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Bug#470840: debian-installer: Fails to install Grub on a RAID5 system

reopen 470840
reassign 470840 partman-md
severity 470840 wishlist
retitle 470840 Should warn when /boot is on some types of RAID

On Friday 14 March 2008, you wrote:
> On Fri, 14 Mar 2008 01:14:19 +0100 Frans Pop <elendil@planet.nl> wrote:
> > Grub does not support RAID5, only RAID1 and RAID0. So you've asked it
> > to do something impossible. Lilo does not support RAID5 either.
> > The correct solution is to create a separate /boot partition.
> >
> > As this is not an installer bug but user error (when you do manual
> > partitioning and use advanced options like RAID5 you're somewhat
> > expected to know their limitations), I'm closing your report.
> i was not aware of the fact, i am sorry for having filed a useless
> bugreport! I will proceed installing in the correct manner.
> Just a thought: you are right about knowing the
> limitations, but wouldn't be adding a warning line during the raid
> configurations screen helping a lot user compared to the -
> relatively small - effort needed do issue it?

We already have a lot of such checks in the installer, but it is almost 
impossible to check for every possible issue, especially as different 
bootloaders on different architectures may support different things. For 
example, some bootloaders support RAID1 (mirrored, not striped) but others 

I doubt RAID5 is supported by any bootloader but I still feel that at some 
point, for advanced features, we have to be able to assume that a system 
administrator has read basic documentation for the feature and understands 
what he is doing.

If you think about it, it should be easy to understand why RAID5 is not 
supported: files (including the kernel and initrd) are fragmented over 
several disks.

There is a real cost to adding warnings: each warning (and all its 
translations) takes up memory.

I have reopened your report at wishlist severity, but am not sure if a check 
will actually be added. I have also added a note about booting and RAID 
on / in the installation guide.


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