if it
didn't detect the SCSI inteface and install the driver for it.  Looking
at the /var/log/messages file, I see messages about an aic7xxx driver,
and scsi0 is identified as an "AHA274x/284x/294x" interface.  Everything
*seems* to be OK so far (no strange hangs, pauses, or error messages).

The information on these controllers at the Red Hat Web site says:

       The following SCSI adapters are partially supported:

       Adaptec AHA-294x(W/UW/D/WD), AHA-394x(W), AHA-398x(W); Adaptec
       AIC-777x, AIC-785x, AIC-787x, AIC-788x, AHA-2920 (uses Future
       Domain driver).

       Unfortunately, Adaptec has not actively supported the
       development of a driver for the AHA-2940 SCSI adapter and
       AIC7xxx SCSI chipset. Specifically, Adaptec continues to
       release new BIOSes without making the specifications available
       to the authors of the Linux driver. Consequently, some AHA-2940
       adapters work well with Linux, because they have compatible
       BIOSes, while other AHA-2940s have incompatible BIOSes and do
       not work well with Linux. Until the authors of the Linux
       drivers are able to make the driver work with the incompatible
       AHA-2940 BIOSes, we recommend using a different SCSI adapter
       with Red Hat Linux.

This seems to imply that it is pretty definitive if one works or not.
Does this mean we got the good luck of having an AIC-7880 with a
supported BIOS to cancel out the bad luck of getting the 7880 in the
first place?

Is there some sort of test suite I can run to verify that all is well?

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