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Old 10-21-2009, 03:03 AM   #1
rtr_87
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Installing Slackware 13 on hardware RAID1


Hello all, I'm having trouble getting Slackware to install on a RAID1 array. Here's the setup. I just built a new system for use as a home file server. I was intending to mirror two old 80GB IDE drives for the OS, but then I discovered the onboard controller (AMD SB710) only gave RAID capability to the SATA ports, not the IDE channel. So I bought a $20 PCIe RAID card (JMicron JMB363) so I could use my IDE drives. It seems to be working OK, as I can create the array in the BIOS menu for the card.

My problem arrises when I go to install Slackware. I initially tried Slackware64 13. It didn't see anything besides the individual drives (/dev/hde and /dev/hdf). There was nothing in /dev/mapper besides 'control'. I was installing from USB, so the only other possible device was /dev/sda, which was the flash drive.

I noticed there was no 'hugesmp.s' kernel to boot from on the 64 bit version, so I had to use 'huge.s'. But I just tried the 'hugesmp.s' kernel on the 32 bit version and it didn't see the array either.

The wierd thing is, I also loaded a gparted live-USB and it did see the array as /dev/mapper/jmicron_RAID1. And any partitions I created on the array device showed up on the individual drives as well. So I'm slightly confused as to why the default Slackware kernels don't see it. Is there some option I need to be passing it when I first go to install?

A couple notes: There is no CD/DVD drive, so I've been using the USB-based installation method, but I can install one if you all think I need to use the actual media in order to use RAID.

Also, I did end up installing the 64 bit version to one of the hard drives, but even after I log in I can't see any array.

Any ideas?

One last question, when I bought the RAID card, I just assumed it was hardware RAID, but after reading up on all of this, I'm not so sure. Is the JMB363 controller considered hardware or 'fake' RAID?

Thanks
 
Old 10-21-2009, 06:49 AM   #2
AigarsABCD
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Why don't just use software RAID? That way you can even use the IDE drives with onboard controller.
Slackware DVD has mini howto for software RAID (README_RAID.TXT)

On 64-bit DVD the "huge.s" is the SMP version. There is no kernel without SMP for 64-bit version.

And considering the price of your RAID card, it is most likely the fake-raid.

Last edited by AigarsABCD; 10-21-2009 at 07:25 AM.
 
Old 10-22-2009, 12:35 AM   #3
rtr_87
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So at this point I suppose the most obvious answer is that I already bought the card, so if there is any way possible to use it, I'd like to figure it out. I already read all about doing software RAID, so I know I can always resort to that if needed. This isn't mission critical or anything, it's just a home server, so I really don't even need RAID. But I'm sure there must be a way for this to work, especially since gparted sees it and formats it just fine. Anyone else have any ideas on why this might happen?

As for the card itself, I agree that the price point might be the best giveaway that it might not be full hardware RAID, but there was a better chance than if it was built into the southbridge.

And thanks for the tidbit on the kernel names.
 
Old 10-22-2009, 02:40 AM   #4
mRgOBLIN
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http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...1/#post3662293
 
Old 10-22-2009, 11:36 AM   #5
rtr_87
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That looks like it will be of great help. Thanks a lot. It's a bit more involved than I had anticipated it might be, but it should be fun trying to get it to work. It'll be a couple days before I can give it a shot, but I'll let you know how it goes.
 
Old 10-22-2009, 03:42 PM   #6
mRgOBLIN
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My advice is this...

If you need to use this "Fake Raid" for some reason (dual booting with Windows etc.) then go ahead and invest the time to make it work. Same applies if it's a "Just to see if I can" thing.

Realistically Software raid will be just as good (in fact better in many cases) and will be much easier to manage.

Anyway, you can still use the card as a bunch of extra SATA ports =)
 
Old 10-23-2009, 07:55 AM   #7
Alkisx
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I don't think this card is by any means hardware raid. 20$ for hardware raid?

You could use dmraid for working on this fake raid card, but, in my experience, it is better to use the mdadm utility which is included already, and manage software raid from there.

Oh, just let the disks from the fake raid's card bios in jbod mode (Just a bunch Of Disks), meaning, like they are different disks with no array. And then configure your arrays through mdadm.

Last edited by Alkisx; 10-23-2009 at 11:26 AM.
 
Old 10-27-2009, 01:51 AM   #8
rtr_87
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Thanks for all the responses guys. I haven't had a chance to try out the procedure on that other thread that mRgOBLIN linked to as I've been out of town. I'll try to get to that this week. But if I can't get it to work, I'll probably just use the onboard IDE controller with mdadm and nix the add-in card altogether. It might come in handy for a later build. Or I'll sell it.
 
  


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