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Old 14th December 2005, 05:34
crushton crushton is offline
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How about an Open Document File ? PDF is too large and exceeds my upload limit for these forums =( If I post the content...all the formating will be lost unless I reformat it for the forums, which will take quite a while. Hmm, well I guess I will do both (ODT and post content). Sorry that I used doc, at the time I was just trying to get the file size down.
Hope this is sufficient...regards C.R.
************************************************** *******
HOWTO: SUSE 10.0 and Software RAID a.k.a FakeRAID
A Complete Guide by C. R.

Due to the nature of SUSE 10.0, this how-to is rather long, but necessary in order to get SUSE installed and running correctly without a hitch. Also, this how-to was devised using BIOS software RAID 0, while others may work by following this guide, you are on your own if they don't.

Also, while I am sure there are quicker methods of reaching the same goal (i.e. if you have a spare disk a few of the steps listed can become unnecessary if other changes are made etc), I have purposefully left them out as this guide is designed to be as generic as possible. Other than that, read carefully, send me a post if you have any questions and good luck!


1. One of the following software RAID chip sets:
Highpoint HPT37X
Highpoint HPT45X
Intel Software RAID
LSI Logic MegaRAID
NVidia NForce
Promise FastTrack
Silicon Image Medley
VIA Software RAID
2. A working SUSE 10.0 installation and the original installation CD/DVD (this guide assumes KDE as the GUI and does not contain any information regarding Gnome or the like). Also, this working installation of SUSE should be installed on a plain hard drive with no Linux software RAID or LVM enabled. Make sure it is formated with the defaults presented during the original installation onto a single disk.
3. Access to another PC via FTP, a spare hard drive (one which is not included in the RAID), 2 CD/DVD drives (one of which must be a burner), or some type of removable storage (i.e. USB drive etc, keep in mind however, about 1 GB of extra space will be required depending on the installation options you choose for SUSE 10.0)
4. The latest source for dmraid which can be obtained from (as of this writing, latest = 1.0.0.rc9). You'll want to keep the dmraid Internet address handy throughout this guide, so it would be best to write it down on a piece of paper.
5. A Gentoo LiveCD (because it's quick and easy to use =P ) for your machine (i.e. if you have Intel x86 get the latest x86 version or x86_64 if you have an AMD64 etc). Also, you should have a wired Ethernet card, unfortunately getting a wireless card to work with any distros LiveCD is next to impossible. If you have both wired an wireless, use the wired for Gentoo and do things as you normally would when the new SUSE install is about to be booted.
6. The originally installed kernel (i.e. 2.6.13-15-default) currently installed in your running SUSE 10.0 installation. If you updated to the new patch 2.6.13-15.7-default, then you will have to use YaST to downgrade to the original.

The Procedure:

Step 1 – Installing the new SUSE 10.0 system
Boot SUSE 10.0 and log into KDE
Insert the SUSE 10.0 CD1 or DVD disk into your drive
Start the YaST Control Center
Under Software, choose Installation into Directory
Click on Options and choose a Target Directory or leave as the defaut
Check Run YaST and SuSEconfig on first boot
DO NOT check Create Image
Click Accept
Click on Software and make your software choices
Click Accept
Click Next
The new system is being installed into the directory (default = /var/tmp/drinstall) and may take some time depending on your software choices.
When the installation is nearly complete, YaST will complain about installation of the kernel. This can be safely ignored, as the mkinitrd is what is actually failing and we must make our own anyway.

