[TriLUG] Problems with debian software raid install.

William Sutton william at trilug.org
Mon Oct 8 14:11:29 EDT 2007

I have Etch running on a pair of PATA drives using RAID1.  The Etch 
installer (or I) seem to have issues creating layered filesystem types 
(e.g., ext3 on lvm on raid).  My recollection of what I had to do was 
- create the raid filesystem
- instruct the installer to continue (to force it to actually write the fs 
- the installer would determine (after creating the raid fs) that it 
didn't have an fs it could write to and bump you back to the fs creation 
part of the installer
- then select the newly created raid partitions for your new fs's, set 
things as you want, lather, rinse, repeat until you have your filesystems 
the way you want

it's a bit of a pain...either I'm doing something wrong or (I think) the 
etch installer fs creation code needs fixing

William Sutton

On Mon, 8 Oct 2007, David A. Cafaro wrote:

> Ok, I need some help.  I'm normally a RedHat/CentOS/Fedora person,
> but for this project I needed to go with Debian.  One requirements is
> that the two 160GB hardrives be setup to provide software raid.  No
> problem the Debian installer seems to handle that no problem and I'm
> able to setup everything how I would like:
> /dev/hda1 108GB raid1 bootable flag
> /dev/hda2 20GB raid1
> /dev/hda3 20GB raid1
> /dev/hda4 2GB raid1
> /dev/hdc1 108GB raid1 bootable flag
> /dev/hdc2 20GB raid1
> /dev/hdc3 20GB raid1
> /dev/hdc4 2GB raid1
> /dev/md0 108GB / raid1
> /dev/md1 20GB /home raid1
> /dev/md2 20GB /tmp raid1
> /dev/md3 2GB swap raid1
> (that's roughly how it's setup)
> All seems to go well debian install goes right through and installs
> all the software, claims grub is installed and reboots.  At which
> point I get a no bootable device found.  I think maybe grub didn't
> get install correctly so I try booting into debian rescue.  Debian
> can't mount the raid, doesn't see it, just the raw raid partitions.
> Just for kicks I boot Fedora 6 rescue, it sees the partitions no
> problem and mounts them all for me to work with.  So from Fedora 6
> rescue I chroot and reinstall grub, reboot, and still no boot
> devices.  Then I find the following article:
> http://valery.bgit.net/blog-en/2006/07/30/debian-installer-sata-and-
> software-raid/
> And figure I'll give that a shot.  I step through the whole article
> (converting SATA to PATA instructions) and no problem, reboot and no
> bootable devices.  At this point I've started trying to play with the
> bios settings to see if that helps, I'm just wondering if there is a
> known issue with Debian Grub and booting from software raid devices
> (which should not be a challenge like this).  Any clues?
> And this is Debian Etch v 4.0 r1 i3.
> Thanks,
> David
> David A. Cafaro <dac at cafaro.net>
> Cafaro's Ramblings:  www.cafaro.net
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