I know there is another topic with the exact same title (Debian Squeeze with RAID 10), which didn't help though.

Just to make it clear, I'm kinda new to Linux, especially Debian, and all the RAID stuff (read enough to know that RAID 10 is the way to go in my case). I know my way around with UNIX, if that's of any help.

I want to set up a file and print server at my office. Planning to run Debian Squeeze, since it's supposed to be the only stable release with RAID 10 support. Is that right? I have 4 drives (2TB each) and want to have it in a nested array (RAID 10).

How do I have to partition my drives? How big does the boot partition have to be? Is 1GB big enough? How do I go about installing the RAID system? I read something about BTRFS?

I will have to run 2 other operating systems WITHIN Debian, as virtual machines, since some of my printers only have drivers for Windows 2000 and Windows XP.

What exactly goes into the boot partition? Only the booting part of linux or all the applications as well, thus, do I need to consider the size because of the two virtual machines?

I would really appreciate any following reading regarding installing Squeeze with RAID10.

If there are any additional information you guys need concerning my setup, please don't hesitate.

Cheers, Martin

EDIT: I almost forgot. Can I install Debian as usual and set up the raid system later on? With mdadm and lvm?


Can I install Debian as usual and set up the raid system later on?

You can, but you cannot turn a simple volume into a RAID10. You can only convert a running system to a RAID1.

Given that you have four drives that are 2TB, I think you might want to consider getting another small drive, or perhaps a USB disk. Then use the 5th device as your /boot partition.

If you don't want to add another device, then you probably need to create a 1GB partition for boot at the start of one ideally 2 of your drives. Use that 1GB partition for /boot. If you choose to have two, then setup a RAID1 over those 2 so your /boot will be protected against a drive failure.

After that create a partition on every other drives, and then create your RAID10 using those partitions.

Then you should probably put LVM on top of your RAID10 volumes. Under LVM create logical volumes as needed, and only allocate space that you are actually certain you need. It is easy to add more free space to a filesystem later when using LVM, so it is a very good idea to not allocate any space you do not need. This will give you the most flexibility in the future.

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  • Thanks for the reply. Couple questions, just to make sure I understood you right. – Martin Oct 10 '11 at 19:17
  • Ups, here comes the rest: First I install Debian. When it comes to the part where I have to partition my drives, I set two partitions for 2 of my 4 drives. So two drives will have 2 partitions, each with 1GB and 1,999TB partitions. The 1GB partitions will have RAID1, the other 2 will have RAID10. The other 2 drives will just have one partition with RAID10 over it. After Debian was isntalled, I'll install LVM (probably using this guide: howtoforge.com/linux_lvm) and start to set up my other 2 drives. Did I get it right? – Martin Oct 10 '11 at 19:28
  • You need to do the LVM setup during the install. It is fairly obvious how to do this in the standard Debian installer. wiki.debian.org/DebianInstaller/… – Zoredache Oct 10 '11 at 19:57
  • Alright, thanks a lot. Then I'll just give it a shot tomorrow. Am I right in my assumption that after installation I do not need to worry about the software RAID and that it is doing everything on its own? – Martin Oct 10 '11 at 20:17
  • Oh, I almost forgot. Which filesystem should I use, if I want to have write and read access from Windows user using Samba? – Martin Oct 10 '11 at 22:14

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