About my confusion.

I'm trying to setup Ubuntu Server 10.04 LTS onto two 1 TB physical hard drives built into a server. I don't have a lot of experience with Ubuntu Server yet but I'm familiar with Ubuntu Desktop.

I like the learning by doing approach - therefore I googled around for many hours and read lots of ressources about Ubuntu Server installations, especially the parts about partitioning since I never configured a RAID1 setup on Linux before.

Confused about the huge number of different opinions and all these different 'best practises', I just started by booting the machine using an Ubuntu Server 10.04 alternate install LiveCD.

About my confusion projected onto a hard drive.

I'm stuck at the partitioning screen having no idea what I have done or what I should do next. You don't have to be a genius to notice, that Ubuntu won't install using the configuration below.

What bothers me are these ugly little details like the wasted 980 KB sitting around 'unused' or these 'Unknown' labels next to the RAID-Devices.

Anyway, this is what I've got so far:

SCSI2 (0,0,0) (sda) - 1.0 TB ATA SAMSUNG HD103SJ
SCSI2 (0,0,0) (sdb) - 1.0 TB ATA SAMSUNG HD103SJ [same config]

 Nr. 1    primary    149.9 MB   K   raid
 Nr. 5    logical      4.0 GB   K   raid
 Nr. 6    logical    996.1 GB   K   raid

These partitions got configured using the "Configure Software-RAID" option provided by the ubuntu installer.

RAID1 Device #0 -   148.9 MB  Unknown
      Nr. 1         148.9 MB  K         ext4    /boot
RAID1 Device #1 -     4.0 GB  Unknown
      Nr. 1           4.0 GB  K         Swap
RAID1 Device #2 - 996.1.0 GB  Software-RAID-Device
      Nr. 1       996.1.0 GB  K         lvm
                    **983.0 KB  K         unused**

Then I created a locigal volume group on RAID-Device #2 and configured the following LVs:

LVM VG vg1, LV backup - 250.0 GB Linux device-mapper (linear)
    Nr. 1        250.0 GB K     ext4      /backup
LVM VG vg1, LV home   -   2.0 GB Linux device-mapper (linear)
    Nr. 1          2.0 GB K     ext4      /home
LVM VG vg1, LV root   -  20.0 GB Linux device-mapper (linear)
    Nr. 1          20.0 GB K     ext4      /
LVM VG vg1, LV tmp    -   5.0 GB Linux device-mapper (linear)
    Nr. 1           5.0 GB K     ext4      /tmp
LVM VG vg1, LV var    -   5.0 GB Linux device-mapper (linear)
    Nr. 1          20.0 GB K     ext4      /var
LVM VG vg1, LV var    - 714.1 GB Linux device-mapper (linear)
    Nr. 1         714.1 GB K     ext4      /vhosts

About my plans, before there was confusion.

(A) I'm aiming for a system configuration with this functionality:

  • Ubuntu Server 10.04 LTS running with RAID1 configured
  • Webserver with isolated virtual hostings
  • Secure partition layout that provides stability when it comes down to log flooding DOS a ttacks, web vulnerability scanners and all the other toys, that are able to bring a server down.

(B) This is what I plan to use:

  • A LVM setup based on a RAID1 Array of two HDs
  • Standard PHP, MySQL, Apache setup
  • OpenVZ to setup virtual hosts; running isolated instances of apache/php/etc. inside these


I messed up my hard drive setup during installation so I have to start over again but I don't know how to get it right this time. I am trying to get a setup providing the functionality listed under (A).

Please share your thoughts about what could be a better way than my plans listed under (B). Furthermore, what is - in your opinion - the best partion layout for this system?

Please share your experiences, I am happy about every advice.

Thanks in advance and sorry about the long posting - it's the confusion you have to blame.

  • To give a comment on the long post, do not worry. Long posts and problems explained well is way better than a short annoying post just stating that something doesn't work. – Frands Hansen Dec 25 '11 at 20:49

Well, it seems like I was confused indeed. Got up today, fired up two google queries (don't know the magic words anymore) and immediately stumbled upon these to very informative and (finally!!!) working howtos. I hope i can create a new 'final destination' for all those frustrated googlers that have gone down the same dark road of the best practices to create partitions on a ubuntu server.

  1. Forum posting describing how to Install Ubuntu LTS (Hardy Heron) with RAID and LVM

  2. Guide about Ubuntu Server hardening providing examples of best practises in terms of security as well as possible partition layouts

Thanks to everyone for reading (and fbh for commenting ;)

  • Oh I am very glad that you found out. I just downloaded the LTS iso to give it a go myself and tell you what I found out. Just wanted to check the question to make sure no one answered he-he. But that seems not to be necessary any longer :D Good luck! – Frands Hansen Dec 26 '11 at 13:58

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