Posted by Doomshammer on Saturday, December 1. 2007 at 19:29 in Computer, English only, Linux/Unix, Privat, ThoughtsThis night, I finally got the 4 x 320GiB SATA disks and the 2 Adaptec SATA controllers installed into my old file server. The old server was running out of free disk space, so I bought the 4 disks some month ago. Unfortunatelly, the server is only an old P3-1200MHz w/o any SATA controllers on-board, so I had to search for external controllers, that fit into an old PCI 33/66MHz slot.
The master plan was, to just add a controller and the new disks and move the existing data from the old server (running Solaris 10u2) to the new disks. Sadly I wasn't able to find just one (inexpensive) controller that would work with Solaris. As the 2nd controller I tried didn't work as well, I decided to install Linux instead, as the controller has Linux support.
So my new master plan, was to install CRUX on the new disks. All disks should be built up into a RAID array and the array should be enhancable, in case the I will be running out of free disk space again. What would I need? Not much... A CRUX installation CD, mdadm, and some luck
The CRUX installation CD booted and luckily directly found the 4 SATA disks as sda-sdd. So the first step was to create 3 partitions on all 4 disks (well, actually only on sda, as sfdisk did it on the other 3 disks ). I created a 18GiB partition for /, a 2 GiB partition for swap and assigned the rest (300 GiB) as another partition. All partitions get FD as type, so that I can run md on it. Next step was to create a RAID1 on sda-d0 and sda-d1 (for the / and the swap FS) and a RAID5 on sda-d2. As the CRUX installation CD already has the MD-Tools installed, this was not a big deal. Now I had my 3 partitions and could go on with the installtion.
After the usual installation and kernel building stuff, I finally had to configure LILO with the extra-raid-options and execute it. That's it... CRUX has been installed on /dev/md0 and is ready to go. After a reboot, the system came up as expected and I could start the LVM2 installation, so that I can work with volumes instead of partitions. I only set up LVM for /dev/md2 (which is the RAID5) and it works like a charme. Now my file server is ready and can take data from my workstation and laptop again
Summary: A really quick way to build a file server with cheap hardware and really small efforts, is easily done with CRUX, mdadm and LVM.