Ken Jacobs's picture

Hello group,

I recently discovered Turnkey and its plethora of app is truely exciting. I have built quite a few file servers, so my first project was to try the Turnkey File Server. The install went extremely smooth using the ISO to install to a bare metal server. The server has 3 drives installed, so I installed the OS to a single drive with the intention of creating a RAID 1 with the other two drives.

Here is where I am stumped. I have tried looking through the docs for how to setup the RAID drive, but cannot find clear info on how this is done from Webmin. Having built a number of file servers using OpenMediaVault, the RAID setup in OMV is very straight forward and streamlined. I am having difficulty figuring out how to build the RAID using Turnkey.

I found this link for setting up RAID with Webmin...

The tutorial is clear, but I am unable to move past step 1 as I see no way to change a disk partition to "Linux RAID" without going to CL or booting to a USB drive and changing it with GParted. there any tutorial for Turnkey that explains a step by step for setting up a RAID array from Webmin??

Thanks in advance....Ken

Ken Jacobs's picture

OK....just found out how to change the partition type to Linux RAID from Webmin. So, I was able to change the partition type to Linux RAID on drives 2 & 3. However, I noticed when clicking on Linux RAID in the menu, I get the following error....

The kernel RAID status file /proc/mdstat does not exist on your system. Your kernel probably does not support RAID.

Is there a reason the RAID option does not exist on the system???


Ken Jacobs's picture

A little more research and I discovered the "mdadm" module apparently is not installed in Turnkey File Manager. So...I logged in SSH and installed mdadm on the system. After a reboot, the linux RAID options finally showed up.

However, even after the mdam install I tried creating a RAID 1 array and the system never moves to the next phase to select the partitions for the array.....step 3 in the tutorial... still stuck.

Jeremy Davis's picture

Sorry to hear of your troubles setting up RAID.

Unfortunately, I don't think I'm going to be much help to you.

I've never set up software RAID (actually I've never set up any sort of RAID). It's always been something that I've intended to play with, but never had the need (I've always just used LVM and relied on backups).

Also, I have a personal preference for the commandline, so don't have a ton of experience with Webmin. I use Proxmox as a Hypervisor and run everything as VMs or containers, so have very little experience with Linux on bare metal too.

Having said all that, it should certainly be possible. Under the hood, TurnKey is Debian. v14.x is based on Debian Jessie and our upcoming (and well overdue) v15.0 release will be based on Debian Stretch. We build the Webmin packages ourselves, but other than our TKLBAM module, all the code comes from Webmin themselves.

I see that you've installed mdadm. AFAIK that should be the only dependency/requirement.

Out of interest though, your request for assistance has actually assisted me to discover a bug in our upcoming v15.0! So thanks for that! (FWIW to you...).

I tried following the tutorial you linked to myself (using a v14.2 VM I had handy). I think I may have missed something, but it won't work for me either. However, my experience sounds a little different to yours. I got as far as the "RAID device options" screen but I'm only seeing one "Partitions in RAID" (and the same one showing under "Spare partitions"). If I try to continue, then I get an error "Failed to create RAID : At least 2 partitions must be selected for mirroring". So that's a bit of a fail...!

I really need to get back to v15.0 development so we can push it out the door, so I can't really afford to spend any more time on this right now sorry. The only other thing that I could suggest, is trying from the commandline. One of the (many) reasons why I prefer the commandline is that unless you watch a video, I find that it's quite easy to misinterpret things, miss vital steps, or click the wrong thing when using a GUI. I find using commandline tutorials is generally more reliable as IMO it's harder to misinterpret things and often error messages will give clear signs on anything that isn't working as it should (and often point to why, or at least give an error message to google). It's also much easier to find out exactly what the commands are actually doing (e.g. via the man pages, or even google). FWIW I did a quick google for you and found a tutorial that might be worth a try. It's for a previous version of Debian (Squeeze was the one before Jessie) but I would expect it to be similar, if not the same (as hinted above, anything that doesn't work, try googling explict error messages).

If you'd rather persist with Webmin, then perhaps consider posting on the Webmin support forums. They will probably be able to help you out much more than me. Please note that the Webmin theme we provide by default is different to what Webmin use by default (although we'll be switching to the default theme for v15.0) and is an older version, but otherwise, everything should be as expected. As I noted above, the basis of TurnKey v14.x is Debian Jessie.

Sorry, I couldn't just guide you to the exact steps required, but hopefully I've been of some assistance. Good luck with it and if you manage to work it out, please post back as I'm sure other users will find it useful.

Ken Jacobs's picture

Hi Jeremy,

Hurray! I finally figured out how the RAID function works. I ended up loading debian with Webmin on the system to get a feel for how the RAID functions. The first thing I figured out is that the buttons to create a RAID are actually colored and look like buttons. I think that was not very clear in the Turnkey I did not know I needed to click those buttons to create the array. Live and learn.....

So, I went back and did a fresh install of Turnkey again. Next, I immediately loaded MDADM on the system and rebooted. From there I was able to create the array using the 2 hard drives I installed for the array. Now I can create shares, add them to samba, it works well.

Since you are working on the next release, I would suggest possibly making the buttons more obvious that they are actually buttons and not just a heading in a box. You might also include the mdadm package by default, so the RAID function can work after a fresh install.

Otherwise, Turnkey File Server is a very fast, slick system once it is dialed in and running. Thanks again.

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