I bought two new servers for a non-profit called Sugar Labs, and I'm in Santa Rosa to set them up.

After installing the ECC DDR4 and the NVMe drive, the first server passes POST and the memory test. 🎉


Next, OS installation.The new textual installer in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS looks neat, but it kept crashing at disk partitioning 🤭

We sent Canonical a couple of crash reports and found a workaround...

Our servers will be hosted by Sonic, an ISP based in Santa Rosa, California.

They kindly provide this 12U loculus in their new colo:

Racking has gotten easier with screwless rack rails.

Click! And you're done.

One server done!

The second will have to wait until we get the PCIe-M.2 adapter, which should arrive on Monday.

We have connectivity... and we can reach the management interface, so we can go home and start setting up services.

Did you know that servers nowadays come with an embedded controller providing a web interface to view the console, control power and perform firmware upgrades?

But the HP iLO is special: it wants a license to unlock the remote console after POST 🖕😀🖕

@codewiz I encountered the same issue with Debian installer. Workaround is to reboot and repeat the process.

@benjiprod Yes! The first crash (for which we had no screenshot) probably caused the second one (it does not recover cleanly).

@smoldesu I've been using Thinkpads exclusively for 15 years now 🙂

@codewiz only laptops i keep around. i got a t460s for out-and-about usage, while my x201 makes a perfect budget home lab!

@codewiz thats how hp servers are for a long time now :(
dell too.

@codewiz Yes, but at least it's just about full remote screen access, but you can use all of you CPUs.
IBM on the other side ships hardware including CPUs, which you have to unlock to use them.

@globalc @codewiz Worst to better:
IBM --> HP --> Dell.

With Dell you have also license for the hardware raid controller... Want raid 5? Sorry need to pay to unlock the feature in the firmware...

In the meantime I believe Super Micro and Quantum don't do this shit.

Ah interesting, did not know about Dells raid license.
Ontop you have to do stunts on Linux to even notice when one part of a hardware raid fails, making it more likely that software raid gets used.

@deavmi I'm thinking we should donate some of our spare capacity to @fdroidorg or other opensource project in need.

@deavmi @fdroidorg thank you, I'll have a look after I'm done traveling around.

@seb It's a brand new colo, still mostly empty.

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