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HP To Certify Ubuntu 12.04 LTS For Its Proliant Servers 66

An anonymous reader writes with this dose of nice news (untranslated from the PR-ese) on the Linux-in-business front: "Mark Shuttleworth has announced at the OpenStack conference that Canonical has received a ringing endorsement from HP in the form of certification for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS on the ProLiant server systems. Responding to customer demand, HP has decided to officially support the popular flavor of Linux giving sysadmins another flexible software option to leverage their current and future hardware."
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HP To Certify Ubuntu 12.04 LTS For Its Proliant Servers

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  • Awesome! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, 2012 @10:43AM (#39733845)

    They already support Debian so this won't be much of a stretch. Hooray! Now, if they would only officially support desktop linux on their laptops and desktops, including help make sure drivers work or driver docs are available...

    • The market for that is not big enough to fight Microsoft over license prices.

      • You mean in the antitrust courts, right?

        If MS wants to revoke OEM licenses because someone starts selling Linux as an alternative, they'd get their ass sued to hell. The only thing you'd have to lose is the attorney fees...... ah right then. Forget it.

    • I know a lot of companies that use Ubuntu server side. It's a great product I will be so happy to get HP driver support now. Dell has been doing this for a while thanks HP for following suite with your proliant packs now.
    • Yeah then I could maybe stop patching my BIOS DSDT table so that it does not insert zeroes for backlight values if you identify as anything but Windows Vista
  • by Zsub ( 1365549 ) on Thursday April 19, 2012 @10:44AM (#39733857)

    Why is this even necessary?! Apparently, you can void your hardware warranty by installing software (from TFA):

    it simply means that by installing Ubuntu 12.04 LTS on their current (or future) ProLiant hardware that they won’t nullify any kind of hardware warranty

    But how does this even work? Also: as TFA notes, it's unclear who is endorsing who here, with HP being extremely profitable and all, but wouldn't it be cheaper for HP to just not be a little whiney kid about what kind of software you can or can't run?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Given the increasing popularity [] of Ubuntu on servers, I am sure HP thinks (and rightfully so) it's a good strategic move to test and certify the latest version on their machines.

    • If HP certifies an OS as working w/ any of their boxes, then it would seem that installing that OS wouldn't void any warranty. But it would seem smart for a customer to request that the certified OS be pre-installed before purchase. Unless we are talking here about switching OSs on an existing installation.
      • by Zsub ( 1365549 )
        That's also one of the points from TFA: they will not pre-install Ubuntu, just 'certify' it.
        • by 1s44c ( 552956 )

          Who are these people who buy a server and need the hardware vendor to pre-install an OS on it? How are they capable of configuring and maintaining the OS if they can't even install it? Question applies to Linux and Windows equally.

          • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

            Small businesses mostly, less than 100 employees. They get a contractor to configure everything and come in to fix it if it breaks. They don't maintain anything really, in rare cases they have one person that does updates every month or so. Since the technician used for this gets paid by the task it is cheaper to get the OS installed from the factory.

            Big box vendors and PC vendors and even common internet vendors sell commercial services like this to lots of small mom and pop shops.

          • Who are these people who buy a server and need the hardware vendor to pre-install an OS on it?

            People who set up software platforms in remote data centers and want to save on travel costs? So rather than having the server delivered to head-quarters, installing the software, and then shipping the servers to the data center where they are needed, they can now have the server delivered directly to the remote data center with OS pre-installed and install any additional software configuration via ssh.

            Of course, HP-iLO makes this somewhat moot (if it can be made to work over a long-distance link).

            • by Junta ( 36770 )

              There are plenty of tools to do unattended remote deployment with or without remote server management capability (though it really is helpful for assuring things work and kicking the server should something unexpected happen during deployment). Installing an OS at the same level as a vendor preload would be takes about 30 minutes to complete of which at most seconds requires a human to pay attention, depending on solution, some require no attention beyond plugging in the server and hitting the power button

    • Dont phone manufacturers do the same?
      • So another group does it too - that doesn't mean that it's right. Users should have the right to install whatever they want to, but they government won't protect them if they do that, so the vendor can write whatever terms they want.

    • by LordLimecat ( 1103839 ) on Thursday April 19, 2012 @11:14AM (#39734171)

      Wasnt a previous beta /RC (or possibly release?) of Ubuntu a year or so ago capable of bricking onboard NICs of any machine with a specific intel chipset?

      I dont recall the details, but the point is, the wrong software most certainly cause hardware issues.

      • This happened to my wife's machine. If you enabled suspend, it would shut down the NIC completely. It would not even function in Windows 7. It was as if the NIC did not exist. We warrantied the machine back to HP because of it. It turns out all you had to do was pull the power cord and wait a minute or 2. If there was still power to the system, the NIC vanished.

    • Playing Devil's Advocate here - so if a user installs some software which causes the hardware to break, should the vendor still be expected to support it?

