in order to boot, Linux needs a 'simple' drive that is marked with a boot-flag and is low-level accessible through the BIOS. Whenever the computer starts, the first code being executed is prehistoric and knows nothing about raids. Compare it to trying to do advanced calculus with only a brain stem from the Jurassic to work with.
For booting, I've set up a simple raid 1 with two drives. You can do the setup with the ubuntu installer on any two small drives. Important: It has to be raid 1 (Mirror only) because any other raid will de-sequentialize the data and render it useless for the BIOS in order to boot the linux kernel.
Take a look at this post, it covers the basics to get your Linux system onto Raid1: http://www.howtoforge.com/software-r...t-debian-etchd
Now for your real storage, you've got two options:
1) Linux supports your controller:
2) Linux Software Raid (md)
- Configure your raid using the controller BIOS/tools
- Include the (proprietary) drivers into your kernel (may require modprobe and rebuilding your boot image. Check the manual of your controller)
- Reboot and mount the raid
Boot your machine and make sure, all disk devices are visible:
ls should give you 12 sdx devices... if it doesn't, linux doesn't support your card and you need a proper driver.
root@Kaneda:/# ls /dev/sd*
/dev/sda /dev/sdb /dev/sdc /dev/sdd /dev/sde ... /dev/sdk
The next step is to build the array (Assuming level 5 on 12 disks, no spares):
Substitute the [...] above with the list of all your 12 devices. It must match the number given after the -n, or the array won't start.
mdadm --create -l 5 -n 12 /dev/md2 /dev/sdc [...] /dev/sdm
Afterwards check, if the raid is up and running. Running cat /proc/mdstat should give you something like this (Assuming /dev/md0 and /dev/md1 are your boot + SWAP devices):
Make a filesystem on the raid array: mkfs -t ext3 /dev/md2
root@Kaneda:/# cat /proc/mdstat
Personalities : [linear] [multipath] [raid0] [raid1] [raid6] [raid5] [raid4] [raid10]
md2 : active raid5 sdc sdd sde sdf [...] sdm
12615112576 blocks super 0.91 level 5, 64k chunk, algorithm 2 [4/4] [UUUUUUUUUUUU]
[=====>...............] reshape = 29.5% (340841344/11307556288) finish=2703.3min speed=1333K/sec
md1 : active raid1 sda2 sdb2
1003968 blocks [2/2] [UU]
md0 : active raid1 sda1 sdb1
4008064 blocks [2/2] [UU]
unused devices: <none>
Mount the array: mount /dev/md2 /mnt (Any empty directory)
In any case the file system and kernel must support disk sizes > 4GB. I don't know if there are limits in ext3fs and if you have to bind any additional modules into your kernel. Maybe somebody else can help!
I hope this helps.