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Old 12-06-2005, 12:28 PM   #1
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Distribution: Slackware 10.2
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Question Booting to RAID0

There has to be a way to boot to / on a RAID0 ata setup, right?

I've got the raid0 setup, synced, and running slack perfectly.

Just can't boot unless I have the cd in and pass the arguments.

I'm even having issues getting my floppy disk to boot to /

any help would be appreciated.
I'm at work right now, but I'll edit this with more info and conf files as soon as I can.
Old 12-06-2005, 01:31 PM   #2
Alien Bob
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I wonder, why RAID0?
If one of the disks crashes, you lose ALL your data. You will get a faster disk subsystem with striping, but the penalty is a larger chance at data loss.
Why not just create different partitions on the two disks, and mount them under the root filesystem? You will be able to access data on one disk even after the other crashes.

RAID0 makes sense when you expect to have a lot of disk I/O and need that to be fast (like a software build box, or for storing live video streams). For the day-to-day use, I would not advise it.

Old 12-06-2005, 04:47 PM   #3
Registered: Aug 2005
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I'd advise against RAID0 as well. But if you must......

RAID0 from my experience is too much of a pain to use as your root. Lilo does not support it, and it takes a bit of monkeying to get it to work, and if you do something like kill your lilo its gonna be hell making it right again. So this is what I suggest......

Make a boot partition on the first drive. Myself I made a 35meg boot partition on HDA. Then make 2 sets of raid partitions. One for your base filesystem, and another that you will use to put the swap file on. So what you end up with is 1 boot partition, and 2 raid0 sets. (some FAQ's suggest letting linux manage the swapfile across the 2 drives, I personally disagree as I found such a setup to be horridly slow. Putting the swap on the raid seems to be much more efficient at least when using IDE drives).

So basically with this setup you eliminate the problems that come with trying and having a RAID0 on your root partition, and you end up with a system that boots "simply". And you will still have your RAID0 performance working for you just the same.

Ive done RAID0 both ways, as root, and the way I just suggested and the later I was far more happier with.

RAID1 is not much slower than RAID0, could even be considered negligable in terms of read speeds. RAID0 really only has a leg up on RAID1 when it comes to write speeds, but if your doing IDE RAID write speeds wasn't a big thing for you anyway. Also RAID1 is very easy to setup as your boot partition as lilo supports this

I'd stress that you really should think RAID1... or your liable to spend alot of time trying to make RAID0 work just to have it crash and all be gone.
Old 12-06-2005, 06:58 PM   #4
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OK Update...

KnightHawk - I've done all of that... my partitons are as follows...

/dev/hda1 boot Primary Linux ext3 15mb
/dev/hda2 Primary Linux (FD) 40500.12mb
/dev/hda3 Primary Linux Swap 595.06mb

/dev/hdb1 Primary Linux ext3 15mb
/dev/hdb2 Primary Linux (FD) 40500.12
/dev/hdb3 Primary Linux Swap 595.06

I created /dev/md0, setup raidtab as follows:

raiddev /dev/md0
raid-level 0
nr-raid-disks 2
nr-spare-disks 0
chunk-size 32
persistent-superblock 1
device /dev/hda2
raid-disk 0
device /dev/hdb2
raid-disk 1

raid mkraid /dev/md0

created the file system on /dev/md0
as well as the filesystem on /dev/hda1 as /boot

mounted /dev/md0 /mnt
mounted /dev/hda1 /mnt/boot

Did a full install

copied /etc/raidtab /mnt/etc/raidtab after install
edited /mnt/etc/fstab to look like this:

/dev/md0 / ext3 defaults 1 1
/dev/hda1 /boot ext3 defaults 1 2
/dev/hda3 swap swap defaults 0 0
/dev/hdb3 swap swap defaults 0 0
/dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom auto noauto,users,ro 0 0
/dev/fd0 /mnt/floppy auto noauto,users 0 0
devpts /dev/pts devpts gid=5,mode=620 0 0
proc /proc proc defaults 0 0

edited lilo.conf to look like this:

# LILO configuration file
# generated by 'liloconfig'
# Start LILO global section
boot = /dev/hda1
message = /boot/boot_message.txt
timeout = 1200
# Override dangerous defaults that rewrite the partition table:
# VESA framebuffer console @ 1024x768x64k
vga = 791
# Normal VGA console
# vga = normal
# VESA framebuffer console @ 1024x768x64k
# vga=791
# VESA framebuffer console @ 1024x768x32k
# vga=790
# VESA framebuffer console @ 1024x768x256
# vga=773
# VESA framebuffer console @ 800x600x64k
# vga=788
# VESA framebuffer console @ 800x600x32k
# vga=787
# VESA framebuffer console @ 800x600x256
# vga=771
# VESA framebuffer console @ 640x480x64k
# vga=785
# VESA framebuffer console @ 640x480x32k
# vga=784
# VESA framebuffer console @ 640x480x256
# vga=769
# End LILO global section
# Linux bootable partition config begins
image = /boot/vmlinuz
root = /dev/md0
label = Linux
# Linux bootable partition config ends

run /sbin/lilo
says it adds it..

boots up to L99 99 99 99 99 ....

And yes, I understand that raid1 is better. I have 2 other ervers that run raid1 just fine, and yes it was much easier setting it up on them. I'm primarily searching for reasons why lilo doesn't support something like this. For informations sake.

Now for the sake of arguing ;-). This is just for an extra workstation in my lab, and I had an extra motherboard laying around that had raid on it. I don't have $$$ out the wazoo, so therefore what HD space I can have is more important that redundancy. My other servers are for the redundancy for data, so I'm not worried about "loosing" anything. Figured raid1 would be nice for some extra pep, and I had two ATA drives lying around.

I don't care if I have to use a floppy boot disk to boot the thing, or if I could just get it to boot automatically through lilo, but I'm just tired of typing in ataraid.i root=/dev/md0 noinitrd ro blah blah blah everytime I go for a reboot.

BUT, like I said, I can't seem to get either to work.

SO any help would be appreciated in this. If not, I'll just deal . ;-)
Old 12-07-2005, 03:13 PM   #5
Registered: Aug 2005
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In your lilo.conf do not specify a partition for the "boot" line.

It should read "boot = /dev/hda" and not "boot = /dev/hdaX"
Old 12-08-2005, 11:54 PM   #6
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Registered: Dec 2005
Distribution: Slackware 10.2
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Yes I've tried

boot = /dev/hda

and many other variants, all with no luck.

There really has got to be a way. Even with a third party boot loader working in conjunction with terrible lilo.

If anyone has any other ideas, I would really appreciate them.



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