      • If software can break your hardware, then your hardware was already broken.
        • Yes and no. They may have thoroughly tested the hardware with everything the "certified" OSs are likely to throw at it, so feel relatively confident that they can offer a full replacement warranty under those circumstances.

          I don't have a problem with such restrictions because it is possible to actually break some hardware using software. I remember way back when you could make CRT monitors die with the wring signals, and not so long ago there were a buggy network card that work fine with the official dri
          • HP can't provide software support for every distro on Earth is their only issue, not refusing warranty on hardware. They have been Linux fans for a long time - they donate the servers for, for example and support drivers for almost all their printers.
            • There is mention of warranty issues in some HP documentation and/or licences - people have mentioned them elsewhere in the discussion. I doubt HP would void a warranty for any such reason, but the text is presumably there for arse-covering purposes should some OS somewhere do something very odd with some hardware.

              They have certified other distros for support purposes for quite some time, I know.
              • HP also can't warrant that your NetBSD driver (or whatever random distro) for their onboard SAS array controller functions properly as they haven't qualified it and couldn't troubleshoot it. They do however have their own Linux-based diagnostic utility to diagnose all the hardware on every single server, that you can download for free. And by all the hardware I mean all of it: every dimm, processor, timer, sensor, add-in card and so on. And if that diagnostic finds bad hardware, they can and do honor the

    • by FunkDup ( 995643 )
      Well, Linux can update the microcode on a CPU for example.
  • And it fits my needs exactly as a server running XBMC or freenas. I'm still waiting for v8 of freenas to leave beta and I will have a full features ZFS server running. I love how the drivebays are on rails and can be easily removed. When you're installing/reinsalling the OS it's so handy to be able to instantly pull out the drives so that you can't accidently wipe them out. By certifying ubuntu with the proliant perhaps HP can ship the os with the machine. It beats people turning to windows server because i

    • by shione ( 666388 )

      oh btw I didn't have to do anything funky to get freenas or XBMC running on the proliant. All the drivers are self detected and installed. The only thing that doesnt work is standby. Something to do with the C1E. It would be so handy if pressing the power button turned off the machine instead of putting it into a sleep mode which it cant wake up from. Hopefully by certifying ubuntu, HP can work with the guys to fix this up.

  • I don't recall any other major company endorsing Ubuntu Linux.

    • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

      Dell supports it on their servers, I thought IBM did as well.

      • by Junta ( 36770 )

        I don't think IBM does yet. IBM is a partner of Canonical, but IBM the software company and not so much IBM the server company as far as I've heard.

  • by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Thursday April 19, 2012 @11:11AM (#39734141)
    Well they've got to have something to run on the Itanium
    • But while Debian supports Itanium, Canonical specifically doesn't. And Proliants are based on Xeons, not Itanium. Integrity servers are what's based on Itanium, and they can run only HP/UX, Debian and FreeBSD, although NetBSD 6 is said to be supporting it for the first time.
      • by Chrisq ( 894406 )

        But while Debian supports Itanium, Canonical specifically doesn't. And Proliants are based on Xeons, not Itanium. Integrity servers are what's based on Itanium, and they can run only HP/UX, Debian and FreeBSD, although NetBSD 6 is said to be supporting it for the first time.

        You are right. I thought that the high-end proliants were also Itanium but this appears not to be the case

  • Now if only Oracle, EMC, Dell, and the other big players would follow suit, my job would be a lot more enjoyable.
  • Great Distro and my personal favorite glad it's being supported by big vendors. Ubuntu on the server and back track on the desktop for admins, Apple OSX for the users.
  • That's fine. How about they provide a working OpenView agent for Ubuntu. Until then, we're not using it.

    While not HP, we have the same issue with NetBackup. Until there's a working agent, we're using Red Hat.

    Or any other software that may not have a working Debian based agent.

    (That's not to say there may not be a more current version that what we currently have installed that does support Ubuntu/Debian but our current install doesn't support it.)


  • I'm curious to see if this will change anything in practice.

    In the past, I've bought several pieces of hardware that were supposedly certified or supported for , to only discover later that no, IPMI didn't really work in linux, you could only get the temperature out of half the sensors, or to get the full features out of ACPI / TPM / crypto chip or to get things to work you had to install shady 3rd party drivers that hadn't really been updated until 5 versions ago of the linux kernel. Ah! and don't run that

  • Most servers would be running a VMware (or Other) hypervisor, so do does this really matter?
    I run a plethora of virtual Ubuntu servers on our VMware host.
    • They are not saying it would not run without causing problems before, they just offered no assurance that it would be OK.

      If they certify that kit running bare-metal VMWare, then yes it would be fine if only the hypervisor was touching the hardware. That is the case most of the time, but features that allow direct(ish) hardware access from within VMs such as VMDirectPath in VMWare and Xen's ability to offer direct access to GPUs muddy the waters quite a bit.

You will never amount to much. -- Munich Schoolmaster, to Albert Einstein, age 10