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I'm failing to successfully install Arch Linux on a HP ProLiant Gen8 server.

The support matrix for that server doesn't list Arch Linux as a supported OS.

Does that mean that if I ask a question on ServerFault about it, I'll get a response like "This isn't a supported OS so we can't help and you shouldn't be trying it"?

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    The fact that the OS is unsupported does not automatically make your question off topic IMHO. Although we are not HP support and are therefor not a priori limited in which OS we have experience with, there are many good reasons to stick with enterprise operating systems and especially if you have hardware/driver issues we might still end up making a similar recommendation: that is to run your unsupported OS in a hypervisor that is supported. – HBruijn Apr 16 '17 at 14:35
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    @HBruijn Do you mean, for example, to run VMWare on the server (which is supported) and run Arch Linux under VMWare? – Andrew Martin Apr 16 '17 at 14:39
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    Yes, or another supported Linux distribution and KVM if you don't want to buy a commercial license – HBruijn Apr 16 '17 at 15:40
  • @HBruijn Your first comment is worth to be upgraded to an answer IMO :) – yagmoth555 Apr 16 '17 at 16:25
  • Does that mean that if I ask a question on ServerFault about it, I'll get a response like "This isn't a supported OS so we can't help and you shouldn't be trying it"? - From some of us, yes. My initial response to questions like this is This isn't supported, therefore you shouldn't be trying it except for your own "homebrew" use, which makes it off-topic here. That of course is my own personal opinion on these kinds of questions. People are free to do what they want, but I tend to frown on doing this kind of thing in a production environment. – joeqwerty Apr 16 '17 at 23:04
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As HBruijn says, it's likely that you'll end up with the answer "don't do that" - or that five non moderators will consider that this question falls afoul of the "unsupported" close reason. Also, the experts here at ServerFault are experts in working with supported software/hardware, rather than trying to do something that is clearly not supported.

So my suggestion is to post it in a place where people are more expert in making Linux run on pretty much anything - i.e. Unix/Linux. There are people there who are far better at Unix than I am.

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I'll give my opinion as a Linux and HP specialist...

There are reasons HP have support matrices and limit what operating systems run on their hardware:

  • Support: Hardware manufacturer support is important in a business environment. Even if you don't think it's necessary, coworkers, successors and the company MAY care.
  • Predictability: Known platforms to test against.
  • Value-added software: Monitoring, alerts, drivers, firmware updates. You lose a lot of these when you don't use a supported OS, so many of the benefits of HP equipment will go unused.

When you operate outside of those constraints, the available pool of people to assist you is far smaller than with a mainstream OS, the types of problems you'll encounter are worse than what you'll encounter with a supported OS, and yes, you'll get responses that will suggest you use something like RHEL or CentOS.

You'll have a diminished experience with HP hardware if you don't use an OS intended for use with the platform. That's fine if you understand that risk. But in cases like this, where you want to use a non-enterprise Linux OS, I recommend that you use hardware that's not as strict (e.g. Supermicro).

Considering your question is about a basic function; booting the OS, I suspect that you won't find much Arch+HP-specific support here.

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From my professional experience over more than 10 years I formed this: "It is either supported OR it works, but never both".

Sometimes you are forced to do unsupported things. Like install SLES9 on unsupported new hardware, since you application can't be upgraded.

But I would think Arch Linux is not the way to go here (not a professional/enterprise OS). Linux&Unix might be the better place to ask for that combination - as stated already.

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