Debian Sarge RAID5

Discussion in 'Installation/Configuration' started by killfrog, Oct 22, 2005.

  1. killfrog

    killfrog New Member

    I lately got my "claws" on an old server, it's a Dual CPU PIII 450Mhz with 512MB RAM and three ULTRA SCSI 9Gb Hardisks.
    I want to install Debian Sarge with kernel 2.6 and I want it to run with RAID1 for the /boot partition and RAID5 for the rest (root and data folders)
    It is very possible (my friend did it already and I helped him a bit) to get a nice stable system running by following the Falko's HOWTO for a perfect Debian Sarge Install.
    The only problem is that the initial support for RAID is not included in the kernel by default.
    So I got to another nice site with a very nice HOWTO for setting up Debian Sarge from a Live CD such as KNOPPIX and setting up the disks to be RAID, it is done using the "debootstrap" feature (the link of the howto is
    The guy is a perl freak, he even wrote a script that automatizes all the installation process! The only problem is that that page seems to be a little outdated (he wrote it in May!) and not everything is going as its supposed to go. I emailed him, still got no response.
    NOW, my question is: Can I setup the server in the "Falko's" way on one of the HD, and then later, when I have the system up and running, to compile the kernel and only then to setup the raid to make it work on all of my disks?

    I'd aprecciate any help with this issue.
  2. falko

    falko Super Moderator Howtoforge Staff

    Hm, I think so. I'd at least try it. :)
  3. killfrog

    killfrog New Member

    I figured it out!
    After reading so much about the several ways to set up RAID I've learn some stuff, and I understood what was my error.
    The first time I tried, I wanted to create the RAID devices from the Base Setup in the partitioner program, all I did was to set the whole HD to be RAID autodetect, and when I tried to make partitions on it, it failed at the mkfs stage.
    Now what I did was to set up a few partitions as I wanted them to be, exactly the same in all the disks, as follows
    /dev/sdx (x=a,b,c...) first partition for /boot=64MB, second partition 512MB for swap, third partition all the rest, for root.
    After creating the same partitions on all disks, I went to the RAID menu, and created a new device, RAID1 for /boot (IT HAS TO BE RAID1, NOT 5!!!) that is built up from the first partition of every disk (/dev/sda1, /dev/sdb1, /dev/sdc1) and then I set it up to be used as ext3 and mounted as /boot, and so on with the rest, just that all the other partitions were set as RAID5.
    The only funny thing is that I made the swap be also on RAID5, so I came up with a swap partition of... 1GB!, is it bad? I don't think it would be a problem...
    Anyway, thanks for your brief reply, and don't bother to try.
    Now the question is, will I be able to add more disks to a live RAID5 device?
    There is a posibility that a friend of me will bring me more disks of the same type, and I'd like to add a few extra Gigs to the data folders...
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2005

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