Ian's picture


I am trying to configure a simple home NAS. I installed the TKL fileserver appliance on a system with the following drives:

1 x IDE 30gig (TKL installed)

2 x 500gb SATAII

The  SATA drives are connected to a PCI Sata CARD. I have configured the two drives, via the card bios, into a RAID1 setup.

My questions are:

1) Can Linux normally see the hardware RAID1 array? When executing lshw -C disk I see both drives seperatly. Do I have to use software RAID?

2) Has anyone gone through the processes of adding additional drives to the fileserver appliance and documented it? If so can I see the docs?

Any help would be appreciated. I am trying my hardest to learn to use linux for this project. I am still cloudy with mounting drives.

Thanks in advance.


Rick Gatewood's picture

I would be willing to bet that the pci sata card you are using is actually windows raid instead of hardware raid. Without knowing the model of the card it is not clear. There is nothing wrong with using a hardware raid card. If it is actually hardware raid it should usually work with linux, check out compatibility of your particular card. Windows raid cards are actually a type of software raid (using supplied windows drivers) and they look like regular sata ports to Linux.

You may want to use linux software raid. It works very well and it has an advantage in that you don't need to worry about having an identical hardware raid controller on hand in case of failure. It is also easy to setup with Webmin on TKL. Install mdadm and create your array!

I volunteer at a non-profit that uses TKL File Server and we have found the software raid configuration via webmin to be painless and it is quite easy to add additional disks.

Ian's picture

Hi Rick, This is the card I am using: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816124003 I am going to try and go software raid in web,in like you said. Linux appears to be seeing these drives as individual Sata ports so it may be a windows based card like you said.

Rick Gatewood's picture



Above is a thread relating to this card. It seems to be a fine sata card, but not quite a hardware raid card. IF you can find drivers that work you could try them, but I think linux software raid might be safer and easier.

Ian's picture

Interesting. I am learning a lot here. Thank you for the link and your time. I appreciate your help.

When I go to create the filesystem on my new raid (/dev/md0) I am not given an option for NTFS. I need to set this raid up on Samba shared to Windows machines? Did you have a situation like this at the Non-profit?

Jeremy Davis's picture

Is this machine going to be dual boot (ie be able to boot into Windows as well as TKL)? Otherwise if you only plan to connect to it via SMB (Samba/Windows file shares) then the filesystem format is irrelevant.

I currently run a fileserver which uses the native default Linux FS (ext4) and WIndows guests connect fine to the shares.

Rick Gatewood's picture

To use Linux Software Raid, you need use a compatible filesystem. Either ext3 or ext4 should be fine. I think ext4 would be a good way to go. The windows machines that access the file server will neve know the difference once Samba is setup.

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