I am actively searching for a Linux compatible SATA2 expansion card for my home server.
No need for RAID chip (I use mdadm);
4 Ports: SATA2 (3Gbps) & backward compatible with SATA1 (1.5Gbps)
No eSATA or other external connectors
No firewire/USB/IDE (PATA) or anything else;
No cooling fans (only passive cooling i.e. heat sink)
Support HDD's up to 3TB
Seems to support Linux, has a "OK" rating (3/5), I have no experience with this brand (SYBA)... and some comments from reviewers are scary... Apparently a flaky chipset.
********************* Koutech IO-PSA420 32-bit PCI SATA II (3.0Gb/s) Controller Card http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product...82E16816104006
Again, seems to support Linux (not specified which distro), has a good rating (4/5), I have no experience with this brand (Koutech)... and again, some comments from reviewers are scary. Biggest reported problem seems to be data corruption. Apparently a flaky chipset as well.
Overall, my only goad is to simply add at least 4 SATA2 ports to my server.... Nothing else, nothing more. No raid or other crap that will just eventually fail.
I am not "tied" to newegg. I can buy other brands and from some other suppliers. If anybody has experience and can recommend based on your experience, please let us know. I am willing to spend up to $100 for this card as long as I can rely on it. My use is not "mission critical" but I will use this card to RAID (Mdadm) 4 HDD together (2 RAID 1 arrays) and I cannot afford to lose data because of a flaky chipset or bad / unreliable expansion card.
Basically, it's just a matter of checking that the chipset that's on the card (for example, the SIL3124 for the first card) is supported by the version of Linux you plan on using (to avoid needing to doing something more complex like building a newer kernel). Also, getting feedback on the reliability of the chipset is important as well, but you seem to be on top of that.
Until the Vantec card I purchased catch file and let me down (lets hope it wont happen), I think this is case solved.
I purchased a Vantec 6 ports SATA2 card (2 eSATA & 4 SATA2) and seems to work fine in Linux. No errors or strange messages in dmesg or kernel messages and seems to support hotplug (from 5.25 Vantec bays)
The cards that came with my 3TB WD Green drives work fine. Linux doesn't seem to know what it is (just says SATA controller: Device 1b4b:9125 (rev 11)), but I think the BIOS describes it as some kind of PCIe RocketRAID card when booting.
Edit: it's probably this one, which actually appears to be SATA3: