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Posted by kodzoman on Sun 6 Apr 2008 at 10:44
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Posted by kodzoman on Wed 21 Nov 2007 at 14:08
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Debian installation on Dell 1950 machines worked great for me, until I got my shining new PERC 5/i and SAS disks.

After some searching on the internet and figuring out a few things I found this to work.

This solution works for me on all new Dell machines we got.

  • Insert Debian Netinst CD in your Dell machine, and power it up.
  • Select country/language.
  • When configuring network, please note that Gb1 is eth1 and Gb2 is eth0 (reversed order).
  • Partition hard disks as you like and install your system as usual (I always choose Standard System only).
  • When you get the "Installation complete" screen, do not choose continue, but rather switch to another console ().
  • In console, do the following steps (it's good if you understand what you are doing, but my guess is you are not installing any servers without understanding this, so I will not elaborate them).
  • mkdir /tmp_target
  • mount /dev/sdb1 /tmp_target
  • chroot /tmp_target
  • echo "megaraid_sas" >> /etc/initramfs_tools/modules
  • update-initramfs -u
  • in /etc/fstab replace all /dev/sdbX with /dev/sdaX (/dev/sdb1 with /dev/sda1,...)
  • in /boot/grub/menu.lst replace all /dev/sdbX with /dev/sdaX
  • grub-install /dev/sdb (because it's still dev/sdb in the install, it will change later :)
  • exit
  • umount /tmp_target
  • switch back to installation ()
  • press continue

You might have noticed that the actual key to the entire process is megaraid_sas driver, which is not loaded by default. With some luck you should have a running Debian Etch on your Dell machine now!


Posted by kodzoman on Wed 17 Oct 2007 at 01:28
Removing all mounted volumes from desktop

If you go to gconf-editor, under


and switch it to false, you will get rid of all your mounted volume icons on desktop

Removing only fixed drives

But, if you have users who would like to see there DVD-ROM's and USB keys mounted, you have a problem. This cannot be changed by GNOME.

Fortunately for us, GNOME uses HAL to detect which drives it wants to display.

If you enter
sudo vim /usr/share/hal/fdi/policy/10osvendor/debian-storage-policy-fixed-drives.fdi* 
and add following content:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <!-- -*- SGML -*- -->

<deviceinfo version="0.2">
<match key="@block.storage_device:storage.hotpluggable" bool="false">
<match key="@block.storage_device:storage.removable" bool="false">
<merge key="volume.ignore" type="bool">true</merge>

Restart the HAL, by issuing:

/etc/init.d/hal restart

and login and logout of your gnome. That's it. No more pesky drives on your desktop.
This concept can obviously be tuned for your purpose.