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abunn 09-14-2004 10:44 AM

advice sought: need linux as dual boot. machine has SATA raid 0, fedora?
 
Hi Geeks:

I just started a new job. The folks here have been using Cygwin on Windows for a serious computing job (it's a long story - but they can't / won't port the code). They are running it on a fast computer but Cygwin isn't cutting it anymore. It leaks and takes forever to run. They want me to set up the machine as a dual boot with Linux and XP. I got stuck with it because I've used Linux for years. However, I have found the modern distros so good that I still consider myself a newbie - I rarely go under the hood.

I'm concerned about this install because the machine is RAID 0 (my first RAID) and my first dual boot. Here are my questions:

1. What are the issues with dual boot (XP Pro) and RAID? There seem to be many from browsing. Can somebody knowledgeable summarize them for me?

2. What distro should I use? I've been leaning toward Fedora b/c I've used RH for years.

3. Should I be frightened?

Here are the details of the machine:
Dell Worstation PWS450
Xeon 3.06 GHz with 3.50 Gb RAM
NVIDIA Quadro FX1000
DVD RW

The RAID 0 Striped disks use this SATA Chipset:
Promise FastTrak SATA150 TX2

It also has a firewire LaCie External data drive.

I hope this is clear and thanks in advance.

-Andy

Electro 09-14-2004 08:34 PM

RAID 0 will not help to speed up Linux because neither file is big enough to take advantage of it. All files are few hundred kilobytes and few of them are a little over a megabyte. One IDE hard drive can easily output 30 to 60 megabytes per second. RAID 1 will really help speed up accessing files because it can access two or more files at once instead of one at a time with RAID 0. Though going from Windows to Linux will be hard with software RAID. I suggest hardware RAID like 3ware or some other server grade controllers. Before attempting to install Linux. I suggest you backup or the word fire will come the next day if something goes wrong.

Next you may want to show them Wine, but I suggest compiling it instead of RPM files. This is because it will be a lot easier for your company to switch or port their code to Linux.

IMO, Redhat relates too much to MS Windows because many jobs are summarized by the distribution's tools instead of getting dirty with the real Linux commands. I tried Redhat and I did not like how it controls itself. This is ok for a Linux novice but I thought using Linux is to be in control of your computer and to get out of the baby chair. I typed the command ps to figure out what Redhat is doing to make a partition or mount a partition. There is nothing there that begins the command mount. I like Mandrake even though it has its own tools to help you. Mandrake tools are front ends to Linux commands. what I found with using the ps command in Mandrake is it shows that running fdisk to make partitions, mkfs to format partitions, and mount to mount the partitions.

Windows XP does not take advantage of 3.5 GB of RAM. IMO, 1 GB is the maximum memory that Windows XP will take advantage. Linux will really take advantage of the 3.5 GB of RAM and a lot more.

You may want to show your company VMware because it has the ability to run another OS besides the host OS and testing programs can easily be done in a few minutes instead of hours.

Thoreau 09-15-2004 12:33 AM

You have to use RedHat or Suse 9.0. You cannot use anything else. If you want RAID 0 bootable to work on any linux distro, I would suggest using a 3ware card for RAID.

And I dunno what the previous poster is talking about. RAID 0 is striped. RAID 1 is mirrored. Half the data bits are split across the drives in RAID 0. And mirrored in RAID 1. In any case, your options are very limited and iffy with that card. In a phrase, Promise is teH SuK.

Electro 09-15-2004 02:33 AM

Thoreau, dah a know that RAID 0 is striped and RAID 1 is mirroring. People still do not understand the RAID levels. RAID 0 is designed for high bandwidth but only one queue can be handle at at time for IDE hard drives. RAID 1 is designed for reduntacy but it can also handle multple queues making IDE hard drives seem they are SCSI hard drives. RAID 0 should used for raw video capturing, raw sound capturing, raw graphic scanning, and transfering huge (100+ MB) over a 1 gigabit network. Many web servers uses RAID 1 to decrease the accessing time that one hard drive will take.

I said 3ware or did you skim through my post.


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