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Re: RAID1 Boot Partition

Andrew Sackville-West wrote:
> Chaim Keren Tzion wrote:
> > I have been trying to set up a software RAID1 system with two 320GB SATA 
> > disks.

Sounds reasonable.  I have done this many times.

> > I have followed the instructions at both these links below (using lenny 
> > instead of etch because of what seems to be unsupported hardware in the older 
> > kernel):
> > http://ads.wars-nicht.de/blog/archives/54-Install-Debian-Etch-on-a-Software-Raid-1-with-S-ATA-disks.html
> > and
> > http://www.networkjack.info/blog/2007/01/03/debian-linux-etch-software-raid-1/
> > 
> > I had issues with both procedures.
> > 1. Both of them failed when I chose to install the "Standard system" item in 
> > the tasksel stage of the install.

What was the failure?  This may be unrelated to linux kernel software
raid.  If you have time and resources it may be useful to install a
test system without raid to verify that your hardware is otherwise
supported.  I say that since you mention that hardware support drove
you to Lenny.

> > 2. When I chose to not install the "Standard system" I
> > A) got a minimalistic system which uses lilo(yuck) as a boot loader
> so install grub. (probably after the stuff below...)

The debian installer selects lilo if it does not think grub will
work.  For example if /boot is on lvm then lilo is selected.  So the
fact that the d-i selected lilo indicates to me that you have something
in your setup wrong.  In which case installing grub specifically
probably won't help and probably won't lead to a successful boot.

> > B) The RAID1 MD device that I created for the /boot partition exists but was 
> > not added to the /etc/fstab, no files were written to that device/partition 
> > and the system actually boots from the root MD device instead.
> create a mount point: /newboot, mount the md0 device there, copy over
> the /boot stuff to /newboot. umount /newboot and remount it at
> /boot. manually install grub to each of the disks so that you can boot
> from either one. Fix up your /boot/grub/menu.lst so that it points to the
> right devices...

Sounds reasonable.  And the exercise would lead to a better
understanding of the process.  But if this is a fresh installation
then it might be easier and create a cleaner to do it again and figure
out what was incorrectly set up the first time.

> > 3) The second URL above uses LVM which I wouldn't have used otherwise but I 
> > was desperate to finally get the RAID to work and followed the instructions 
> > exactly. Is LVM any type of requirement for a software RAID system?
> nope.

Agreed.  I always use lvm but incorrect usage can lead to problems
such as indicated by the d-i installing lilo instead of grub.

> > The system works but everything is on the root MD device.
> > Any ideas/pointers on how to do it right?
> > 1. I preffer Grub

I strongly prefer grub.

> > 2. Would like to boot off the first MD device/partition
> > 3. I preffer not using LVM
> > 4. I would like to have the "Standard system" packages install.
> 4. you can rerun tasksel and pick the standard system from there.

Is "Standard System" one of the options when running tasksel again?  I
don't see it there.

  tasksel --list-tasks
  u desktop       Desktop environment
  u web-server    Web server
  u print-server  Print server
  u dns-server    DNS server
  u file-server   File server
  u mail-server   Mail server
  u database-server       SQL database
  u laptop        Laptop
  u manual        manual package selection


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