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Linux Migration to Promise RAID Card HOWTO

Benjamin Simkin

<bensimkin (at) union.org.za>

2002-12-16
Revision History                                                             
Revision 1.5            2003-03-25             Revised by: bs                
Revision 1.4            2002-12-16             Revised by: bs                
Changed URL for Promise website                                              
Revision 1.3            2002-09-04             Revised by: bs                
Added Troubleshooting section                                                
Revision 1.1            2002-08-05             Revised by: bs                


 This document aims to outline the steps of how to migrate an existing (Red
Hat) Linux install onto a Promise TX2 Card for the purposes of RAID-1
Mirroring. Although I am concentrating on Red Hat, the same principles may be
applied to any other distribution.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Table of Contents
1. Introduction
    1.1. What?
    1.2. Why?
    1.3. How?
    1.4. Copyright and License
    1.5. Disclaimer
    1.6. Contact the Author
   
   
2. Module Installation
    2.1. What?
    2.2. How?
   
   
3. Linux Configuration
    3.1. What?
    3.2. How?
   
   
4. Array Configuration
    4.1. Building the Array
    4.2. Changing Configuration Files
   
   
5. Monitoring the Array
6. Troubleshooting

1. Introduction

 This document contains two main sections, the module setup, and the
migration. Neither of these are documented anywhere on the net.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.1. What?

 The Promise Fasttrak is a PCI Ultra 100 RAID Card. It can be used as a RAID
card, or as standard IDE interfaces. This documentation DOES NOT address the
issues of the 'ataraid' module, but addresses the issues of setting up the
card with the propriety module 'ft', as supplied by 'Promise Technologies'.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.2. Why?

 The documentation that comes with the module contains erroneous instructions
that if followed, cause the card to not work properly. Also, upon looking
over the internet for such documentation, I found a lack.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.3. How?

 Using the Promise Technology module. The module that Promise Technologies
provide works well, but the documentation they provide is somewhat lacking.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.4. Copyright and License

  This document, Linux Migration to Promise RAID Card-HOWTO, is copyrighted
(c) 2002 by Benjamin Simkin. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or
modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License,
Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation;
with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover
Texts. A copy of the license is available at [http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/
fdl.html]   http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.5. Disclaimer

  No liability for the contents of this document can be accepted. Use the
concepts, examples and information at your own risk. There may be errors and
inaccuracies, that could be damaging to your system. Proceed with caution,
and although this is highly unlikely, the author does not take any
responsibility.

  All copyrights are held by their by their respective owners, unless
specifically noted otherwise. Use of a term in this document should not be
regarded as affecting the validity of any trademark or service mark. Naming
of particular products or brands should not be seen as endorsements.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.6. Contact the Author

 You may email me (<bensimkin (at) union.org.za>) with improvements and
suggestions etc. Please include in the subject line: "Promise RAID HOWTO".
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. Module Installation

2.1. What?

 You will need an existing Red Hat Linux Install, and you will need to obtain
the correct driver from the [http://www.promise.com/support/download/
download_eng.asp] Promise website.

 Choose your card type, and then choose FastTrak Family Red Hat Linux Driver
Uniprocessor.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

2.2. How?

 Put the RAID Card into the computer, but leave the hard drive(s) on the
motherboard. Boot up into Linux. Login as root. You should have the tar file
from the Promise site, if not, see "What?" section above.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

2.2.1. Extracting the module

��*�  Put the tar file into /tmp.
   
��*�Issue this command: tar vxf ftrhup_120b9.tar
   
��*�Now we have access to the modules.cgz file. Issue the following:
          # gzip -dc modules.cgz > modules.cpio                              
          # cpio -idumv < modules.cpio                                       
                                                                             
   
      A few directories will be created, so move to the correct directory,
    depending on your kernel version. You can get your kernel version, by
    issuing: uname -r
   
��*�  You will see the ft.o file. Copy this file to the /lib/modules/
    kernel-version/kernel/drivers/scsi directory.
   

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
2.2.2. Creating the Initial RAM Disk

 The Fasttrak module, ft, needs scsi_mod. To use the card as a RAID Card, you
will also need sd_mod.

 To boot off the card, we will need to create a ramdisk, with the required
modules, so that linux can see the hard drive(s).
# /sbin/mkinitrd --preload scsi_mod --preload sd_mod --with ft initrd-kernel-version.img kernel-version

 If your kernel version is 2.4.2-2, you would issue the command:
# /sbin/mkinitrd --preload scsi_mod --preload sd_mod --with ft initrd-2.4.2-2.img 2.4.2-2

 Now move the newly created ramdisk image to /boot. Its time to edit
lilo.conf.

 Before we edit lilo.conf, its best to make a floppy boot disk with the ft
module included.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

2.2.3. Creating the Boot Disk

 This is very important, as something may go terribly wrong. If LILO stops
working, then we just put the disk in and fix the problem. You will need the
mkbootdisk program.
# /sbin/mkbootdisk --device /dev/df0 --mkinitrdargs '--preload scsi_mid --preload sd_mod --with ft' kernel-version

 If your kernel version is 2.4.2-2, then issue the following
# /sbin/mkbootdisk --device /dev/df0 --mkinitrdargs '--preload scsi_mid --preload sd_mod --with ft' 2.4.2-2
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

3. Linux Configuration

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
3.1. What?

