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Re: Debian installer with RAID of 6TB

On 3/3/10 6:12 PM, Michael Shuler wrote:
> On 03/03/2010 08:46 AM, Chris Moules wrote:
>> Hello,
>> I have been doing some testing on a new server before deployment. I
>> came across a limitation that I could not find documented and seems
>> not to be a limitation of any of the individual components. It also
>> seems restricted to the d-i.
>> I have been installing from the Debian Lenny amd64 DVD (5.0.4) and
>> Debian Squeeze (1st March 2010).
>> The issue is that the 6TB (RAID50 8*1TB on a 3ware 9650) is visible to
>> partman but not all usable. I have created a boot partition (256MB)
>> and then an LVM partition (the rest). The LVM partition stops at 4TB
>> and the remaining 2TB is listed as 'Free Space'. This can then not be
>> used at all. Any attempt to use this results in an error.
>> The partition type is GPT. The symptoms are the same on both Lenny and
>> Squeeze.
>> After continuing with the installation (on Squeeze) and using parted
>> to look at the disk, I get the following:
>> ---
>> parted /dev/sda
>> GNU Parted 1.8.8.git-dirty
>> Using /dev/sda
>> Welcome to GNU Parted! Type 'help' to view a list of commands.
>> (parted) p
>> Warning: Not all of the space available to /dev/sda appears to be
>> used, you can fix the GPT to use all of the space (an extra
>> 3906207744 blocks) or continue
>> with the current setting?
>> Fix/Ignore? Fix
>> Model: AMCC 9650SE-8LP DISK (scsi)
>> Disk /dev/sda: 6000GB
>> Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
>> Partition Table: gpt
>> Number  Start   End     Size    File system  Name  Flags
>>  1      17.4kB  256MB   256MB   ext2         boot  boot
>>  2      256MB   4000GB  4000GB                     lvm
>> ---
>> I am unable, with parted, to extend the LVM partition as parted does
>> not seem to recognise LVM.
>> It seems to me that, maybe, libparted, partman or something related in
>> the d-i does not work with more than 4TB. All 6TB are shown but cannot
>> be used. As nothing seems to have a 4TB limit I am not sure what it
>> could be.
> What filesystem did you select?  May not be an LVM related limit, but
> perhaps a filesystem limitation.

This was with manual partitioning selected. This result came before even
selecting a filesystem. I had ~6TB of space on the disk, selected "Free
Space" and chose 100% of this for the new partition. partman
auto-selected 'ext3' as filesystem type which I changed to 'device for
LVM' and chose 'done'. This then listed the second partition as ~4TB and
left 2TB as 'Free Space'. Any attempt to use these final 2TB produced an
error (I do not have the exact text).

I do not believe that this has the slightest to do with a filesystem as
this was not at that point. Also the failure to use the remaining 2TB
space seems to indicate this. Finally the output from parted (in initial
post - above) shows the warning and the option to 'fix' the GPT created
by the partman installer partitioner.

I plan to re-run the Lenny installer tomorrow and will note the error
messages. It seems that Xen support has been half removed from Squeeze
and so it looks like that I will need to do some home-brew mix and match
to get a Xen 3.4 with a 2.6.3X kernel (backports.org (kernel) and manual
backporting (Xen and tools)).

This would not be too bad if it was simple to extend the LVM part
afterwards. As parted is the only tool (that I know of) that does GPT
partition tables in Linux and it refuses to resize the partition as it
does not 'know' LVM.
How can you install into the LVM and resize it if you must delete it and
recreate it? I believe that parted is trying to be too clever as I can
use the LVM tools to extend the LVM part but parted will not simply
extend the end of the partition.

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