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lorewap3 04-29-2011 01:56 PM

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.

spankbot 04-29-2011 02:35 PM

First, I would advise against RAID 5. It's disaster prone...

http://www.miracleas.com/BAARF/RAID5_versus_RAID10.txt

Second, you probably don't actually have a real hardware RAID controller on your motherboard (it would be helpful to know what motherboard you're actually using). Often, motherboard raid controllers are actually simple disk controllers that require Windoze drivers to get any sort of RAID setup working.

Your only options for Linux are to get a real hardware controller (I've used SATA and SCSI RAID cards from Arca and Adaptec and both work great in Linux) or use the Linux version of software RAID...

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=408461

Are you actually using IDE drives? This must be a very old motherboard - which will further decrease your chances of getting this to work reliably...

As for distro suggestions, I like Ubuntu but find that Redhat, Fedora, and Centos have better third party hardware support. YMMV.

Telengard 04-29-2011 03:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spankbot (Post 4341090)
First, I would advise against RAID 5. It's disaster prone...

http://www.miracleas.com/BAARF/RAID5_versus_RAID10.txt

Second, you probably don't actually have a real hardware RAID controller on your motherboard (it would be helpful to know what motherboard you're actually using). Often, motherboard raid controllers are actually simple disk controllers that require Windoze drivers to get any sort of RAID setup working.

Your only options for Linux are to get a real hardware controller (I've used SATA and SCSI RAID cards from Arca and Adaptec and both work great in Linux) or use the Linux version of software RAID...

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=408461

^ This, plus the article linked below may prove very informative.

http://linux.yyz.us/why-software-raid.html

spankbot 04-29-2011 03:22 PM

Another important tip is that you simply must have a good UPS in place.

Telengard 04-29-2011 03:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spankbot (Post 4341142)
Another important tip is that you simply must have a good UPS in place.

It is probably off topic for this thread, but I would personally appreciate some recommendations on choosing a good UPS.

lorewap3 04-29-2011 05:51 PM

Thanks guys, I much appreciate it.

I'm using the motherboard: GA-H67-UD2H-B3
with a new i5-2500k sandy bridge
and 3 1TB seagate barracuda SataIII drives. (so the 6g ones)
8gig DDR3 ram


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