January 2010
« Dec   Feb »




Love the RAID

Remember that desktop machine that I assembled way back when? My paranoia led me to arrange the disk layout as follows: 2 drives in a mirror that will hold the primary system, and 4 drives in a RAID 5 for storage. The mirror was arranged by partitioning each of the drives into three sections: one for root, one for swap, one for /home. The root and /home sections were each placed into their own mirror RAID. I’m now quite glad that I’m so very paranoid.

Last week, while I was working on re-writing that compiler, I decided to upgrade my system (I felt oppressed by my software). I usually advise all my friends: “Don’t upgrade your computer, it will break everything.” It would have been good to follow my own advise. After the upgrade, grub was all wonkers and I couldn’t figure out how to fix it easily and get back to the compiler work. So, I figured the quickest solution was to completely re-install the system.

Easiest path to getting a new system, that has close to the same functionality of the old system is quite simple when you don’t have to worry about making extra backup copies of your stuff! I broke the mirror RAID, and installed a new system on one of the drives! Then any settings that I don’t quite like, or configurations that need to be maintained (such as the one for this website, and for Xorg) I can copy over when I identify the problem. When everything is all hunky-dory, then I can also re-establish the RAID.

Best part about splitting the root from the /home, is that all my user preferences and settings don’t have to be touched during the entire process! As soon as all the packages I wanted were installed in the new system (via dpkg --(get|set)-selections) I could simply login and pick up where I left off.

The total time before I could get back to programming: 1/2 day. I love Linux!

1 comment to Love the RAID

  • Emily

    “Don’t upgrade your computer, it will break everything.”

    lol! I must disagree, though. We are always upgrading our systems and our home network and only have set backs, never broken machines!! Of course, we are hardware and software people, not programmers!

Leave a Reply