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PC: Overview of the Linux related features of the HP ProLiant Micro Server N36L

Table of contents

1. Preface

This is a quick survey of the Linux related stuff to run a 64 bit multi core (SMP) system under Linux based on a HP ProLiant Micro Server N36L. I don't try to explain the usual installation details (for instance, which partitions I have made, what they are good for and so on and so on...). Requests for additional information may be directed by eMail to the author.

I replaced my router, a system running Linux/sparc64 on a SUN UltraSparc 2 with two CPUs, with a HP ProLiant Micro Server N36L system, because it

2. Installation

The system runs on Gentoo Linux amd64/13.0, because this is one of the last distributions to come without autoprobing or -configuration, which is really not wanted here. The nice one with Gentoo is, that you are not bound to a specific hardware architecture after the final installation. The system runs on a plain-vanilla Torvalds kernel 4.6.

3. General Hardware Data

This machine runs with an Athlon64 (32/64 bit) dual core kernel and amd64 user land.

3.1 Mainboard information:

The system looks like a small, rock-solid cubelike box.

3.2 CPUs

The system is powered by an AMD Athon64 dual core CPU.

Output from "cat /proc/cpuinfo":

   processor       : 0
   vendor_id       : AuthenticAMD
   cpu family      : 16
   model           : 6
   model name      : AMD Athlon(tm) II Neo N36L Dual-Core Processor
   stepping        : 3
   microcode       : 0x10000c8
   cpu MHz         : 800.000
   cache size      : 1024 KB
   physical id     : 0
   siblings        : 2
   core id         : 0
   cpu cores       : 2
   apicid          : 0
   initial apicid  : 0
   fpu             : yes
   fpu_exception   : yes
   cpuid level     : 5
   wp              : yes
   flags           : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush mmx fxsr sse sse2 ht syscall nx mmxext fxsr_opt pdpe1gb rdtscp lm 3dnowext 3dnow constant_tsc rep_good nopl nonstop_tsc extd_apicid pni monitor cx16 popcnt lahf_lm cmp_legacy svm extapic cr8_legacy abm sse4a 3dnowprefetch osvw ibs skinit wdt nodeid_msr hw_pstate npt lbrv svm_lock nrip_save
   bogomips        : 2595.64
   TLB size        : 1024 4K pages
   clflush size    : 64
   cache_alignment : 64
   address sizes   : 48 bits physical, 48 bits virtual
   power management: ts ttp tm stc 100mhzsteps hwpstate

   processor       : 1
   vendor_id       : AuthenticAMD
   cpu family      : 16
   model           : 6
   model name      : AMD Athlon(tm) II Neo N36L Dual-Core Processor
   stepping        : 3
   microcode       : 0x10000c8
   cpu MHz         : 800.000
   cache size      : 1024 KB
   physical id     : 0
   siblings        : 2
   core id         : 1
   cpu cores       : 2
   apicid          : 1
   initial apicid  : 1
   fpu             : yes
   fpu_exception   : yes
   cpuid level     : 5
   wp              : yes
   flags           : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush mmx fxsr sse sse2 ht syscall nx mmxext fxsr_opt pdpe1gb rdtscp lm 3dnowext 3dnow constant_tsc rep_good nopl nonstop_tsc extd_apicid pni monitor cx16 popcnt lahf_lm cmp_legacy svm extapic cr8_legacy abm sse4a 3dnowprefetch osvw ibs skinit wdt nodeid_msr hw_pstate npt lbrv svm_lock nrip_save
   bogomips        : 2595.64
   TLB size        : 1024 4K pages
   clflush size    : 64
   cache_alignment : 64
   address sizes   : 48 bits physical, 48 bits virtual
   power management: ts ttp tm stc 100mhzsteps hwpstate

Output from "dmesg | grep Bogo":

   Calibrating delay loop (skipped), value calculated using timer frequency.. 2595.64 BogoMIPS (lpj=5191292)
   smpboot: Total of 2 processors activated (5191.29 BogoMIPS)

The CPU has an idle temperature of around 25° Celsius and plays nicely with the CPU-frequency governors of Linux-3.x.

3.3 RAM

The system ships with 1GB DDR3-SDRAM 1333 Mhz (PC3-10600 ECC) and another free memory slot. The system needs low profile ECC RAM. I found no other module with 1GB, so I had to buy a module with 2GB. I got no problems with this 3GB setup.

