I forgot to write this up yesterday and didn't feel like forging the blog entry date. Anyway, while taking a break from writing the book, I tried to finish up the work on friends.zawodny.com before I ship it off to get racked at WCNet where family.zawodny.com (which hosts jeremy.zawodny.com) has sat for about two years.

The new machine has 2 80GB Maxtor disks, one on each IDE channel. I have four RAID-1 filesystems (using Linux software RAID) on the drives: /, /usr, /var, and /home. I did some tinkering around and, after a few Goggle searches, I managed to get it to boot from either disk in the event of a failure. When hda failed (I unplugged it), the system booted from hdc just fine. And when hdc failed, it booted just fine from hda and ran in "degraded" mode until I rebooted with both disks and used raidhotadd to re-add the previously failed partitions to each RAID volume.

This is excellent. I had trouble getting this to work on machines in the past and opted for simply having the data on RAID volumes but no fail-over for booting. Now that I've seen it work, I see no need to ever really bother with hardware RAID. The built-in stuff works great.

I should note that I had tried to out-smart things (using the information like that found here) but it never worked for me. Once I tried to just follow the directions and told LILO that I wanted to use /dev/md0 rather than /dev/hda, it Just Worked. Excellent!

Combine all that with the fact that the Debian Woody install CD allows me to select from ext2, ext3, and ReiserFS at installation time, it's now far easier to build a robust Linux server that it used to be.

Posted by jzawodn at September 29, 2002 11:52 AM

Reader Comments
# Wil said:

Now this is something I'd be very interested in. I'm currently setting up a Debian file server in our office and I'd like to set up a software raid on the two Maxtor 60giger disks I picked up. Can you provide me with a few URLs or some more info on how you managed this? Thanks!

on October 1, 2002 01:34 PM
# neil said:

If I were you, I would turn that raid into a raid 5 asap.
Maxtors are bad news. Had one go bad within 4.5 weeks. If you are mirroring you should be fine. If you are raid 0 better get a 160GB raid going to move the files.

on June 10, 2003 09:39 PM
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