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Installer: problem installing onto LVM on RAID1




List, good evening,

I am trying to install Debian onto an LVM, and I want the LVM to use a pair of disks in a RAID1 configuration. I'm having difficulty instructing the partitioner to do this.

I have a new, empty, machine with 2 x 3TB disks. This new machine is intended to replace our existing users-files server, which has nearly exhausted its current fit of RAID1 on 2 x 2TB disks. (The server of the files uses samba and NFS.) Some time ago I received advice from the raid list that in future I could consider using an LVM so that when an existing volume is full it (if it is an LV) can be extended across additional disks. Now that our existing system has reached its capacity limit, I'd like to replace it - and also take that advice.

While trying to install Debian 7.11/amd64 onto the new HW, I reach the partitioner and can (first) set up a single md (md0) RAID1 over the 2 x 3TB disks. Next I can set up an LVM physical volume (3TB), and I can then set up a 3TB logical volume for '/'. (I think I'm happy with the system, /home, and the general 'users-files' filesystem all sharing the one logical volume - similar to how a simple basic Debian install can be done on a whole disk.)

But the installer complains because I don't have any swap - and (in addition) I am unsure if I need to do something different for GRUB and booting. I first tried using the 'guided' partitioner (I thought it might 'know best' about needing boot and / and so on) but I didn't seem to be able to ask it to use RAID *and* LVM. I could ask it to make a RAID1, or an LVM. May I ask the list a couple of questions?

What partitions - I think I mean logical volumes - might I be best using for my installation, keeping in mind that I will need to extend whatever logical volume houses the 'users-files'?

Is using a whole-disk RAID1 a reasonable choice (the kernel raid wiki suggests this will work) or would folks on the list recommend configuring multiple mds?

I would be grateful for any guidance,

regards, Ron