Installing Ubuntu or Kubuntu, 6.06.1 LTS "Dapper Drake", on a Single/Multi -Boot RAID System


This guide describes how to install Ubuntu (Ubuntu+GNOME) or Kubuntu (Ubuntu+KDE) 6.06.1 LTS ("Dapper Drake") on a single or a multi -boot RAID system. It is meant as a variation of Ubuntu Wiki FakeRAID HowTo document, but digested and with minimum commentary. Its goal is to allow new Ubuntu users to complete an entire installation inside of 30 minutes, almost entirely by copy and paste (before they run away in panic to openSUSE and Ubuntu loses future Ubiquity Revolution developers).


Public domain. No warranty expressed or implied.

Test Cases

This guide has been prepared and tested with:

  • i686 CPU
  • Intel D975XBX2 "Bad Axe 2" motherboard
  • Intel Storage Matrix controller
  • RAID0 (stripe)
  • Ubuntu and Kubuntu, 6.06.1 LTS "Dapper Drake"
  • dual-boot with Windows XP (same disk)

If you are successful implementing this guide under a different software or hardware configuration, please add a comment with your specs.



I use the export shell command throughout this guide to define on-demand environment variables:

export VARIABLE_NAME=frankie-bronx

To recall contents of an environment variable, you prefix it with a dollar sign:

echo "The variable value is: [$VARIABLE_NAME]."


The variable value is: [frankie-bronx].


Most of this guide requires copy and paste only, but pay attention to (1.) fdisk partitioning and (2.) export definitions. Situations that specifically require your attention have been highlighted.


  1. Download Ubuntu or Kubuntu 6.06.01 Live-DVD ISO image. If unsure, and all other considerations being equal, go for Kubuntu, as KDE is more analogous to Windows than GNOME, and includes more eye-candy.
  2. While downloading, familiarize yourself with Linux fdisk, through Internet tutorials, and a sample partitioning log, below.
  3. Burn the ISO image onto a DVD disc, using your favorite burning software.
  4. Unless you intend to follow this guide with an empty, single-boot system, backup your current operating system and all your data.
  5. Boot your system from the Ubuntu or Kubuntu Live-DVD disc.
  6. Select the Start Ubuntu/Kubuntu in Safe Graphics mode boot menu item and allow the Live-DVD system to boot.
  7. Select the Applications >> Accessories >> Terminal or K >> System >> Konsole command to open a new command-line window.

Launching RAID

Change your command line shell to bash, and acquire root (administrative) privileges:

sudo -s

Mount the DVD disc and request that system software package manager, apt, refreshes its list of available packages::

apt-cdrom add
apt-get update

Since Dapper Drake RAID support package (dmraid) 1.0.0.rc9 is somewhat shaky, download and install back-ported Feisty Fawn version, 1.0.0.rc13:

dpkg -i ./dmraid_1.0.0.rc13-2ubuntu2tormod~dapper_i386.deb

The following ATARAID types are supported:

Highpoint HPT37X/HPT45X
Intel Software RAID
LSI Logic MegaRAID
NVidia NForce RAID (nvraid)
Promise FastTrack
Silicon Image(tm) Medley(tm)
VIA Software RAID

However, if you prefer to use the older Dapper Drake version, you will need to enable the Universe apt package repository (using sed), and use apt to install it:

sed -i -e 's/^#.*deb/deb/g' /etc/apt/sources.list
apt-get update
apt-get install dmraid

Once dmraid is installed and activated, a number of device nodes is created in the /dev/mapper directory. Each one of those files is a symbolic representation of a hardware device. VIA chipsets will generate /dev/mapper/viahfciifae* files, NVIDIA chipsets will generate /dev/mapper/nvidia_gahhaaab* files, Intel chipsets will generate /dev/mapper/isw_eaaicdchgi* files.

ls -l /dev/mapper/

brw-rw---- 1 root disk 253, 0 2007-01-21 19:54 isw_eaaicdchgi_Volume0
brw-rw---- 1 root disk 253, 1 2007-01-21 19:54 isw_eaaicdchgi_Volume01
brw-rw---- 1 root disk 253, 2 2007-01-21 19:54 isw_eaaicdchgi_Volume02
brw-rw---- 1 root disk 253, 3 2007-01-21 19:54 isw_eaaicdchgi_Volume03

The very first (and the shortest) device file, isw_eaaicdchgi_Volume0, represents the entire hard disk. Save its fully-qualified name to an environment variable:

export SETUP_DEV_HDD=/dev/mapper/isw_eaaicdchgi_Volume0

Do not make a mistake when defining the environment variable above. If you do, quite likely your system is history.

Every other device file in the list above, such as isw_eaaicdchgi_Volume03, represents a single partition on a hard disk. Just as we can use the ls -l shell command to have a look at a regular file, we can use the fdisk -l shell command to have a look at a device file:

fdisk -lu $SETUP_DEV_HDD

/dev/mapper/isw_eaaicdchgi_Volume0p1 * 63 83891429 41945683+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/mapper/isw_eaaicdchgi_Volume0p2 83891430 167782859 41945715 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/mapper/isw_eaaicdchgi_Volume0p3 167782860 209728574 20972857+ 7 HPFS/NTFS

My Windows hard disk installation already includes three NTFS partitions, ~40GB, ~40GB and ~20GB.

Share this page:

2 Comment(s)

Add comment


From: at: 2007-03-26 12:29:41

I've followed this guide for an installation on edgy eft (6.10) (kubuntu desktop) for a RAID 1 (mirror) setup with the following changes:

I used the dmraid backport package

I used the package ubuntu-standard rather than ubuntu-base since this and ubuntu-minimal  (which is already installed by this point) obsoletes it.

I used the package linux-generic rather than linux-$SETUP_CPU_UBUNTU since this obsoletes most of the linux kernel installs.

 [I chose not to install envy].

Also starting X without rebooting seemed to be a bad idea; The X system hung and on reboot I could not get a desktop and had to use the 'safe' environment . This turned out to be because a lot of related files it created in my home directory where owned by root rather than myself.  Some of the base related files where also in the same state.  Taking ownership (including group) of all files in my home directory fixed this problem.

My user also needed adding to group audio for sound to work.



Abit AM2 KN9 Ultra

AMD AM2 Dual-Core 4400

From: at: 2007-05-06 11:50:00

A few experiences with Feisty...


 During grub install the line

cp /lib/grub/$SETUP_CPU_GRUB/* /boot/grub/

fails because now the stage files are put in /usr/lib/grub/$SETUP_CPU_GRUB

An easy way of finding out where the stage files are is "dpkg -L grub" 


 On boot I got errors like "no block device found".

I had to add "dodmraid" to the kernel line in grub. I.e. when booting press e to edit the boot parameters, press e on the kernel line and add "dodmraid". This got the boot process going. You may need to remove the "silent" and "splash" keywords also.


During boot everything froze. This was because of this bug:

 The solution was to add the line "/sbin/udevsettle --timeout 10" to _the end of_ the file

/usr/share/initramfs-tools/scripts/init-premount/udev. Then do "update-initramfs -u" to recreate the ramdisk image.


Fixing these things got the base install up and running.

In addition my tty screens (pressing Ctrl-Alt-F1 to F6) didnt work. They gave a blank screen. Haven't found the solution for this yet.

 All in all, not as smooth as I would have liked... But still, the NIC and sound of my Nvidia-based hw was correctly detected and configured. No problems there, and I now have KDE running without any obvious problems (other than the ttys ;).