View Full Version : [ubuntu] Gonna be building a server, got some Q's

November 1st, 2012, 06:36 PM
Hello all,

My backup server at work died (2 hard drive failures). It was on FreeBSD, so I am am taking this opportunity to get away from that OS (too different). As soon as I remake the RAID the on it, Im gonna be putting on Ubuntu Server.

There will be about 40 users on it about 8 hours a day, and random people on it after hours. All of them use it as a file server (samba - windows desktops), half using it for smaller excel files, the other half using it for bigger (600 MB) SPSS files.

Im thinking formatting the RAID to XFS. Does that sound like a good idea? And do you think RAID 5 would be good?

Ill probably pop back in this thread with more generic questions. Thanks for your time so far!

November 1st, 2012, 06:50 PM
Well, rebuilding the array failed. I hoped it would tell me on which HDD(s). Anyone got some good suggestions on how to check which HDDs are bad?


November 1st, 2012, 07:01 PM
Depends on what software the RAID was running on. I am pretty sure mdadm would tell you what drive failed, but you didn't say what software the array was built with.

November 1st, 2012, 07:13 PM
I probably wouldn't use XFS as that file system seems to get a lot of corruption issues. I'd probably go with something more mainline like ext3 or ext4.

November 1st, 2012, 08:20 PM
Depends on what software the RAID was running on. I am pretty sure mdadm would tell you what drive failed, but you didn't say what software the array was built with.

Real sorry about that. Not near the machine now. But I believe it is a 3ware RAID controller. Im gonna update this post as soon as I double check.

I guess I shoulda mentioned it was / is hardware RAID. Im trying to wipe the old raid array off now (again). hasnt failed yet, but we'll see.

November 1st, 2012, 08:40 PM
I probably wouldn't use XFS as that file system seems to get a lot of corruption issues. I'd probably go with something more mainline like ext3 or ext4.

Thanks for your input thnewguy! What made me think I should use XFS was a user named sandyd in another thread had this to say:

A few thoughts for the filesystem
XFS is good for storing large files. Since you have RAID5, XFS is fine because it can sometimes be intollerant of disk issues
JFS is good for storing small files, and has an extremely fast fsck, and will recover most damaged files.

Generally, the EXTx filesystem types are just 'general' filesystem types that work in both desktops and servers.

So I guess I could use the Extx format. Is it ok with files up to 700 MB getting accessed over a samba share (windows client)?

November 1st, 2012, 08:50 PM
Just looked at the machine again. Doesnt say exactly what it is, but during boot up, I hit alt+3 to get to 3Ware BIOS Manager (doesnt say version or anything). I Deleted the array, gonna try and create the new array.

Im making it raid 5 - only that, "single drive" and RAID 1 are available options. It has the option for 16, 64, or 256 striping. Im gonna google that value, but I think Ill keep it at the default 64 for now (unless you guys tell me otherwise). It also has Array's Write Cache State, either enabled or disabled. I have it enabled.

Should I even bother building this RAID array for now? Should I just boot up a live CD and test the HDDs that way when they are not in a raid? If so, would I use Ubuntu for that? Or something like GParted?

Thanks for the help so far!

November 1st, 2012, 08:52 PM
I've got files that are a couple gigs being stored on EXT4 on my file server at home.

From what I have heard, XFS should be fine tbh. I don't recall seeing anything about corruption with it.

November 1st, 2012, 10:51 PM
Personally, I don't use XFS anymore (corruption issues in the past). It's a stable filesystem if you don't ever have power issues (hooked up to a UPS). But, with so many other options that work well, I just don't use it anymore. ext4 will work fine for your purposes.

Personally, I'd just hook the drives up without the controller, and then use smartmontools from the live Ubuntu CD to test them.

sudo -i
apt-get update && apt-get install smartmontools
smartctl -a /dev/sdb

Should give you output like this.

root@fileserver:~# smartctl -a /dev/sdb
smartctl 5.41 2011-06-09 r3365 [x86_64-linux-3.2.0-32-generic] (local build)
Copyright (C) 2002-11 by Bruce Allen, http://smartmontools.sourceforge.net

