Installing with Fake RAID
- 1 General Description
- 2 History
- 3 Backup
- 4 Outline
- 5 Procedure
- 6 External Links
The purpose of this install is to enable use of a RAID Set created by the onboard BIOS RAID controller and thereby opening up the possibility of using GRUB to dualboot from a partition on the RAID Set. This guide uses the regular install, the quickinstall, dmraid and a custom pkgbuild by uwolfer.
Note: You need to build the dmraid package on a working system and somehow bring it to the installation since it is still in AUR.
In linux 2.4 the ATARAID kernel framework provided support for Fake Raid (software RAID assisted by the BIOS). For linux 2.6 the device-mapper framework can do, among other nice things like LVM and EVMS, the same kind of work as ATARAID in 2.4. While the new code handling the RAID's I/O still runs in the kernel, device-mapper stuff is generally configured by a userspace application. It was clear that when using the device-mapper for RAID, detection would go to userspace.
Heinz Maulshagen created the dmraid tool to detect RAID sets and create mappings for them. The controllers supported are (mostly cheap) Fake-RAID IDE / SATA controllers which have BIOS functions on it. Most common ones are: Promise Fasttrack controllers as well as HPT 37x, Intel, VIA and LSI. Also serial ata RAID controllers like Silicon Image Medley and Nvidia Nforce are supported by the program.
- Tested with nforce4-chipset on Core Dump i686 and x86_64. Works with dualbooted Windows XP.
- For more info on supported hardware check gentoo-guide down low.
Backup all data before playing with RAID, what you do with your hardware is only your own fault. Data on RAID Stripes are highly vulnerable to disk failures, make regular backups.
- Boot the Installer CD
- Install dmraid
- Partition the RAID Set
- Install and Configure Arch
Preferably use an existing Archlinux system for this.
- Print out the guides you need.
- Get the latest core image of Archlinux.
- Get the tarball from AUR and makepkg it: http://aur.archlinux.org/packages/dmraid/dmraid.tar.gz
# wget http://aur.archlinux.org/packages/dmraid/dmraid.tar.gz # tar xvvzf dmraid.tar.gz # cd dmraid/ # makepkg
- Copy the created pkg to the installer CD-image, or put it on a USB-stick.
- Update and burn the CD-image.
- Backup all important files since all partitions on the target disks will be destroyed.
- Enter BIOS Setup and enable the proper RAID Controllers and Channels.
- Set CD-drive as First Boot Priority.
- Save and Exit BIOS.
- Enter RAID BIOS Setup utility and create preferred Stripes / Mirrors.
Boot the installer CD
If your screen can handle it, consider adding
vga=795 as a boot option.
boot: arch vga=795
Assuming dmraid package is added to the installer CD:s root and the CD is /dev/sr0
- Mount CD, install package and find RAID Sets:
# mount /dev/sr0 /src # pacman -A /src/dmraid-1.0.0.rc14-1-i686.pkg.tar.gz # dmraid.static -ay # ls -l /dev/mapper/
/dev/mapper/control <-- Created by device-mapper /dev/mapper/nvidia_geceiece <-- The whole RAID set. /dev/mapper/nvidia_geceiece1 <-- First partition on this RAID set
If there is only one file control in /dev/mapper/ then dmraid does not support this controller or there are no RAID Sets on the system. Current options are to use Software RAID, this means no dualbooted RAID system, or to get a supported controller.
Partition the RAID Set
- Create the proper partitions
- Deactivate all RAID devices
- Reactivate the newly created RAID devices
- Note: Now would be a good time to install the other OS since this most likely is the plan. If installing Windows XP to c: then the boot partition should be changed to type: hidden fat32 [1B] during the Windows installation and then changed back to type: linux  for GRUB.
- Of course a reboot unfortunately requires some of the above steps to be repeated.
# cfdisk /dev/mapper/raid_set # dmsetup remove_all # dmraid.static -ay # ls -la /dev/mapper
/dev/mapper/raid_set <-- This is the whole RAID set. /dev/mapper/raid_set1 <-- /boot /dev/mapper/raid_set2 <-- c:\ in windows /dev/mapper/raid_set3 <-- / /dev/mapper/raid_set5 <-- swap /dev/mapper/raid_set6 <-- /tmp /dev/mapper/raid_set7 <-- /home /dev/mapper/raid_set8 <-- d:\ in windows
Install and Configure Arch
For instance use three consoles; the quickinstall script to get all files on the system, the setup gui to configure the system and chroot to install grub.
tty1: /arch/quickinstall, chroot and grub
tty3: cfdisk for a reference in spelling, partition table and geometry of the RAID Set. Leave it running and switch to when needed.
