OpenBSD Journal

Installing OpenBSD 3.3 on a Soft-RAID Array

Contributed by Dengue on from the howto dept.

Andreas F. Bobak writes : "I created a mini howto on installing OpenBSD 3.3 on a software RAID. Not a lot of comments and there is room for improvement left for the reader, but it works as a basic outline on how to get it running in the first place: "

(Comments are closed)

  1. By Darren () on

    Nice guide. Couple of questions.

    Should'nt there be some kind of rc.local initialisation of the RAID for when the system is rebooted? And some form of RAID detection state beforehand to see if it's in a mountable?

    How about clarifying the differences between the RAID levels. perhaps a RAID 0, 1 and 5 menu, click on those and then see the steps required for ultimate clarity.


    1. By Andreas F. Bobak () on

      You can make the RAID partitions autodetectable with "raidctl -A yes ". The kernel will then figure out how the RAID is configured, without the need for a raid.conf files in /etc. In addition, if the RAID has the "I'm a root partition" flag set ("raidctl -A root "), the kernel will basically abort its current boot session and switch to the kernel on the RAID. This is also the reason why you have to setup a small non-RAID OpenBSD root partition with a RAID enabled kernel. As for the RAID levels, the raidctl manpage is pretty good ;-)

  2. By Mikee () on

    What about stability ?? I've noticed software raid frame is highly unstable on systems with hihgh loads.

    1. By sickness () s i c k n e s s -AT- s i c k n e s s -DOT- i t on

      I've used software raid1 on two 10Gb disks with openbsd2.8 and with openbsd2.9 on my home gateway, where I also put backups for my other home pc's, it was great, never had problems, it was not bootable since at that time openbsd did not support that feature, but is was damn cool :P

      A few time it was rebooted uncleanly, because the UPS battery life anded, I needed to do an fsck -b 32 in order to boot, but beyond this no problems at all :)

    2. By Wim () on

      From firsthand experience with IDE systems running
      on two RAID 1 disks, it's stable. Load or no load, I have a very loaded system that run on two 75 GB disks and the only downside is that if something goes wrong, like an unclean shutdown, it means hours of downtime due to the rebuild of the stripes. Or if you run it in background, a lagged system.

      And the RAID bit does work just fine, it saved my ass at least 3 times, even last Saturday:

      wd0g: uncorrectable data error reading fsbn 1589507 of 1589504-1589519 (wd0 bn 29687507; cn 29451 tn 14 sn 17)
      raid3: IO Error. Marking /dev/wd0g as failed.
      raid3: node (Rmir) returned fail, rolling backward
      raid3: DAG failure: r addr 0x1840c0 (1589440) nblk 0x10 (16) buf 0xd6c39000

      1. By Mikee () on

        Hmmm, I've tried on two different sets to set up a RAID4 and RAID5 array. Sometimes it didn't even survive newfs cousing PANIC: LK_RELEASE of unlocked lock. I was using OpenBSD 3.2 and 3.3.
        I've also had a production machine running RAID5 array, OpenBSD 3.0. It was crushing twice a week, what was unacceptable.

        1. By ansible () ansible atty xnet dotty com on mailto:ansible atty xnet dotty com

          Never tried 3.0. I've had a 3.1 system with RAID-1 using RAIDFrame running for about 7 months without any crashes or problems. Very stable.

          Ran into major problems with OBSD 3.2. For example, it would crash when you tried to unconfigure an array. This was on the exact same H/W as the 3.1 machine. Ended up going back to 3.1.

          Just set up my first 3.3 machine with RAIDFrame. Clean and smooth installation, no problems so far. But this is an unloaded machine, and it has only been a week.

          A guy in the other thread wanted an explaination of RAID levels.

        2. By Wim () on

          Wel, it seems you are using RAID 4 and 5, others are successfully using RAID 1.

          Is that a partial conclusion? ;)

          RAID 1 has proven rock solid over here, if you don't mind your pciide0 to shoot over 380 interups per second while doing 4 GB/s dowloads from a stripe ;-)

          1. By Anonymous Coward () on

            Wel, it seems you are using RAID 4 and 5, others are successfully using RAID 1. Is that a partial conclusion? ;)

            I have 12 disks split into 3 RAID5 sets and then a RAID0 across those 3 sets. While it's no speed demon it hasn't crashed either (it is the backup/rsync server for a bunch of machines). All disks are scsi same size, make and model. This is on OpenBSD 3.3.

            1. By Mikee () on

              Can You post your raid.config, disklabel and parameters for newfs ??

    3. By Fabio Shingu.H () on

      l have a raid1 with two disk SCSI in OBSD-3.3 with RAIDFreame and l don't have any problem is very stable :-)

    4. By Stephen Foster () on

      I have first hand experience of ide software raid too.
      Raid 1 on a system with load average >1 in normal use and >5 in heavy use.
      No evidence of any instability in 18 months, it works.

  3. By mirabile () on

    Why not just install the latest MirBSD, released
    two days ago? It has native support for installing
    on a RAID set (marked -A yes or -A root) in bsd.rd,
    and bsd.rd also comes with raidctl, NTFS, NFS, PPP,
    PPPoE, PPPoA, ISDN support.

    Note: I have heard the cdrom33.fs is broken; if
    you can confirm this, please email me or post
    a reply. I can guarantee bsd, bsd.rd and
    floppyM33.fs are fine.

    1. By mirabile () on

      Okay, figured it out. You can't strip all symbols
      out of kernels which have DDB support (yet), must
      be some error in ddb_init() though.
      I'm now stripping all but one symbol, and have
      uploaded new checksum files and cdrom33.fs/cd33.iso

      On the ekkoBSD topic: I stick closer to OpenBSD
      than Rick plans, but we're in mail contact.

  4. By C. Tran () on

    I followed the how-to.. very well written..

    One question:
    In the section
    Creating Partions:
    # create partitions
    disklabel -E raid0

    I tried to create /, /home, /tmp, /usr and /var
    after creating swap, but never got prompted for mount points....


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