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I just built a home computer with 3TB hard drives I wanted to set up in a RAID 5 and load Ubuntu server onto it. The first thing I did ...
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  1. #1
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    Help Setting up Linux Raid Server


    I just built a home computer with 3TB hard drives I wanted to set up in a RAID 5 and load Ubuntu server onto it.

    The first thing I did was set up the drives in a RAID 5 using just the motherboard chipset software to do it, so a 'hardware' RAID basically.

    I installed Windows first to see if all the hardware works ok (that seemed the easiest way to verify it) and with the exception of the ethernet card (which needed a driver disk to work) everything was plug n' play and worked wonderfully. After that I booted the Windows install disk again to delete the partitions, hoping Ubuntu 10.10 server would create its own.

    The problem I'm having is no matter what I've tried (deleting and recreating the RAID 5 setup, departitioning the drives), whenever I try to install Ubuntu it won't recognize the RAID as a valid disk. Ironically, it did at first, because I installed windows to verify the hardware. The ethernet card wasn't working automatically in the Ubuntu setup, (although it found the unformatted RAID drive), so I installed windows and figured out it was just the drivers that needed to be installed.

    So now when I try to install Ubuntu, it finds the ethernet card perfectly and connects to the internet during the installation...but that actually stinks because it's telling me it's still accessing the drivers from the drives that I thought I formatted. Once it gets to the storage part of the installation afterwards, it can't find the RAID drive anymore. I tells me to choose a disk from the list, but the list is blank. So I can't install on it.

    If I remove the RAID entirely and just keep the drives as 3 separate IDE drives, it finds every drive perfectly and can install to either one I choose. But I don't want this, I definitely need them RAIDed.

    I would appreciate any advice at all on this, or even suggestions on another way of doing it. I've heard many people claim to dislike hardware RAIDs for linux servers and recommend using a software RAID instead. I am new to either, so I'd be happy to consider a software RAID if I knew it would be better/easier.

    Any suggestion on a distrobution would be nice, too. I think I like the KDE interface, making me consider Kubuntu, but primarily I just want a server with the trimmings to access it from afar...LAMP,Email,SSH, and Remote Desktop.

    Thanks for any advice!

    Will P.

  2. #2
    Linux Guru coopstah13's Avatar
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    this is because its not actually a hardware raid, its a firmware raid (fakeraid)

    RAID - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    these historically never work on linux, because they are highly proprietary and the chipset makers almost never want to write the linux driver

    also, most of the kernel hackers see no purpose in supporting them as they are not superior to a linux software raid

    if this is a ubuntu only system, i would recommend just using a software raid

  3. #3
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    Thanks coopstah13, I greatly appreciate it.

    Could you point me in the right direction on how to setup a software raid? Is this done during the installation of Ubuntu or afterwards within the OS?

    The motherboard I have is GA-H67-UD2H-B3. It has two Sata chipsets, the Intel one and the Gigabyte proprietary one. Just so I'm clear, the general consensus is that these onboard fake raids are slower than just a software one? I've read a few articles since you posted and now that's what I'm starting to believe.

    What it seems like is that you set up the RAIDs based on partitions and not the actual drives themselves. While this may be fine, will I be able to get the same result out of it? I want everything in the RAID, including the boot sectors, so I can easily rebuild if a drive goes down. It seems like with a software RAID based on partitions at the very least have to set up the partitions again.

    Is a Live CD the only way to get this done? Are they not normally included in the actual DVD installers?

    Thanks for the advice coopstah.

    Lorewap3

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