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SATA vs. IDE in SUSE Linux Enterprise 10

This document (3173598) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 SP1
SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP1
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10


In SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 products there are two different ATA driver stacks. The new one is called libata, where the old one is IDE. When the new stack is used, ATA devices appear as SCSI devices - disks as /dev/sdX
and optical drives as /dev/srX. The new stack brings in some advantages, but may contain some drawbacks, too. One feature, which mays it indispensable in some cases, is the support for hotplugging.

Any PATA (parallel ATA) controller which is supported by IDE will be driven by IDE. All the rest (mostly serial ATA but some PATA too) are driven by libata.

You have a CD-ROM device in a docking station for which the kernel would use the "old" IDE stack and you want to make use of hotplugging.


The easiest way to do this is by adding


to the installation prompt, which results in the new stack (libata) being used.

Note:Please don't use the above boot parameter with an installed system if you don't know what the impact of this will be. See also the 'Additional Notes' section about this.

Additional Information

It is also possible to exchange the used stack in an already installed system, but this involves deeper knowledge in the system internals like changing /etc/fstab and the init ram fs.


This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

  • Document ID:3173598
  • Creation Date: 06-Mar-2008
  • Modified Date:23-Feb-2021
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

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