Create and Mount File Systems
- Switch to tty3 and run cfdisk.
# cfdisk /dev/mapper/raid_set
- Switch to tty1, create file systems and mount them.
# mkswap /dev/mapper/raid_set5 # mkfs.ext2 /dev/mapper/raid_set1 # mkfs.ext2 /dev/mapper/raid_set6 # mkfs.jfs /dev/mapper/raid_set3 # mkfs.jfs /dev/mapper/raid_set7 # mount /dev/mapper/raid_set3 /mnt/ # mkdir /mnt/boot /mnt/tmp /mnt/home # mount /dev/mapper/raid_set1 /mnt/boot/ # mount /dev/mapper/raid_set6 /mnt/tmp/ # mount /dev/mapper/raid_set7 /mnt/home/
- Run the quickinstall script
# /arch/quickinstall cd /mnt/ /src/core/pkg/
- Prepare for dmraid and chrooted environment
# mount -o bind /dev /mnt/dev # mount -t proc none /mnt/proc # mount -t sysfs none /mnt/sys
- Install dmraid
- This should be done before chrooting into
/mnt/so as not to get problems with file system sizes.
# pacman --root /mnt/ -A /src/dmraid-1.0.0.rc14-1-i686.pkg.tar.gz # chroot /mnt/ /bin/bash/
- Update nodes for GRUB
- GRUB will have trouble finding
/dev/mapper/raid_setin the chrooted environment unless the device-mappers nodes are updated.
# dmsetup mknodes
- Switch to tty2 and start the regular installer.
- Go directly to the System configuration menu and let the installer use it's autodetect features.
- It is not necessary to enable any software raid, encryption or lvm features for dmraid to work.
- Edit /etc/mkinitcpio.conf and add
dmraidto the HOOKS line.
- It is probably a good idea to do this right after
sata. Remember to check that the correct disc controller driver was found by autoconfig and put inside MODULES.
- Save your changes and repeat with /etc/mkinitcpio.d/kernel26-fallback.conf.
- Edit any other settings and exit the Configuration menu.
- As the kernel is regenerated check for
Running hook [dmraid]and see that it installs properly.
Note: Every time the Configuration menu is entered, the autoconfiguration process overwrites mkinitcpio.conf and the fallback config. They need to be re-edited every time.
- Choose Install Boot Loader from the Archlinux Setup menu and choose GRUB.
- Find and choose
/boot/grub/menu.lstto point to your RAID set's root partition.
- We are not installing on software RAID if the installer asks.
- The installation will fail, but not before it has copied all necessary files to
- Do not exit the gui installer at this point!
- This will unmount the file systems we previously mounted for dmraid install and chroot. Somewhat annoying since they are still needed.
- Switch to tty3 and look up the geometry of our RAID Set.
- The number of Cylinders, Heads and Sectors on the RAID Set should be written up high inside cfdisk.
18079 255 63for a RAID Stripe of two 74GB Raptor discs.
- Grub does not understand this and needs to be told with 'geometry'.
- Switch to tty1, the chrooted environment.
- Install GRUB on
- Exchange C H S below with the proper numbers and be aware that they are not printed in the same order as they are read from cfdisk.
# grub --device-map=/dev/null grub> device (hd0) /dev/mapper/raid_set grub> geometry (hd0) C H S
If geometry is entered properly, GRUB will spit out a list of partitions found on this RAID Set.
grub> root (hd0,0) grub> setup (hd0) grub> quit
- Add mountpoints to
# echo"/dev/mapper/raid_set3 / jfs defaults 0 1" >> /etc/fstab # echo"/dev/mapper/raid_set5 swap swap defaults 0 0" >> /etc/fstab # echo"/dev/mapper/raid_set1 /boot ext2 defaults 0 0" >> /etc/fstab # echo"/dev/mapper/raid_set6 /tmp ext2 defaults 0 0" >> /etc/fstab # echo"/dev/mapper/raid_set7 /home jfs defaults 0 2" >> /etc/fstab
- Exit the chrooted environment.
- Exit installer
- Quit cfdisk.
- Unmount the file systems.
- Exit all shells.
- Reboot and remove installer CD.
# umount /mnt/* # umount /mnt # reboot
Bug report on adding dmraid to the install CD: http://bugs.archlinux.org/task/4762
Forum thread that lead to this guide: http://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=22038
Gentoo Wiki page that greatly contributed: http://gentoo-wiki.com/HOWTO_Gentoo_Install_on_Bios_(Onboard)_RAID