3.4 Controller

The system comes with a 5 port Hynix Semiconductor SATA contoller. One of the ports is reserved for an optical device.

Output from "lshw -class storage":

 *-storage               
       description: SATA controller
       product: SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 SATA Controller [AHCI mode]
       vendor: Hynix Semiconductor (Hyundai Electronics)
       physical id: 11
       bus info: pci@0000:00:11.0
       version: 40
       width: 32 bits
       clock: 66MHz
       capabilities: storage msi ahci_1.0 bus_master cap_list
       configuration: driver=ahci latency=64
       resources: irq:42 ioport:d000(size=8) ioport:c000(size=4) ioport:b000(size=8) ioport:a000(size=4) ioport:9000(size=16) memory:fe5ffc00-fe5fffff
  *-ide
       description: IDE interface
       product: SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 IDE Controller
       vendor: Hynix Semiconductor (Hyundai Electronics)
       physical id: 14.1
       bus info: pci@0000:00:14.1
       version: 40
       width: 32 bits
       clock: 66MHz
       capabilities: ide bus_master
       configuration: driver=pata_atiixp latency=64
       resources: irq:17 ioport:1f0(size=8) ioport:3f6 ioport:170(size=8) ioport:376 ioport:ff00(size=16)
  *-scsi:0
       physical id: 1
       logical name: scsi0
       capabilities: emulated
  *-scsi:1
       physical id: 2
       logical name: scsi2
       capabilities: emulated
  *-scsi:2
       physical id: 4
       logical name: scsi4
       capabilities: emulated

3.5 Solid state disks (SSDs)

I replaced the bundled disk (Seagate Barracuda rebranded as HP) and another home-added hard disk (Seagate Barracuda) after 3 years uptime with 2 Samsung 840 PRO SSDs.

Output from "lshw -class disk":

  *-disk                  
       description: ATA Disk
       product: Samsung SSD 840
       physical id: 0.0.0
       bus info: scsi@0:0.0.0
       logical name: /dev/sda
       version: 6B0Q
       serial: S1ANNSAF538502E
       size: 119GiB (128GB)
       capabilities: partitioned partitioned:dos
       configuration: ansiversion=5 sectorsize=512 signature=60207605
  *-disk
       description: ATA Disk
       product: Samsung SSD 840
       physical id: 0.0.0
       bus info: scsi@1:0.0.0
       logical name: /dev/sdb
       version: 6B0Q
       serial: S1ANNSAF538505V
       size: 119GiB (128GB)
       capabilities: partitioned partitioned:dos
       configuration: ansiversion=5 sectorsize=512 signature=0e1848a7

3.6 DVD

Output from "lshw -class disk":

  *-cdrom
       description: DVD reader
       product: DVDROM DH18NS40
       vendor: HL-DT-ST
       physical id: 0.1.0
       bus info: scsi@4:0.1.0
       logical name: /dev/scd0
       logical name: /dev/sr0
       version: 1.01
       capabilities: removable audio dvd
       configuration: ansiversion=5 status=nodisc

The device in the optical slot needs -- like expected -- a SATA data cable, but is surprisingly powered over an ATX cable. As there is no ATX to SATA adapter supplied, you'll have to see your favorite dealer.

3.7 Onboard Graphics

The graphic chip is a Hynix Semiconductor RS880M [ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4200 Series]. Linux supports the chip with the DRM_RADEON and the FB_VESA driver. The frame driver buffer has a much smaller memory footprint then the DRM driver. To get the VESA frame buffer driver up and running, you'll need the following kernel options:

   # Graphics support
   #
   CONFIG_FB=y
   CONFIG_FB_BOOT_VESA_SUPPORT=y
   CONFIG_FB_CFB_FILLRECT=y
   CONFIG_FB_CFB_COPYAREA=y
   CONFIG_FB_CFB_IMAGEBLIT=y
   CONFIG_FB_MODE_HELPERS=y
   CONFIG_FB_TILEBLITTING=y
   CONFIG_FB_VESA=y

The kernel needs an append switch, like "video=vesafb:ywrap,mtrr vga=0x314" (which turns the console in a graphic mode of 800x600 with 16 bit colors) to make use of the frame buffer driver.

