Fileserver with FBSD?

Kevin Kinsey kdk at
Fri Mar 3 14:50:23 PST 2006

On 3/3/06, Ian Lord <mailing-lists at> wrote:

>>>>that will span over the 4 drives?  Sort of like a clustered space?
>>I guess you mean you want to "merge" all hard drive space is if it
>>was a single hd...
>>In this case, you can either mount all the drives in your shared
>>directory, or if you really want a single virtual hard drive, you can
>>use raid 0, raid 5 or a span. You can either have a hardware raid
>>controller or a software solution...

Huy Ton That wrote:

> Thanks all, I was looking for the merge solution;  I appreciate your
> feedback :)

For your further information*:

FreeBSD has a built in "Logical Volume Manager" to handle this
sort of thing.  It was originally written by Greg Lehey and known
as vinum(4), and, since version 5 of FreeBSD and the introduction
of GEOM and UFS2, has been rewritten by Lukas Ertl as gvinum(8).

Looking at this can be a little daunting; most of the documentation
(which includes a chapter in the FreeBSD handbook, a article,
"Bootstrapping Vinum" by Robert Van Valzah, the manpages noted
above, and much more about vinum at was written
specifically for vinum(4), and gvinum(8) implements a slightly
smaller set of commands, so when you are "RTFM", you're not always
quite sure what applies and what doesn't.  Also, Greg is an avid (if
that is the correct term) writer, and his documentation is very
detailed.  In short, you can make your head spin trying to do your
homework in advance, unless you really thrive on that sort of
thing (and apparently I don't, not anymore, at least).

If you can afford to, IMO the best way to learn gvinum is to
get together a spare machine and hard disks and RTFM whilst
you attempt to get gvinum up and running.  Personally, I "read
up" on vinum/gvinum for a long, long time and never thought I
understood it, but once I actually gave it a go, I had it up and
running > 500GB RAID5 over three drives in a rather short
evening's work.

YMMV, of course.

Kevin Kinsey*

*Mr. Kinsey is not a vinum/gvinum expert, nor does he play one
on television.  Any further reference to television is purely the
random act of `fortune -s` (but does seem rather timely....)

Television is a medium because anything well done is rare.
		-- attributed to both Fred Allen and Ernie Kovacs

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