Model Family: Seagate Barracuda Green (Adv. Format)
Device Model: ST2000DL003-9VT166
Serial Number: 5YX5779C
LU WWN Device Id: 5 000c50 02f26b42b
Firmware Version: CC32
User Capacity: 2,000,398,934,016 bytes [2.00 TB]
Sector Size: 512 bytes logical/physical
Device is: In smartctl database [for details use: -P show]
ATA Version is: 8
ATA Standard is: ATA-8-ACS revision 4
Local Time is: Thu Nov 1 17:52:15 2012 EDT
SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability.
SMART support is: Enabled

SMART overall-health self-assessment test result: PASSED

General SMART Values:
Offline data collection status: (0x82) Offline data collection activity
was completed without error.
Auto Offline Data Collection: Enabled.
Self-test execution status: ( 0) The previous self-test routine completed
without error or no self-test has ever
been run.
Total time to complete Offline
data collection: ( 623) seconds.
Offline data collection
capabilities: (0x7b) SMART execute Offline immediate.
Auto Offline data collection on/off support.
Suspend Offline collection upon new
Offline surface scan supported.
Self-test supported.
Conveyance Self-test supported.
Selective Self-test supported.
SMART capabilities: (0x0003) Saves SMART data before entering
power-saving mode.
Supports SMART auto save timer.
Error logging capability: (0x01) Error logging supported.
General Purpose Logging supported.
Short self-test routine
recommended polling time: ( 1) minutes.
Extended self-test routine
recommended polling time: ( 255) minutes.
Conveyance self-test routine
recommended polling time: ( 2) minutes.
SCT capabilities: (0x30b7) SCT Status supported.
SCT Feature Control supported.
SCT Data Table supported.

SMART Attributes Data Structure revision number: 10
Vendor Specific SMART Attributes with Thresholds:
1 Raw_Read_Error_Rate 0x000f 111 099 006 Pre-fail Always - 30221488
3 Spin_Up_Time 0x0003 093 084 000 Pre-fail Always - 0
4 Start_Stop_Count 0x0032 096 096 020 Old_age Always - 5064
5 Reallocated_Sector_Ct 0x0033 100 100 036 Pre-fail Always - 0
7 Seek_Error_Rate 0x000f 075 060 030 Pre-fail Always - 38150194
9 Power_On_Hours 0x0032 081 081 000 Old_age Always - 16995
10 Spin_Retry_Count 0x0013 100 100 097 Pre-fail Always - 0
12 Power_Cycle_Count 0x0032 100 100 020 Old_age Always - 70
183 Runtime_Bad_Block 0x0032 010 010 000 Old_age Always - 90
184 End-to-End_Error 0x0032 100 100 099 Old_age Always - 0
187 Reported_Uncorrect 0x0032 100 100 000 Old_age Always - 0
188 Command_Timeout 0x0032 100 092 000 Old_age Always - 34360459279
189 High_Fly_Writes 0x003a 091 091 000 Old_age Always - 9
190 Airflow_Temperature_Cel 0x0022 076 058 045 Old_age Always - 24 (Min/Max 20/29)
191 G-Sense_Error_Rate 0x0032 100 100 000 Old_age Always - 0
192 Power-Off_Retract_Count 0x0032 100 100 000 Old_age Always - 48
193 Load_Cycle_Count 0x0032 098 098 000 Old_age Always - 5095
194 Temperature_Celsius 0x0022 024 042 000 Old_age Always - 24 (0 18 0 0)
195 Hardware_ECC_Recovered 0x001a 020 008 000 Old_age Always - 30221488
197 Current_Pending_Sector 0x0012 100 100 000 Old_age Always - 0
198 Offline_Uncorrectable 0x0010 100 100 000 Old_age Offline - 0
199 UDMA_CRC_Error_Count 0x003e 200 200 000 Old_age Always - 0
240 Head_Flying_Hours 0x0000 100 253 000 Old_age Offline - 222157183393581
241 Total_LBAs_Written 0x0000 100 253 000 Old_age Offline - 2760009691
242 Total_LBAs_Read 0x0000 100 253 000 Old_age Offline - 3125611782

SMART Error Log Version: 1
No Errors Logged

I've bolded some of the values you'll want to take a look at (numbers on the far right).

November 2nd, 2012, 05:46 PM
Thanks RUbyLaser! Gonna be doing that soon. Just downloading the ISOs now. I will update once I do.

November 2nd, 2012, 06:22 PM
Count me as another person who has had problems with XFS and power outages. I gave up using it on an external hard drive because I would inevitably get file corruption problems if the power went out without warning. Some years ago I used XFS on production machines with a solid backup power supply, but nowadays I just use ext4.