Step 2 – Preparing the new SUSE install for RAID (i.e. hacking it)

Make a directory on your desktop and call it backup, then copy and paste the following files/folders to it:

/boot (this is a directory...duh!)
/sbin/mkinitrd (script file – the one that failed earlier during install)
/etc/fstab (mounted file system file – or rather what should be mounted during boot)
Now, open the original /sbin/mkinitrd in Kate with root permissions so it can be modified.
Select View->Show Line Numbers from Kate's menu.
At line 1178, insert the following exactly:
        # Add dmraid
        echo "Adding dmraid..."
        cp_bin /sbin/dmraid $tmp_mnt/sbin/dmraid
Make sure to have an empty line above and below the new code.
At line 1971, insert the following exactly:
        cat_linuxrc <<-EOF
        |# Workaround: dmraid should not probe cdroms, but it does.
        |# We'll remove all cdrom device nodes till dmraid does this check by itself.
        |for y in hda hdb hdc hdd hde hdf hdg hdh sr0 sr1 sr2 sr3;
        |       if (grep -q "$y" /proc/sys/dev/cdrom/info)
        |       then
        |               rm -f /dev/"$y"
        |       fi
        |# Now we can load dmraid
        |dmraid -ay -i

NOTE: This is VERY IMPORTANT! The spaces before the | character are tabs and MUST be tabs.

Make sure to have an empty line above and below the new code.
At line 2927, insert the following exactly:
        # HACKED: prevent LVM and DM etc from being detected
Now, comment out (i.e. place a # character at the beginning of the line, like the code you just inserted) all line numbers from 2929 to 2941.
Save the file.

This next part requires gcc to be installed on your system, so run sudo yast -i gcc gcc-c++ at a command line if you do not already have it installed.
Download the latest version of dmraid from the web address listed above in the prerequisites section. Also, be sure to download the one with tar.bz2 as the extension. Extract it to your desktop. Find the file ~/tools/ within the extracted folder and open it in Kate. Remove line number 36 or comment it out as mentioned above with a # character. Then in a terminal cd to your desktop and the newly extracted dmraid directory - with root permissions (i.e. type su – ). While in the directory that lists the configure script file,type:
	cp -f tools/dmraid /sbin/dmraid
	vi /etc/sysconfig/kernel
Near the top of the file, from the last command, there should be a line that looks similar to this:
INITRD_MODULES="sata_via via82cxxx reiserfs processor thermal fan”
Write the information within the quotes on a piece of paper, then type, just before the last quote dm-mod. In vi, to edit a file, press Ins on your keyboard, once modified, press Esc, Shift + ; then w and finally Shift + ; then q to quit.

Back at the command prompt, type mkinitrd. If all goes well, you should see Adding dmraid... and a bunch of other messages that don't say error. We should now have a new initrd/initramfs located in the /boot directory, in fact it replaced the one that was there originally. Copy this new file to your new SUSE installation by issuing the following command:
	cp /boot/initrd-2.6.13-15-default your-new-suse-installation-directory/boot/ initrd-2.6.13-15-default
Copy some other needed files to the new system:
	cp /boot/initrd your-new-suse-installation-directory/boot/initrd
	cp /sbin/dmraid  your-new-suse-installation-directory/sbin/dmraid
	cp /sbin/mkinitrd your-new-suse-installation-directory/sbin/mkinitrd
	cp /etc/sysconfig/kernel your-new-suse-installation-directory/etc/sysconfig/kernel
	cp /etc/fstab your-new-suse-installation-directory/etc/fstab
Copy and paste your /boot/grub directory over to your-new-suse-installation-directory/boot directory. You will need root permissions to do this, so use File Manager – Super User Mode if necessary.

Step 3 – Archiving and storing the new SUSE installation

Navigate using the File Manager – Super User Mode and go to the new SUSE installation directory. Select all the directories contained within, right-click and choose Compress->Add to Archive... . In the new window change Location to the directory and filename you want and Open as to Gzipped Tar Archive. This may take a while...

Once finished, copy your-new-suse-installation-archive.tar.gz to whatever medium you like. As long as it will be retrievable once your RAID hard drives have been wiped clean. For example, copy it to a CD/DVD disc if you have 2 or more CD/DVD drives, or to a spare hard drive that will not be included in the RAID, or, in my case, I had to ftp it to a remote computer running Windows XP (sad but true). Originally, I didn't compress the archive and it was 2GB and oddly, Windows wouldn't allow it to be retrieved by ftp afterwards, however, once compressed down to less than 1GB, no problem...just one of the many reasons why I now use Linux!.
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Last edited by crushton; 14th December 2005 at 06:06.
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