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Is it possible to use Linux software raid with different sized hard drives? What will happen?


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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Yes it is possible. Linux software raid works at the partition level not disk level.

Yyou have to use partitions with the same size on both disks wasting space on the larger disk.

From a theoretical point of view you could even use multiple partitions from the same disk but this is not recommended and it will decrease the reliability.

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You don't need to "waste" the space on the larger disk. You can still use it. It just won't have the RAID protection against failure. Also, using it will affect the performance of the RAIDed partitions. – Slartibartfast Nov 18 '10 at 5:06
That is right, what I meant by wasted is that it wouldn't we part of the array. You could use it as a swap partition for example. – rjlopes Nov 18 '10 at 14:50

yes, if you partition the disks to be the same size. Basically what'll happen is the usable area of each disk will equal the size of the smallest.

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