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Fail !I still have to upgrade to Jaunty, but I already see something bothering in my way.

According to this thread, the Fake Raid on Ubuntu is still an ignoble mess. Obviously this doesn’t affect distro-upgrades, but doing a fresh install is an utter pain in the ass.

FAIL !

Basically, you have to (everyone likes bullet lists)

  • boot the live cd
  • install dmraid via apt-get
  • load dmraid
  • partition&format manually or via gparted
  • mount the disk manually
  • bind the hell out in order to chroot succesfully
  • create a chroot via deboostrap.
  • copy some essential files in the chroot
  • log in the chroot
  • enable the universe repositories
  • apt-get update and install ubuntu-desktop and some non obvious thing (like dmraid and english language pack)
  • create your user manually
  • copy the grub files into the boot partition manually (!)
  • configure grub by hand (this is not obvious and a mistake will render your sistem un-bootable)
  • configure the grub menu manually (not only difficult, but quite annoying)

The above is not a tutorial, just me sharing the pain of the process. Too many manual things to do, too much attention required, just to install Ubuntu on a basic consumer system (like Dell’s computers).

FAIL !

If you have Windows installed and would like to dual boot (since you paid for it, btw), you are forced to use dmraid (instead of using linux native raid) as well as risk to make a mistake and compromise the windows install anyway. Also the process is not obvious even for non-beginners.

FAIL !

Despite the official tutorial says the issue is avoidable since Intrepid by installing from alternate cd, I never saw any announcement of such feature being implemented, and the Ubiquity bug is still open, without any advice to just use the alternate cd. The bug is open from the times of Edgy Eft.

So, what to do about that ? Nothing :(

This is the tutorial I use every time I have to go through all that pain, as I find a little bit clearer.

http://bbossola.wordpress.com/2008/03/07/dmraid-on-ubuntu-with-sata-fakeraid/

If you’re good with Linux, I strongly advise you to:

  • don’t buy a consumer computer with Raid (as it will be surely Fake Raid)
  • if you have one, ask to a friend who is good at Linux to give you assistance in person (not online).
  • if you have one but no good friends and can’t give up on Windows or have important data, I advice you to give up on Linux. (also, Wubi seems not to like Software Raids also)

I understand fully the matter is not simple and if you want things to change then send a patch blahblahblah (am I expected to know how to patch Ubiquity ?), but it’s years and this is just very frustrating. Even Dell didn’t do anything about it.

(ps: yes, I’ve already lost my data once)

2 Responses

  1. Cruncher

    Well, 99% of anything sold as “raid” today is a fakeraid, meaning that it’s a software driver doing the striping (raid 0), instead of the hard disk controller itself.
    I installed Intrepid (from the alternate cd!!!) with no trouble on several such systems, it worked without problems.
    As said on several sites, both the live cd and Wubi will *not* work, since the software drivers are not included there (for whatever reason), so you will run into the problems you described.
    Installing from the alternate cd was a trouble-less effort.

  2. “If you have Windows installed and would like to dual boot (since you paid for it, btw), you are forced to use dmraid (instead of using linux native raid)”

    Nope! I just got linux (Jaunty) installed over factory-fresh windows “fake raid” intel matrix garbage. I used linux native raid, and each OS is totally oblivious to the other’s disk handling.

    Oh, it wasn’t easy. Getting dmraid out of initramfs was a real pain. But it’s possible, and hopefully will be easier in the future. See https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/dmraid/+bug/392510

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