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  1. #1
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    How does the F20 installer handle multiple drives?

    I've done a bit of searching but could not find a definite answer.

    It's pretty simple -- I'm going to do a new install of F20 -- all 100% wiped drives.

    I have 3 HDs (actually SSDs). If I select all 3 drives during the installation, and basically tell the installer to 'do whatever you want with them', what will happen?

    Will they all be partitioned / mounted / etc. automatically? Will all of the combined space be used? Will /home be mounted on its own drive?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Re: How does the F20 installer handle multiple drives?

    By default, the installer (Anaconda) will create an LVM structure across all the selected drives. (LVM = Logical Volume Manager. Google for the gory details. Very basic outline here.)

    You can accept the LVM option, or choose another, including "Standard Partitions".

    Read up on Anaconda before using it and give yourself a couple of dry runs to get the mistakes out of your system. Focus on what you want to do, not necessarily on becoming an Anaconda expert. Here's the complete installation guide for F20.

    Anaconda uses a "hub and spoke" system. That means you see on the primary page several icons. Clicking on one of the icons activates that function. When you finish there, you return to the primary page and select another function. So, the install setup process is not linear. You can change things until you are satisfied and only then click the button down in the bottom right corner of the prmary page to actually start hitting your disks.

  3. #3
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    Re: How does the F20 installer handle multiple drives?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grade10
    Will they all be partitioned / mounted / etc. automatically? Will all of the combined space be used? Will /home be mounted on its own drive?

    Thanks!
    You can do custom partitioning - as it fits your needs. The installer is fairly flexible in allowing many different configurations.

    As has been mentioned in the previous post by joncr, it is not linear. You can "redo" certain actions until you are sure that's what you want ...
    Fedora 27 x86_64 XFCE - Sager | Intel Core i7 - 4810 MQ | NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M | 16 GB RAM | 480 GB ADATA SSD |
    Fedora 27 x86_64 XFCE - Dell Precision M4800 | Intel Core i7 - 4900 MQ | NVIDIA Quadro K1100M | 16 GB RAM | 750 GB 7200 RPM HDD |


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  4. #4
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    Re: How does the F20 installer handle multiple drives?

    Thanks guys. I'm up to the trial and error part. LVM is what I've always used, but I've always wondered what would happen if I just selected all disks and pressed 'Go'. I'm just looking for simple, and to use all discs without any fake RAID implementations (which, annoyingly, I can't do with Windows).

    I'm writing zeroes to one of my disks that has a particularly stubborn partition on it so in a few minutes we'll see what happens.

  5. #5
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    Re: How does the F20 installer handle multiple drives?

    All done -- I totally forgot about what LVM does so it makes more sense to me. Just use all space, spanning all drives -- boot partition, EFI partition, and the rest on the LVM partition. I remember the days when /home was on one drive, the rest of the file system on another drive, swap on another drive, etc. Maybe not always that complex but I set up one too many systems in a similar fashion.

    I'll have to set up a good backup since there's no fault tolerance but I do love the simplicity of this setup.

    Thanks everyone for the help. On to getting these nvidia drivers under control now...already screwed something up and have some cleanup to do...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Re: How does the F20 installer handle multiple drives?

    I'd be even more vigilant with backups because even if /home is entirely on and only on SSD #3, but SDD #1 dies, you will lose access to /home because the VG that /home is on isn't active without all of its PVs being available.

  7. #7
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    Re: How does the F20 installer handle multiple drives?

    Unless you are using some sort of RAID, I would not span disks with LVM. I might set things up so that /home was entirely on 1 disk, boot on another, etc. If you span 3 disks, then you have just tripled your chances of a disk failure. Without RAID if one of those disks fails, you are restoring the entire system. If you have /home entirely on 1 drive and /boot on another then you are only restoring the file system for the failed drive.
    Lenovo W530
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  8. #8
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    Re: How does the F20 installer handle multiple drives?

    Quote Originally Posted by crokett
    Unless you are using some sort of RAID, I would not span disks with LVM. I might set things up so that /home was entirely on 1 disk, boot on another, etc. If you span 3 disks, then you have just tripled your chances of a disk failure. Without RAID if one of those disks fails, you are restoring the entire system. If you have /home entirely on 1 drive and /boot on another then you are only restoring the file system for the failed drive.
    Tripled the chance of data loss is more correct. The chance of drive failure is the same in that using LVM across three disks doesn't make it more likely any of those disks will fail. I'm not sure that the installer UI makes it possible to specify the PV location for LVs in a single VG. You can make a VG for each LV, and specify a specific PV for each VG, in the installer; so that might be a work around that prevents any possibility of an LV spanning across drives.

  9. #9
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    Re: How does the F20 installer handle multiple drives?

    You are correct. I stated it poorly. I've dealt with way to many clients who lost data for lack of a good backup, or they planned disk layout poorly.
    Lenovo W530
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