The cream of the crop: There is no cooler noise from the passive cooled chip.

3.8 Keyboard

A cheap, no-name USB Keyboard.

3.9 USB

The mainboard comes with 6 bootable USB 2.0 ports -- 4 at the front, 2 at the back of the case. The Linux kernel 3.x recognizes them with it's ehci driver.

3.10 Ethernet

The HP ProLiant Micro Server N36L comes with an on board Broadcom NetXtreme BCM5723 Gigabit Ethernet PCIe controller, which provides data rates from 1000, 100 or 10 Mbit per second.

I added a second ethernet controller in the free PCIe slot on the mainboard, because the Micro Server acts as a router. The ethernet controller needs to be a low profile PCIe card, so I bought a Siemens Gigabit PCIE Lowprofile S26361-F3067-L30 with a Broadcom NetLink BCM5787 Gigabit Ethernet PCI Express chip.

Both interfaces need the tg3 driver (CONFIG_TIGON3 in the Ethernet 1000 Mbit section).

Output from "lshw -C network":

   *-network               
          description: Ethernet interface
          product: NetLink BCM5787 Gigabit Ethernet PCI Express
          vendor: Broadcom Corporation
          physical id: 0
          bus info: pci@0000:02:00.0
          logical name: eth0
          version: 02
          serial: 00:19:99:53:d0:dc
          size: 100Mbit/s
          capacity: 1Gbit/s
          width: 64 bits
          clock: 33MHz
          capabilities: pm vpd msi pciexpress bus_master cap_list rom ethernet physical tp 10bt 10bt-fd 100bt 100bt-fd 1000bt 1000bt-fd autonegotiation
          configuration: autonegotiation=on broadcast=yes driver=tg3 driverversion=3.125 duplex=full firmware=5787-v3.26 ip=10.0.0.254 latency=0 link=yes multicast=yes port=twisted pair speed=100Mbit/s
          resources: irq:43 memory:fe8f0000-fe8fffff memory:fe8e0000-fe8effff
     *-network
          description: Ethernet interface
          product: NetXtreme BCM5723 Gigabit Ethernet PCIe
          vendor: Broadcom Corporation
          physical id: 0
          bus info: pci@0000:03:00.0
          logical name: eth1
          version: 10
          serial: 3c:d9:2b:02:95:d4
          size: 100Mbit/s
          capacity: 1Gbit/s
          width: 64 bits
          clock: 33MHz
          capabilities: pm vpd msi pciexpress bus_master cap_list ethernet physical tp 10bt 10bt-fd 100bt 100bt-fd 1000bt 1000bt-fd autonegotiation
          configuration: autonegotiation=on broadcast=yes driver=tg3 driverversion=3.125 duplex=full firmware=5723-v3.35 latency=0 link=yes multicast=yes port=twisted pair speed=100Mbit/s
          resources: irq:44 memory:fe9f0000-fe9fffff

4. Survey PCI Devices

Output from "lspci":

   00:00.0 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] RS880 Host Bridge
   00:01.0 PCI bridge: Hewlett-Packard Company Device 9602
   00:04.0 PCI bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] RS780/RS880 PCI to PCI bridge (PCIE port 0)
   00:06.0 PCI bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] RS780 PCI to PCI bridge (PCIE port 2)
   00:11.0 SATA controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 SATA Controller [AHCI mode] (rev 40)
   00:12.0 USB controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 USB OHCI0 Controller
   00:12.2 USB controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 USB EHCI Controller
   00:13.0 USB controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 USB OHCI0 Controller
   00:13.2 USB controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 USB EHCI Controller
   00:14.0 SMBus: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI SBx00 SMBus Controller (rev 42)
   00:14.1 IDE interface: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 IDE Controller (rev 40)
   00:14.3 ISA bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 LPC host controller (rev 40)
   00:14.4 PCI bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI SBx00 PCI to PCI Bridge (rev 40)
   00:16.0 USB controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 USB OHCI0 Controller
   00:16.2 USB controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 USB EHCI Controller
   00:18.0 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Family 10h Processor HyperTransport Configuration
   00:18.1 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Family 10h Processor Address Map
   00:18.2 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Family 10h Processor DRAM Controller
   00:18.3 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Family 10h Processor Miscellaneous Control
   00:18.4 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Family 10h Processor Link Control
   01:05.0 VGA compatible controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI RS880M [Mobility Radeon HD 4200 Series]
   02:00.0 Ethernet controller: Broadcom Corporation NetLink BCM5787 Gigabit Ethernet PCI Express (rev 02)
   03:00.0 Ethernet controller: Broadcom Corporation NetXtreme BCM5723 Gigabit Ethernet PCIe (rev 10)

