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I just ordered five 1TB drives to install as a RAID 6 array in a Linux server (keeping the existing 1TB drive as a boot disk). I want to use Linux MD for RAID rather than a RAID card, to avoid lock-in. The intended use is for storing filesystems for Xen development environments and an AFP server for iPhoto/Aperture/Lightroom.

What things should I know before I set it up? For example, what would be a good choice of filesystem, and what chunk size should I use?

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Why an entire drive for just boot? Why not just create a small partition at the start of each drive, and RAID1 all of them together? Then RAID6, or RAID10 the rest of the space? – Zoredache Oct 1 '12 at 23:11
Choice of the filesystem is entirely up to you and your needs. Different people prefer different filesystems for different purposes, you would receive all sorts of answers on this one. You could also consider LVM on top of the RAID to avoid calculating the chunk size, which also depends on what type of files you would put there, how large, etc. The question has too many right answers. – grs Oct 2 '12 at 0:44
Good ideas. I've put a RAID1 boot partition on the drives, which has gained me a lot more space for data, and I've put LVM in the RAID6. I didn't know whether Linux would support what is essentially MD on top of MD, but not only does it support it, the Debian installer makes it incredibly easy to set up. – Derecho Oct 4 '12 at 21:10

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