gvinum help under 6.0 release

Ian Jefferson ijeff at sandbox.ca
Sat Apr 29 05:36:55 UTC 2006

Hi folks,

Well I think I'm out of ideas in my experience with gvinum.  I need  
some help.

I cannot get gvinum to work for me at all in setting up a raid5  
set.   This is the first FreeBSD gizmo that I've run into that has  
proven dangerously unreliable.  Each time I use it I get a panic, and  
one of these tries kept the machine from booting until I did a  
bsdlabel -B /dev/adxx for each of three drives.  (it just did it again)

I was surprised that even a dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/adxx would not  
clean up things.   I read somewhere that geom does something  
preventing overwrite of parts of the device.

I'm hoping someone will point out something I'm doing horribly wrong.


The drives in question are ad4, ad8 and ad10  all identical disks.

One attempt under amd64 6.0 release with this gvinum patch I get  
panics with i386 6.1-RC1


bsd2# cat vinum_r5.config
drive a device /dev/ad4s1d
drive b device /dev/ad8s1d
drive c device /dev/ad10s1d

volume r5vol
       plex org raid5 15g
         sd length 5g drive a
         sd length 5g drive b
         sd length 5g drive c

bsd2# cat sdisk.bsdlabel
# for vinum configuraiton
# good for /dev/ad4s1 /dev/ad8s1 and /dev/ad10s1
# /dev/ad4s1:
8 partitions:
#        size   offset    fstype   [fsize bsize bps/cpg]
   a: 390721889       16    unused        0     0
   c: 390721905        0    unused        0     0         # "raw"  
part, don't edit
   d:     50g         17    vinum

bsd2# cat clean.sh
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/ad4 bs=1k count=100
fdisk -I ad4
bsdlabel -R /dev/ad4s1 sdisk.bsdlabel
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/ad8 bs=1k count=100
fdisk -I ad8
bsdlabel -R /dev/ad8s1 sdisk.bsdlabel
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/ad10 bs=1k count=100
fdisk -I ad10
bsdlabel -R /dev/ad10s1 sdisk.bsdlabel

The story so far:

I recently purchased a Gigabyte GA-8VT880P (VIA PT880 Pro Chipset)  
and put an Intel Celeron D 336 (Intel EMB64T) processor in it.  I  
suppose by today's standards this is a pretty low end board but it's  
way fast for what I need.

On this system the MB was replacing an older AMD Athalon board.  I'm  
using this system to study an upgrade path to a 4.7 system I'm  
running.  I stupidly decided to install the 6.0-RELEASE amd64.  At  
this point I'm still running the Generic kernel.  I say stupidly  
because the target system is really going to run an i386-RELEASE of  
5.x or 6.x.  Later I repented, after gvinum frustration, re-sliced  
and moved my original install onto slice 2.

For disk I have to PATA drives that I have been using for some time  
and 3 Samsung SATA drives.  All but one of the drives is attached to  
the MB controller.  I have an addon "Buffalo" SATA/PATA card (also  
~cheap) with a VT6421L chipset in it.

I'll comment that one of the SATA connections on the addon board does  
not seem to function correctly with the amd release.  I have not  
tested it yet with my i386 RC-1 yet.  HOWEVER I did run some default  
iozone tests on all the working SATA and PATA drives so I'm fairly  
confident that this the working SATA connection really works OK.

I also have a SATA "backplane".  These are called various things but  
the basic idea is to put three 3.5" drives in two 5.25" HH external  
slots.  This one has "hot swap" capability (dubious IMHO).  For me  
this is a convenient mechanical place to put disks.  Again I'm  
confident that this is OK since I ran the iozone tests with the  
drives in this enclosure.

What I am trying to do:

What I'm studying is how to put together a "software" raid5 volume  
and generally I like what I was reading about vinum as a flexible  
tool to manage space.  I'm not terribly concerned with IO performance  
since I'm still calibrated to 5MB/s sustained throughput and keep  
wondering why 2kb of code keeps getting repacked into 35MB's of  
bloat. (see "grumble") above :-).


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