Output from "lspci -k":

   00:00.0 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] RS880 Host Bridge
           Subsystem: Hewlett-Packard Company Device 1609
   00:01.0 PCI bridge: Hewlett-Packard Company Device 9602
   00:04.0 PCI bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] RS780/RS880 PCI to PCI bridge (PCIE port 0)
           Kernel driver in use: pcieport
   00:06.0 PCI bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] RS780 PCI to PCI bridge (PCIE port 2)
           Kernel driver in use: pcieport
   00:11.0 SATA controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 SATA Controller [AHCI mode] (rev 40)
           Subsystem: Hewlett-Packard Company Device 1609
           Kernel driver in use: ahci
   00:12.0 USB controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 USB OHCI0 Controller
           Subsystem: Hewlett-Packard Company Device 1609
           Kernel driver in use: ohci_hcd
   00:12.2 USB controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 USB EHCI Controller
           Subsystem: Hewlett-Packard Company Device 1609
           Kernel driver in use: ehci_hcd
   00:13.0 USB controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 USB OHCI0 Controller
           Subsystem: Hewlett-Packard Company Device 1609
           Kernel driver in use: ohci_hcd
   00:13.2 USB controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 USB EHCI Controller
           Subsystem: Hewlett-Packard Company Device 1609
           Kernel driver in use: ehci_hcd
   00:14.0 SMBus: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI SBx00 SMBus Controller (rev 42)
           Kernel driver in use: piix4_smbus
           Kernel modules: i2c-piix4
   00:14.1 IDE interface: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 IDE Controller (rev 40)
           Subsystem: Hewlett-Packard Company Device 1609
           Kernel driver in use: pata_atiixp
   00:14.3 ISA bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 LPC host controller (rev 40)
           Subsystem: Hewlett-Packard Company Device 1609
   00:14.4 PCI bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI SBx00 PCI to PCI Bridge (rev 40)
   00:16.0 USB controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 USB OHCI0 Controller
           Subsystem: Hewlett-Packard Company Device 1609
           Kernel driver in use: ohci_hcd
   00:16.2 USB controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 USB EHCI Controller
           Subsystem: Hewlett-Packard Company Device 1609
           Kernel driver in use: ehci_hcd
   00:18.0 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Family 10h Processor HyperTransport Configuration
   00:18.1 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Family 10h Processor Address Map
   00:18.2 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Family 10h Processor DRAM Controller
   00:18.3 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Family 10h Processor Miscellaneous Control
           Kernel driver in use: k10temp
           Kernel modules: k10temp
   00:18.4 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Family 10h Processor Link Control
   01:05.0 VGA compatible controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI RS880M [Mobility Radeon HD 4200 Series]
           Subsystem: Hewlett-Packard Company Device 1609
   02:00.0 Ethernet controller: Broadcom Corporation NetLink BCM5787 Gigabit Ethernet PCI Express (rev 02)
           Subsystem: Fujitsu Technology Solutions Device 115c
           Kernel driver in use: tg3
           Kernel modules: tg3
   03:00.0 Ethernet controller: Broadcom Corporation NetXtreme BCM5723 Gigabit Ethernet PCIe (rev 10)
           Subsystem: Hewlett-Packard Company NC107i Integrated PCI Express Gigabit Server Adapter
           Kernel driver in use: tg3
           Kernel modules: tg3

5. Survey PnP Devices

No P'n'P devices all around in this area.

6. Conclusion

A really nice machine to run Linux. The computing power by the 2 processors comes very handy with threaded applications, like Firefox, The Gimp or OpenOffice and when compiling software.

7. Disclaimer

This document has nothing to do with AMD, MSI, and all the other companies named in this document, they don't even know it exists. There is no guarantee that the information on this page is accurate, please don't hold me responsible if your experience is different from the information here. If you have found any glaring typos or outdated info in this page, please send an eMail to the author.


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