Notes about installing the server

September 28, 2012

So the Proliant server that I bought actually boots and works. Had a few bumps on the road to get it installed, but at last I succeeded.

My initial goal was just to install Debian 6 (Squeeze) with a small net-install CD, at first I thought about using the standard memory-stick solution, but I figured the server was too old to boot from USB. So instead I opted to burn a CD.
Needless to say, the installation crashed at the first selection screen. At first I thought it was odd, but then I remembered I had, by reflex, downloaded the 64-bit version, and ofcourse, this server is 32-bit only.

A little angry with myself, but figured shit happens. So I went on to download the i386 version. Said and done, the installation hangs up again, moments after the selection screen, I tried twice, the second time I left the server at the screen for a good 20 minutes.

Well off to the internet again! I downloaded Debian 5 (Lenny) and this time the installation took me all the way to the partitioning screen, I happily partitioned the disk and on save the installation crashes, something about not being able to mount the RAID partition.

Getting more frustrated with the server, I rebooted and tried the installation of Lenny again, and this time it seemed to hang up at the formatting screen, but after 15 minutes it continued the installation. Finally.

But nothing can be easy when working with old distributions and old hardware, Lenny isn’t supported anymore, which in turn means that there aren’t any online repositories for it. And me, choosing the net-install, was again at an imminent crash. But I let the installation finish with whatever packages the net-install CD contained.

Luckily there were enough packages to be able to get the network interfaces going and get the system semi up and running. I then added squeeze to the sources.list and dist-upgraded the box. And I’ll tell you this, I was quite nervous when the system had to reboot because of a new kernel and grub being updated. But the dist-upgrade went well and this Proliant is now rocking Debian 6.

I’ve then installed everything I need and some extra stuff, pointed the domain at the server and set up all the static settings, but the server won’t be online before Monday (It’s currently behind a firewall, waiting to get loose).