HP Proliant DL320 G2 (D13) - compat Kernel & hpasm

  • Hi Everyone

    I've been away from pfSense for a while now - I went over the land of OpenWRT (which is great for wireless APs, but still seems lacking ways that I won't go into now).  After installing up 2.0.3 it feels like I'm home again :)

    Anyway, I'm looking at using a spare Proliant DL350 G2 to run pfSense again in production and everything seems to work great (albeit with the limited hw features of the onboard bge NICs) - except for those pesky fans that permanently run like a jet engine.  Now I'll assume that HP will never release source code for these older servers to enable the control of their fans through a community maintained means, although I am quite intrigued by this thread:


    The short of it suggests that if you have a kernel with "compatibility" layers in it and the necessary compat package, then you should be able to a package produced by some (presumably) former HP developers over here:


    This has the effect of allowing the fans to slow down after boot to maintain the temperature as needed.  I'm curious if anyone knows:

    1. If the kernel used by pfSense in a standard (ie, non-embedded) i386 install would have these layers (ie. to run a pkg compiled for FreeBSD 4.x, as this one seems to work better that the one for FreeBSD 5.x);

    2. Has anyone successfully got hpasm to run on a pfSense install on a Proliant server; and

    3. If custom modifications had to occur to the kernel to make this work, what would upgrades look like between 2.0.x to 2.1.x and so on?

  • After installing FreeBSD 9.1.0 (i386) on the box, I was able to get the fans under control through this process:

    • Installing the compat4x-i386 package.

    • Extracting the contents of http://people.freebsd.org/~jcagle/hpasm-7.22.tar.gz and modifying the INSTALL script to accept my version (ie. changing the if statement to accept '9' as valid rather than just 4 or 5 for these older versions of FreeBSD).

    • Running the modified INSTALL script and (hey presto) fans are much quieter now.  The hpasmd daemon loads automatically on each reboot.

    When I attempted to replicate this on pfSense 2.0.3-RELEASE, hpasm installs but hpasmd coredumps when executed.

    What this tells me is:

    • I'd probably need to investigate if the COMPAT_FREEBSD4 flag is enabled in the default 2.0.3 kernel (I assume that it is not);

    • It is possible to get these fans under control under stock FreeBSD and likley to be possible (if the answer to the point above is no) through custom built pfSense kernel; and

    • If I wanted to do this on pfSense, I probably wouldn't be able to blindy follow the web gui upgrades without checking that these modifications were preserved.

    So, problem (probably  :-) solved

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