FreeBSD & Software RAID

Mister Olli mister.olli at
Mon May 25 15:20:26 UTC 2009


I remember building a RAID5 on gvinum with 3 500GB hard drives some
months ago, and it took horribly long to initialize the raid5 (several

It seems to be a one-time job, cause since the raid finished it's
initialization the machine starts up/ reboots within normal times.

The documentation is some point, yes ;-)
I got my basic know-how about gvinum and raid-1 from a blog also and
could read-on with what I needed depending on the man pages. but it was

Mr. Olli

On Mon, 2009-05-25 at 14:57 +0100, Howard Jones wrote:
> Hi,
> Can anyone with experience of software RAID point me in the right
> direction please? I've used gmirror before with no trouble, but nothing
> fancier.
> I have a set of brand new 1TB drives, a Sil3124 SATA card and a FreeBSD
> 7.1-p4 system.
> I created a RAID 5 set with gvinum:
> drive d0 device /dev/ad4s1a
> drive d1 device /dev/ad6s1a
> drive d2 device /dev/ad8s1a
> drive d3 device /dev/ad10s1a
> volume jumbo
>         plex org raid5 256k
>         sd drive d0
>         sd drive d1
>         sd drive d2
>         sd drive d3
> and it shows as up and happy. If I reboot, all the subdisks show as
> stale, and so the plex is down. It seems to be doing a rebuild, although
> it wasn't before, and would newfs, mount and accept data onto the new
> plex before the reboot.
> Is there any way to avoid having to wait while gvinum apparently
> calculates the parity on all those zeroes?
> Am I missing some step to 'liven up' the plex before the first reboot?
> (loader.conf has the correct line to load gvinum at boot) I tried again,
> with 'gvinum start jumbo' before rebooting, and that made no difference.
> Also is the configuration file format actually documented anywhere? I
> got that example from someone's blog, but the gvinum manpage doesn't
> mention the format at all! It *does* have a few pages dedicated to
> things that don't work, which was handy... :-) The handbook is still
> talking about ccd and vinum, and mostly covers the complications of
> booting of such a device.
> On the subject of documentation, I'm also assuming that this:
>     S jumbo.p0.s2           State: I 1%     D: d2           Size:       
> 931 GB
> means it's 1% through initialising, because the states or the output of
> 'list' aren't described in the manual either.
> I'm was half-considering switching to ZFS, but the most positive thing I
> could find written about that (as implemented on FreeBSD) is that it
> "doesn't crash that much", so perhaps not. That was from a while ago though.
> Does anyone use software RAID5 (or RAIDZ) for data they care about?
> Cheers,
> Howie
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