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Re: sarge - Debian installer - fail to install bootloader with software raid and LVM

Hello Eugeniy Meshcheryakov,

I didn't stop playing around and followed a tip from #debian.
I created two raids.
One configured without and the other one configured to hold a LVM volume.
With this setup it seems to work to use grub (i guess lilo too, but didn't try yet).

The problem with the installer failing to install the bootloader occours only, if the partition to boot from, is configured as raid with a lvm device.


Eugeniy Meshcheryakov wrote:

You should be able to to install lilo to on of you hard disks (MBR).
Choose "other device" in lilo installation screen and enter devfs name
for the disk. See also

14 червня 2005 о 02:56 +0200 Mart Frauenlob написав(-ла):
Hello debian community,

first of all a big 'Thank You' for all the people involved with debian, for all the great non profit work they do!

I'm not completely new to debian, but I think far away from an experienced user. The new debian comes in really handy as right now I need to install several linux servers for a customer.

Yes, however... my goal was to install sarge stable with a configuration like this:

Dual Intel MMX 466
512 MB RAM
2 IDE drives configured with RAID 1.
Those Managed by LVM.

This is my first try on linux software raid and also the first time I use the logical volume manager.

So I started booting with 'expert26' to create partitioning like this:
1: create partitions (lets say only 1 to keep it easy) of equal size on each IDE drive.
2: configure those partitions to be used by RAID.
3: create the 'md' device(s).
4: configure those devices to be used by LVM.
5: create a Volume Group.
6: create a logical volume structure (to be mapped to the linux filesystem)
7: create the partitions for '/' '/usr' etc... on the logical volumes.

All works out well to this point.
As stated, this is my first try on software raid and lvm, so please tell me if I have any 'logical' errors in my procedure. Also until now I never had problems using LILO or GRUB, because setups I used before where more common.

Now all that seems to be missing is a drive marked as active, to hold the boot loader. The 'partman' menu only allows the raid device (i.e /dev/md0) to be marked with the boot flag. I asume this is correct for LILO? Is this the same for GRUB, or does GRUB require a different configuration?

Well, I continue with installation, and write partitions to disk.
Now the option to use GRUB in debian installer is gone, only LILO is left for choice in the menu.
Ok, I would prefere GRUB, but lets give it a try...
Debian installer tries to install LILO and fails.
It alerts about failure activating the raid device /dev/md0.

If I did choose 'Install Grub' from debian-installer menu, before partitioning the disks, it opens partman and when choosing finish installation after partitioning, installer tries to install grub into hd0, which fails. The option is given to provide another target, but I'm unsure what would be the alternatives to hd0, /dev/mapper/vg0-vl1 ?

What also confuses me are the warnings I get about the kernel not able to read /dev/md0 (invalid argument), /dev/bus..anything which it cant read config from, device busy warnings when restarting partman,and kernel not aware of config until reboot warnings. Now if I reboot and restart setup in hope it would be able to read partition config after reboot, I get disappointet, because partman does not remember the RAID, nor the LVM config. I need to reinitialize the RAID, which works well, but as soon I start over with LVM, it again beclaims that kernel would not be able to know about config until reboot. What's this errors / warnings about? Should I ignore them and continue, as any other choice does not seem to be reasonable???

Of course I searched the net and these lists for information.
Actually I could not find anything, that would help me newbie to get it working within the debian installer.
This looks for me to be close to my problem:
I found this, which looks like a way to do it without the installer:
Would that be a valid and current way to reach my goal, if the functionallity I want is not provided by debian-installer?

Please someone enlighten me and tell me how to achieve my desired setup.
Do I have a logical error? Or, did i miss some info?
What would be the steps to do what I want in debian-installer?
If there's no way... which would be the tasks to do on a new debian sarge?

This already takes me two days of trial & error and reading lots of docs (as it's always), but I'm at the point, where help from more experienced users would be needed lots.

Thank you for helping me out!


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