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Heavily related to a question on the sister site (https://serverfault.com/questions/874943/debian-9-black-screen-during-install), I have recently picked up an HP ProLiant DL380 G5 and attempted to install Debian 9 on it (currently to a USB drive as I wait for my order of HDD's).

The OS setup would halt due to a NMI Watchdog error (to the swapper task just like above linked) if I did not add acpi=off and vga=ask to the kernel boot parameters, but now that the OS is present I want to be able to dismiss acpi=off so I can power the system off unattended (server is to be set up on an as-needed basis with WOL, physically placed in a basement).

With acpi=off the soft power signal does not respond. Are there any other kernel options I can use to limit ACPI (so the system can boot) but allow the system to turn itself off as well?

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After a day with this, I found a few workarounds, with varying results.

  1. Swapping out acpi=off for nolapic allows the system to boot and power off, until I noticed that I was operating on only one core.
  2. Disabling "MPS Table Mode" in the BIOS[*] has the same outcome as option one, but with less kernel chatter.
  3. I tried the Debian Jessie (older) install disc, went into recovery mode to fire up a shell, and no kernel parameters were needed at all. /proc/cpuinfo showed both cores and poweroff worked.
  4. Apparently the core issue has been fixed in the 4.13 kernel. I did not get an opportunity to try this yet, but this may be my preferred option.

[*] http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=134408

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