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With mdadm, it is possible to create and manage Software Raid Devices.
First of all, it is not possible (yet), to boot IPFire from a software RAID. A boot drive continues is needed. This may be a hard drive, but also a USB stick.
From 2 hard drives, it is possible to set up a Raid 0 (for speed) or RAID 1 (for safety).
From 3 hard drives, a Raid 5 (security and less space loss over Raid 1) is possible.
Good article can be found here: (german)
You need to setup each partition on each disk with type 'fd' using fdisk.
If you're planning to do multiple partitions in each disk and differente raids, all partitions should have the same size.
Creating the raid itself:
2 Disks, Raid 0 Mode:
mdadm --create --verbose /dev/md0 --auto=yes --level=0 --raid-devices=2 /dev/sde1 /dev/sdf1
2 Disks, Raid 1 Mode:
mdadm --create --verbose /dev/md0 --auto=yes --level=1 --raid-devices=2 /dev/sde1 /dev/sdf1
3 Disks, Raid 5 Mode:
mdadm --create --verbose /dev/md0 --auto=yes --level=5 --raid-devices=3 /dev/sde1 /dev/sdf1 /dev/sdg1
Note the IPFire mdadm.conf must be created under /etc/mdadm.conf!
This can be easily done using the following command:
cd / etc echo 'DEVICE /dev/hd*[0-9] /dev/sd*[0-9]' > mdadm.conf mdadm - detail - scan >> mdadm.conf
simply replace the /dev/hd* ... by the precious created raid partitions
A setup with 3 disks, each has 1 partiton type software raid (fdisk type "fd")
so, the script will be like:
cd / etc echo 'DEVICE /dev/sda1 /dev/sdb1 /dev/sdc1' > mdadm.conf mdadm - detail - scan >> mdadm.conf
Attention, an entry in the /etc/fstab pointing to a device that does not exist, leads to boot failure. It is worth a live CD laying around just in case you do something wrong.
Don't forget to make a filesystem your new /dev/md0 (mkfs.)
Prefer the option ExtraHD to mount your new Raid device.
Thus an alarm mail can be sent we must first setup IPFire.
Therefore we install a internal mail server.
Encryption on fetchmail can be dispensed if the mail server is only used to send status messages.
After successful installation and setup we have Open Mail Admin to create a mail account for root.
Now we need to setup our postfix with password and smtp settings.
We must create the file /etc/postfix/password
touch /etc/postfix/password vim /etc/postfix/password
with the following content.
# Smtp.isp.com username:password mail.ipfire.org email@example.com:password
We set the necessary permissions
chown root:root /etc/postfix/password chmod 0600 /etc/postfix/password
And a hash of the password in order to create the password in the database.
Then we add the following changes in the /etc/postfix/main.cf.
relayhost = mail.ipfire.org smtpd_sasl_auth_enable = yes smtpd_sasl_password_maps = hash:/etc/postfix/password smtpd_sasl_security_options =
And reload postfix
IPFire is now able to send mail through our mail address.
Now we create the script which monitors the status of the RAID.
Create the file /usr/bin/statusmail.sh with the following content.
#!/bin/bash if ! grep -q "UU" /proc/mdstat; then echo "Subject: RAID-Statusmail" > /tmp/statusmail echo "From: firstname.lastname@example.org" >> /tmp/statusmail echo "To: email@example.com" >> /tmp/statusmail mdadm --detail /dev/md0 >> /tmp/statusmail /usr/sbin/sendmail -F firstname.lastname@example.org -t email@example.com < /tmp/statusmail rm -f /tmp/statusmail; fi
and change permissions to make root read only and executable
chmod 700 /usr/bin/statusmail.sh chmod +x /usr/bin/statusmail.sh
Finally, we add a cron job every hour so it test whether the raid is still running.
ln -s /usr/bin/statusmail.sh /etc/fcron.hourly/statusmail.sh