Linux Raid

This setup installs Debian Buster on twin drives (which do not need to be identical) in RAID 1 mirror mode.

Two partitions are created, one for swap and the other for data using the “news” inode allocation scheme.

Blank disc drives (optional)

Blanking the drives is optional but useful for reinstall.

Boot from USB media, debian xfce live CD

sudo -s

Blank full disc

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=4M

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb bs=4M

Blank boot sector

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=4M count=1

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb bs=4M count=1



We setup the two discs as independent clones of each other then add both as RAID 1 as two partitions, one for data and the other as swap.

  • english
    • united kingdom
    • british english
    • load missing firmware? NO
    • primary NIC
    • hostname/domain
    • root/user
    • guided partitioning
      • guided use entire disc
      • SDA
      • all files in one partition
        • edit /
        • options: noatime, nodiratime
        • usage: news
        • done
      • SDB
      • automatic, all files in one partition
        • edit /
        • options: noatime, nodiratime
        • usage: news
        • done
    • configure software RAID
      • write changes
      • create MD device
      • RAID 1
      • 2 device
      • 0 spares
      • /dev/sdaX /dev/sdbX
      • create MD device
      • RAID 1
      • 2 devices
      • 0 spares
      • /dev/sdaX /dev/sdX
      • RAID 1 DEVICE 0
        • mount /
        • use as ext4
        • options: noatime, nodiratime
        • usage: news
        • done
      • RAID 1 DEVICE 1
        • use as swap
        • done
      • finish partitioning
    • mirror
      • uk
    • no package survey
    • choose software
      • SSH server
      • standard utils
    • install grub
      • yes
        • /dev/sda1

Post install

If the machine does not boot after install, change the drive order in the BIOS and reboot.


Login as root

/bin/su - root
export PATH=/bin:/sbin:/usr/bin:/usr/sbin

Install grub onto second drive.

grub-install /dev/sdb

Install useful software.

apt-get install apt-file smartmontools sudo vim tcsh bc build-essential git mercurial
apt-file update
update-alternatives --set editor /usr/bin/vim.basic
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