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Old 20th February 2012, 03:45 PM
remco Offline
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F16 RAID1: can I have redundancy for booting?

Hello,

I searched the web extensively for the following, but found no answer. I trying to set up an F16 server with RAID1. I want to use UEFI, not BIOS since I am using advanced format disks and I also want to be ready for 3TB+.

The trouble is, that I need to vcreate a BIOS partition, but I can only do that on one physical disk (/boot/efi). Of course, when one of my disks crashes, it is the one on which I have the boot stuff so the server won't boot any more. Is there a way to solve this?

A solution could perhaps be based on booting from a RIAD /boot/efi (how?), but perhaps there is also a scheme in which I boot the entire kernel from USB flash drive (so when I have a spare flash drive with the same data, I could use that one; that is good enough for now :-)).

I did try to work this out myself, but to no avail.


Thanks for any help!

Remco

PS: my old Fedora 8 server is now running on 1 leg coz one of the disks has crashed, so I am sweating.
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  #2  
Old 20th February 2012, 03:50 PM
jpollard Online
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Re: F16 RAID1: can I have redundancy for booting?

Only with hardware raid support.

Otherwise, only one disk can be targeted as the boot device.

That said, if the UEFI supports a list of boot devices (try each until one works)... but that tends not to work if the device only partially works rather than a total failure. To handle that requires an external raid manager to recognize that one drive has a fatal soft failure and to go to the alternate.
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Old 20th February 2012, 04:37 PM
remco Offline
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Re: F16 RAID1: can I have redundancy for booting?

Thanks for the quick reply jpollard! I had already seen several of your interesting contributions.

Would it be possible to just do a standard install (meaning that I install boot loader and bios partition on one of the disks) and then create a bootable USB flash drive for the situation when the boot disk dies? I haven't tried to do this yet, but you may just know whether that is possible or not.


many thanks again, Remco
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  #4  
Old 20th February 2012, 07:13 PM
jpollard Online
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Re: F16 RAID1: can I have redundancy for booting?

As long as you can direct the specific boot device manually, you should have no problem.
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  #5  
Old 20th February 2012, 09:48 PM
remco Offline
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Re: F16 RAID1: can I have redundancy for booting?

Not sure what you mean. Can you have the boot stuff on usb even With a uefi system? Or is the question even stupid lol. I don't understand enough yet of theboot process to draw my own conclusions reliably:-)
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Old 22nd February 2012, 11:05 AM
remco Offline
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Re: F16 RAID1: can I have redundancy for booting?

jpollard, do you know this? (If it is possible on an UEFI based system to install things in such a way that the system will boot from USB flash drive?).

Thanks, Remco
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  #7  
Old 26th February 2012, 10:54 PM
jpollard Online
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Re: F16 RAID1: can I have redundancy for booting?

Only if you can direct the UEFI to the USB.

I don't have a UEFI based system.
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Old 29th February 2012, 11:15 PM
remco Offline
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Re: F16 RAID1: can I have redundancy for booting?

OK, thanks for your help anyway.... After a lot of issues, the system is up and running, but with one boot disk for now. I will solve that one way or another.

I will also publish a script here to fix ownership of files from 500 range to 1000 range. Others may benefit from that.
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  #9  
Old 1st March 2012, 12:41 AM
stevea Offline
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Re: F16 RAID1: can I have redundancy for booting?

You can't raid the EFI system partition, but you can raid or lvm or encrypt the rest.
I suggest you make a duplicate of the EFI partition on another disk and be prepared to manually reconfigure or swap cables when a disk crashes.


Grub2 two will boot Linux software RAID0,1,5.6 and LVM; even encryption.

The 'efi system partition' cannot be part of the raid, lvm, ... but you can boot from a /boot inside the software raid.

The F16 installer doesn't correctly configure the efi sys partition to boot raid, but this is a known bug.

http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Common...are_RAID_array
https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=750794

Here are some Arch Linux instructions for manual setup.
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php...STEM_PARTITION
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Last edited by stevea; 1st March 2012 at 12:45 AM.
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  #10  
Old 1st March 2012, 02:42 PM
jpollard Online
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Re: F16 RAID1: can I have redundancy for booting?

Depending on the user environment, changing UIDs/GIDs can be trivial to extreemly complex.

The simple case is chown -R (for each user home directory), and editing the /etc/passwd/ and /etc/group files.

The hard cases are where the targeted UID/GID is already used.

The simplest of the hard cases is to be able to process each user from highest UID/GID to lowest.

It gets even harder when those UIDs/GIDs are used for other systems and you have to maintain some level of compatability...

It also gets hard when you consider that all of your existing/historical backups now have the wrong UID/GID. This isn't a problem until you have to restore them...
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  #11  
Old 2nd March 2012, 06:37 PM
chrismurphy Offline
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Re: F16 RAID1: can I have redundancy for booting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by remco View Post
I want to use UEFI, not BIOS since I am using advanced format disks and I also want to be ready for 3TB+.
AF disks come in two flavors, 512e and 4Kn. UEFI and BIOS can use 512e drives just fine as they appear to be 512 bytes / sector. There are no 4Kn disks shipping yet, as far as I know. But you do need UEFI for 2+TB disks.

Quote:
The trouble is, that I need to vcreate a BIOS partition
Why?

For Grub Legacy EFI, which is what Fedora is using, the grub.efi looks for its configuration file in the same path. So you should be able to take the pair and just put them on both drives in the EFI System partition, in the proper folder. Depending on your firmware, you might have to rename them both as EFI//EFI/BOOT/BOOTX64.efi to make sure they are the default boot loaders on each disk, so that UEFI will always choose one of them. A more capable UEFI implementation would let you specifically list the boot order. You might also be able to do this using efibootmgr, to insert the boot order in NVRAM.

As for GRUB2, it has more features related to RAID, but for a RAID 1 /boot I don't think it's necessary, although maybe there's some advantage I'm not aware of. But GRUB2's efi file is constructed with the path name for grub.cfg baked into it. So you will need to create separate grub.efi files for each disk most likely, using grub2-efi-install and pointing to each disk. This is a bit tricky because while grub2-efi-install uses the same notation for destination as non-efi versions, it doesn't really seem to make sense because it's going to install the bootloader not to a boot block on a device, but rather always into /boot/efi/EFI/fedora or whatever. And the /boot/efi mount point defined in fstab can only be one of the two EFI System partitions you'll have.

So to create the two .efi's you'll need to grub2-efi-install with one of the EFI System partitions mounted at /boot/efi and then umount it, mount the other disk's EFI system partition to /boot/efi, and then rerun grub2-efi-install.

Kinda clunky but this is the lunacy of UEFI!

Last edited by chrismurphy; 2nd March 2012 at 06:43 PM.
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