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[suse-security] [OT]Re: [suse-security] Problems writting to Promise disk

> I've just installed a software raid SuSE 9.1 server and it was a breeze.

To the hardware:

Unless linux only supports software raid for IDE-Raidcontrollers (some of
them are no real RAID controllers at all).
Serial ATA is not supported at all and if it works not recommended for
productivity systems (very very experimental, only one chipset I tested
seemed to work, but crashed too often).
All that do hardware raid have good luck.

To the distributors of hardware:

The distributors of the hardware do a f**k to support linux and only provide
old (SuSE <= 8.2) partly open-source drivers, the non open-source part in
most cases altered my systems.
They should better look on nvidias developement on linux drivers.

To the kernel:

kernel 2.6.x does not provide ide-raid or not fully, better chose 2.4.x.

> When the installer arrives at the partitioning phase, look around in the
> (advanced?) dropdowns and there's an option to make partitions of type

1. look if your controller is supported by the kernel (hardware db on
suse.com is rather old, better have a look at kernel.org or with google)

If dependancy 1. is not met buy another controller, that is supported
(belive, it's not worth that extra work, it's cheaper to buy a new
Some onboard controllers make afaik problems (even if the are called
"supported"), look, if you don't have them.

2. don't setup raid with onboard controller, only if you 100% know, it
supports hardware-raid under linux (highpoint and so on don't so don't waste
time (*) and direct use software-raid)
3. create partition of type raid
4. add the raid partition under option raid to the fstab, rest does
raidtools or the newer version of them
5. choose 2.4.x kernel, not 2.6.x (reason see above)!
6. maybe you have to build your own kernel (*) and then setup partitions as
/dev/sd[Drive-letter (**)][Partition#] instead of
7. setup everything to your delight
8. check, if your setup works:

server:~ # cat /proc/mdstat
Personalities :
read_ahead not set
unused devices: <none>

^here you should read about each partition^

server:~ # less /etc/fstab
/dev/ataraid/d0p3  /  ext3  defaults,usrquota  0  1
/dev/ataraid/d0p2    /var/log             ext3       defaults              1
/dev/ataraid/d0p1    swap                 swap       pri=42                0
devpts               /dev/pts             devpts     mode=0620,gid=5       0
proc                 /proc                proc       defaults              0
usbdevfs             /proc/bus/usb        usbdevfs   noauto                0
/dev/cdrom           /media/cdrom         auto       ro,noauto,user,exec   0
/dev/dvd             /media/dvd           auto       ro,noauto,user,exec   0
WG-DS02:~ #

^this raid setup only mounts the 1st hdd :-(^

If you did something wrong (no raid-setup): Look what you forgot to read

> FWIW, I created two identical swap partitions (one on each drive) and
> then created the RAID partition on the first drive. The installer then
> asked and auto created the identical partition in the other drive.
> Don't know if it's this simple in previous SuSE versions.

Afaik it's that simple since 8.x.

(*) If you have too much time build your own kernel and get the rather old
drivers from the hardware distributior's homepage:

get kernelsource form suse, then:

extract sources and do what is said in README
make cloneconfig
answer not configured new modules
do a normal kernel compilation:

make dep
make bzImage
make modules
make modules_install
copy kernel-image (bzImage) and symboltable (System.map) to /boot
make install
(don't forget to backup!!!)
configure bootloader (/etc/lilo.conf or /boot/grub/menu.lst)
maybe mk_initrd

The above has to be done after installation :-(

(**) drive-letter: 1. Controller = a (master, 1st connector) , External or
onboard ide-raidcontrollers have e (master, 1st connector on ide-raid
controler) in case all controllerports are activated.
If you deactivate port 2 then raid has c as driveletter and so on ...


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