 Instead of editing our current working system, we merely create an entry for
our new system. So if something stuffs up, we just reboot and we're fine.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

3.2. How?

 Example lilo.conf file:
boot=/dev/hda                                                                
map=/boot/map                                                                
install=/boot/boot.b                                                         
prompt                                                                       
timeout=50                                                                   
message=/boot/message                                                        
linear                                                                       
default=linux                                                                
                                                                             
image=/boot/vmlinuz-2.4.2-2                                                  
        label=linux                                                          
        read-only                                                            
        root=/dev/hda5                                                       

 Just copy, and edit the kernel part, as follows:
image=/boot/vmlinuz-2.4.2-2                                                  
        label=LinuxFromRAID                                                  
        initrd=/boot/initrd-2.4.2-2.img                                      
        read-only                                                            
        root=/dev/sda5                                                       

 Note, how we setup the ramdisk, and we setup the root value. Don't set it as
default yet. Now run lilo, in verbose mode.
# lilo -v -v                                                                 

 If you don't see any errors, we're fine, so halt the system.

 Put only ONE hard drive on the Card, the hard drive with the existing Linux
system.

 Boot up, and go into the card bios. Delete the array of the current set.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

4. Array Configuration

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
4.1. Building the Array

 Add the second hard drive to the card, and turn on your computer. Go into
the card bios, and create a mirror array, selecting the appropriate source
disk. Make sure you Create and Build the array. After that is done, follow
the instructions of the next section.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

4.2. Changing Configuration Files

 Choose "LinuxFromRaid" Option at LILO.

 It should boot up without any errors. It will, however complain about swap.
Ignore that, as we will fix it in a moment.

 You may receive an error about incorrect module version, or a kernel
mismatch. Please see the "troubleshooting" section about this.

 After we have booted up on the new system, we must edit a few files:

 

��*�/etc/lilo.conf
   
��*�/etc/fstab
   

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
4.2.1. /etc/lilo.conf

 The parts in italics have been edited. (See the original lilo.conf file as
stated earlier on in this HOWTO)
boot=/dev/sda                                                                
map=/boot/map                                                                
install=/boot/boot.b                                                         
prompt                                                                       
timeout=50                                                                   
message=/boot/message                                                        
linear                                                                       
default=LinuxFromRAID                                                        
                                                                             
image=/boot/vmlinuz-2.4.2-2                                                  
        label=linux                                                          
        read-only                                                            
        root=/dev/hda5                                                       
                                                                             
image=/boot/vmlinuz-2.4.2-2                                                  
        label=LinuxFromRAID                                                  
        initrd=/boot/initrd-2.4.2-2.img                                      
        read-only                                                            
        root=/dev/sda5                                                       

 Now, save the file, and run lilo to write the boot record.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

4.2.2. /etc/fstab

 For every entry that pointed to the old location, you must now change it to
the scsi device, but use the same partition. For example:
/dev/hda2               swap                    swap    defaults        0 0  

 If you saw this in your fstab, you would need to change /dev/hda2 to /dev/
sda2 Now reboot your system. That's it. After the reboot, its best to check
the status of the RAID.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

5. Monitoring the Array

 You can get detailed information by looking at the directory /proc/scsi/
fasttrak/

 In that directory, you will see the file which corresponds to your array.
# cat /proc/scsi/fasttrak/0                                                    
Promise FastTrak Series Linux Driver Version 1.2.0.14                          
Adapter1 - FASTTRAK100 TX2                                                     
Array    - Array[1] : 1X2 Mirror (OK)                                          
Drive    -                                                                     
  1 : IC       Primary  /Master  41174MB BASE(0xb400) BM(0xc400) IRQ(11) UDMA5 
  3 : IC       Secondary/Master  41174MB BASE(0xbc00) BM(0xc408) IRQ(11) UDMA5 
That is all.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

6. Troubleshooting

 You may get a kernel mismatch error message. This means that you don't have
the correct version module for use with your kernel. If you cannot get the
correct module version for use with your kernel, choose the closest one, and
follow these steps;

 This may not work in some instances, so remember to have your boot disk
handy.

 
# cd /boot                                                                   
# cat initrd-2.4.2-2.img |gunzip > /tmp/myimage                              
# mkdir /mnt/tmp                                                             
# mount /tmp/myimage /mnt/tmp -t ext2 -o loop=/dev/loop3                     
# cd /mnt/tmp                                                                
# vi linuxrc                                                                 

 Now modify 'insmod ft' to 'insmod -f ft'.

 This will force the sytem to load the module. Save the file, and exit from
vi (or emacs :))

 
# umount /mnt/tmp                                                            
# gzip /tmp/myimage                                                          
# cp myimage.gz /boot/initrd-2.4.2-2.img                                     

 You will obviously have to use the correct filename for your initrd file. I
am using 2.4.2-2 as example.

 Now, reboot, and all should be well.





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