Tag Archives: debian

md raid on Debian – setting timeout before assembling an array

I have one pretty old Debian Squeeze Linux server with SCSI and SATA drives. Root partition is mirrored between them using mdraid. The problem was that after reboot array always was in “degraded” state with only ATA disk in it.

Of course it was possible to manually re-add SCSI drive using “mdadm -a” command aft, but it was causing RAID rebuild process (and a lot of I/O next ~30 minutes). So, i decided to find a cause.  After analyzing dmesg it was found that “/dev/sda” (SATA) is appearing on 3rd second and “/dev/sdb” -on ~15, after slow initialization of SCSI controller. The problem is that mdadm is trying to assemble RAID before sdb is available and ready. After finding the reason fix was trivial:

  1. I copied /usr/share/initramfs-tools/scripts/local-top/mdadm script to the /etc/initramfs-tools/scripts/local-top directory.
  2. In /etc/initramfs-tools/scripts/local-top/mdadm file, after line:
    verbose && log_begin_msg "Assembling all MD arrays"
    sleep 15
  3. Run “update-initramfs -u” and reboot.

After reboot array was in consistent state, so problem is resolved.

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Using Debian Linux on IOMEGA StorCenter Pro IX-12

Monitoring and fine tuning

In the previous post I covered process of the replacing buggy closed-source firmware with the Debian Linux on the  IOMEGA StorCenter Pro IX-12 NAS device. But for effective and reliable usage installation process is not enough – you also need to re-implement hardware and software monitoring. StorCenter Pro IX-12 is pretty standard intel-based box, but it has some vendor-specific customization which we will discuss now. Below is a [possibly incomplete] list:

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Installing Debian Linux on IOMEGA StorCenter Pro IX-12

Why do I need this?

Initially I planned to use device as NAS only. I really need very limited functionality (in fact – FTP and HTTP) so I was expected that vendor firmware will completely satisfy my needs. It was not the case.

First of all I found that firmware is not very stable – sometime device is not booting at all without any visible reasons. Second issue was that there is no firewall on this box. Its hard to believe – box is running on Linux but without ability to setup firewall! In combination with many services running on the device, without any ability to disable them it makes highly insecure system. Web gui itslelf was also buggy, with a lot of needless things (they have a “facebook” and “youtube” icons!), but without very important functions, like Firewall or IPv6. Using undocumented trick I was able to get the root, but after all I decided that it would be easer to start with normal distribution then to fix this crap.

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