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Ubuntu HP Dynamic Smart Array Driver

The Ubuntu HP Dynamic Smart Array Driver (hpdsa) allows you to use b-series array controllers (and only b-series array controllers) in "smart array mode." If you disable smart array mode on your b-series controller ProLiant's ROM based setup utility (RBSU), the open-source, in-distro ahci driver will pickup the device automatically and you do not need to use the hpdsa driver. However, if you want to utilize the latest storage management tools from HP, or migrate your volumes to a hardware-based p-series Smart Array in the future, you'll want to use the HP Dynamic Smart Array driver with your hardware in smart array mode.

This driver is freely distributable, however it is closed-source and proprietary to HPE and MicroSemi.

Install Ubuntu with MaaS and hpdsa driver

If using Metal as a Service (MaaS), use these additional steps in your provisioning process.


Download install-time amd64 driver disc

  hpdsa-1.2.4-140.ubuntu14.04.x86_64.img.gzUbuntu 14.04

NOTICE! The hpdsa driver is no longer being developed past the versions indicated. Do not upgrade the Ubuntu kernel or try to use this binary driver with Xenial. If you have a B-series Smart Array, it is advised to use the Linux md (software raid) driver, or upgrade to an H or P series hardware-based host bus adapter.

  hpdsa-1.2.4-140.ubuntu14.04.1.x86_64.img.gzUbuntu 14.04.1
  hpdsa-1.2.4-140.ubuntu14.04.2.x86_64.img.gzUbuntu 14.04.2

Install Ubuntu with the hpdsa driver


  • Flash a USB key with one of the above disc images, using /dev/sdc1 as the example usb partition:
         gunzip hpdsa-1.2.4-140.ubuntu14.04.2.x86_64.img.gz
         dd if=hpdsa-1.2.4-140.ubuntu14.04.2.x86_64.img of=/dev/sdc1 
  • Enable the Smart Array controller in the Rom-based Setup Utility (RBSU)
  • Insert the USB key which contains the driver update image (above)
  • Mount the Ubuntu Server DVD iso image via the ILO virtual media.
  • Reboot the server
  • Press the F11 key to manually select the ILO virtual media to boot
  • Boot the installation media
  • At the grub boot menu press E to edit the kernel command line
  • At this point, append the following to the linux kernel command line (after the "--").
         inst.dd  modprobe.blacklist=ahci
  • Press F10 or Ctrl-X to confirm the kernel command line and boot the installation kernel.
  • Continue the installation, when prompted by the installer to load drivers from internal virtual driver disks, select Yes
  • At the "Finish the installation" screen, press Alt-F2 to access a vitual console and issue the following commands:
         chroot /target
         echo "blacklist ahci" > /etc/modprobe.d/install-hpdsa.conf
         depmod `uname -r`   #note: use ticks, not apostrophes here.
         update-initramfs -u
  • press Alt-F1 to return to the Finish screen
  • Press Enter to complete the installation and reboot the server

Subscribe your system to the ubuntu-hpdsa apt repository

Cut-n-paste the following text into /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ubuntu-hpdsa.list on your system:

# HP Dynamic Smart Array Driver
deb trusty main

Import the Hewlett-Packard gpg public key for use with apt

# curl | apt-key add -

Update your local apt indexes

# apt-get update

Install/Update the hpdsa driver

# apt-get install hpdsa-dkms

Note: DKMS kernel modules depend on "build-essential, and dkms" package sets.