a little rant about Dell

  • From: John Madden <weez@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: technocracy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2000 14:14:43 -0500

Ok, so we all think Dell's doing great stuff for Linux these days, right? 
Think again:

Dell 2450's (and many other models) ship with Dell's PERCxx raid controllers. 
They're apparently pretty nice pieces of hardware.  But that's about as far as
it goes with Linux.  

- Dell won't release the source to the drivers.  Obviously not a good thing.
- Dell releases binary-only kernel modules for their cards.  Also not a good
thing, since running with kernel modules is bad.
- Dell won't release a module compiled for kernel 2.2.16.  Thus, all Dell
servers are shipping with insecure kernels, and you can't upgrade them and
continue to use the raid controller (thus risking losing all of your data if you
weren't aware).  They consider anything higher than kernel 2.2.14 "beta" and
"untested."  
- These are all compiled with Redhat kernels, so they're of course not
gauranteed to work with normal kernels (Redhat does funky things to the
kernels, I understand).
- Dell says "We only support Redhat" when you mentioned that you formatted and
put a decent distribution on.  Nothing against RH, of course. :)

Wonderful.  So I'm forced to use software raid on these things until Dell
gets their head out of the sand.  Does anyone have any thoughts on this stuff?  

John


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