Boot from Dell Dual SD Card


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Hi there, 

 

I'd like to install Unraid on to an SD Card and boot from the Dual SD Card slot on a Dell PowerEdge R720.

 

I followed the manual installation instructions to the letter (since the installer app doesn't detect SD Cards) yet when the server boots, it can't detect Unraid on the SD Card.

 

For reasons I don't care to discuss, not being able to boot from the Dual SD Card is unfortunately a deal breaker. 

 

Any suggestions would be appreciated?

 

 

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Perhaps the reasons you won't discuss are based on misconceptions.

 

The OS actually installs into RAM from the archives on flash and runs in RAM. Think of it as firmware except easier to work with and no bricking. 

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Dell, HPE (and probably others) have a purpose built bootable SD Card reader installed on many of their server platforms.  It is standard practice to install and boot VMWare ESXI from the SD card.  And not just VMWare either - many read intensive OSs can easily and safely be installed into this module.

 

I would like to understand if there is anything that technically prevents unraid from doing the same?  

 

 

 

 

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I'd really like to hear from Lime Technology on this because I don't believe it's an unreasonable request PLUS I'm not the only one trying to run Unraid on Dell / HPE enterprise class servers.  The Dell Internal Dual SD Module was designed specifically for this purpose and for those that aren't familiar with what it is or what its for, Dell servers (and HPE) contain a  Dual SD Card module that plugs directly into the motherboard. (Dual because they need to be identical SD cards that are then put into RAID 1)  When you're installing ESXi (and a handful of other OSes) you can select the Dual SD Module as the target / boot drive.  For operating systems like ESXi and Unraid, the SD card is perfect because the operating systems run from memory meaning the cards see very few writes.  If a card starts to fail, you get a notification from iDRAC (or iLO) which helps a disaster because you simply replace the failed / failing card and rebuild the array.  (faster then horsing around with licenses, etc.)  https://dell.to/30GD3HM 

 

It would be greatly appreciated if Lime would take this feature request and run with it or at least comment and say why it isn't an option.       

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8 minutes ago, zetabax said:

I don't believe it's an unreasonable request

Can you elaborate on your specific request?

 

What I'm reading, perhaps in error, is that you want Limetech to change their longstanding and well tested licensing model to accommodate a specific use case, that is, not tying the license to a unique GUID on the boot USB flash drive.

 

How do you propose that they verify that your unique license is being used on only one machine at a time? Note, any licensing scheme that relies on ongoing communication with a licensing server is a nonstarter, as many Unraid users keep their machines totally firewalled with no outside communication allowed, which the USB GUID verification scheme accommodates with no issue.

 

I'm not saying Limetech isn't willing to discuss options, I'm just trying to get a feel for what your solution is.

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31 minutes ago, zetabax said:

I don't believe it's an unreasonable request

But it is, with the way the current license model works.

 

I don't understand how/why it is so hard to purchase a small USB flash drive and boot from that? I'm not trying to be a pain in the butt, just honestly trying to understand why you want this SD module thing working so badly.  The USB license model has been in place for a LONG time at this point and is pretty darn reliable.

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35 minutes ago, jonathanm said:

Can you elaborate on your specific request?

 

What I'm reading, perhaps in error, is that you want Limetech to change their longstanding and well tested licensing model to accommodate a specific use case, that is, not tying the license to a unique GUID on the boot USB flash drive.

 

How do you propose that they verify that your unique license is being used on only one machine at a time? Note, any licensing scheme that relies on ongoing communication with a licensing server is a nonstarter, as many Unraid users keep their machines totally firewalled with no outside communication allowed, which the USB GUID verification scheme accommodates with no issue.

 

I'm not saying Limetech isn't willing to discuss options, I'm just trying to get a feel for what your solution is.

Short answer is yes, I'm asking Lime to reconsider their licensing policy.  It may have made sense when Unraid first set it up, but honestly, its restrictive and painful.

 

I'll spare you the painful clichés but change is at the very heart of this industry.

 

I'm by no means a licensing expert but I'm happy to a suggestion..... although its rooted in imagination and zero technical expertise so feel free to poke holes in its validity (just don't be rude about it please) 

 

First, Lime should eliminate the perpetual licensing scheme - IMO Lime is leaving money on the table.  Why should I be able to move my license to new hardware?  That's so not industry standard and how is Lime expected to innovate if you never 'see' customers again?

 

Why not tie it to the fundamental components of the system?  The license could be based on a 'fingerprint' of the core configuration (Motherboard + CPU, etc.)  When the user goes to activate, Unraid produces a QR code that is based on this calculation.  You take that QR code, purchase a one time activation code that you manually input into the Unraid server UI.  It then produces the actual license key which the user needs to store securely.  That key will only work if the fingerprint matches so when you reinstall, you get presented with the QR code again but would have the option to reenter the license key the and if it wasn't a close enough match to the hardware fingerprint, you need to purchase a new one. 

 

Just a thought.... be nice

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, prostuff1 said:

But it is, with the way the current license model works.

 

I don't understand how/why it is so hard to purchase a small USB flash drive and boot from that? I'm not trying to be a pain in the butt, just honestly trying to understand why you want this SD module thing working so badly.  The USB license model has been in place for a LONG time at this point and is pretty darn reliable.

Fair question; I have an enterprise class device sitting in my basement and I want to use the technology to its fullest.  Booting from a USB stick is not industry best practices.  Plus, i've been trying to get the PowerEdge to boot the Unraid USB for 2 days without any success.  I've tried BIOS and UEFI and still I get errors like this is not a bootable disk, etc. Meanwhile I can boot the stick up from my PC.  And yes, I've tried multiple USB sticks.  And yes i'm able to boot other installers from USB (specifically ESXi, Windows Server, etc)  I hate USB sticks! 

Edited by zetabax
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4 minutes ago, zetabax said:

First, Lime should eliminate the perpetual licensing scheme - IMO Lime is leaving money on the table.  Why should I be able to move my license to new hardware?

 

You are asking Limetech to change the thing that put them where they are, IMHO. Moving to a microsoft type model where a license dies when the hardware dies is just not tenable for 1000's of long time loyal users. One of the strength's of Unraid comes from being able to take a set of hard drives and the boot flash and move it to any system you want. Another strength is the promise directly from @limetech that the core functionality that you pay for when you purchase a license will never be removed. They reserve the right to ask for payment for new enhanced functionality, but to this date, all prior licenses have gotten full functionality of each new release, even increasing drive number limits on the lower tier licenses from version to version in some cases.

 

This philosophy has earned them a HUGE community of hard core enthusiasts that help make Unraid the product it is today. Without the community, Unraid wouldn't exist.

 

Whether or not this overall company trajectory is leaving money on the table is not up to us users, it's purely Tom's decision.

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18 minutes ago, zetabax said:

i've been trying to get the PowerEdge to boot the Unraid USB for 2 days without any success.

Which model? Try google search

site:unraid.net poweredge

and add your specific model, like r720. Some models are more difficult to get running than others.

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1 minute ago, jonathanm said:

Which model? Try google search


site:unraid.net poweredge

and add your specific model, like r720. Some models are more difficult to get running than others.

Yes, apparently UEFI is not supported on enterprise equipment. 🤷‍♂️

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