Installing FreeBSD on HP Computer that is using software RAID 5

Polytropon freebsd at
Thu Jan 3 20:52:58 UTC 2019

On Thu, 3 Jan 2019 11:05:31 +0000, Carmel NY wrote:
> On Wed, 2 Jan 2019 22:26:19 +0100, Polytropon stated:
> >On Wed, 2 Jan 2019 11:06:33 +0000, Carmel NY wrote:
> >> Three SATA drives, 1,863 GB each, configured into a RAID 5 with 3,762
> >> total GB
> >> 
> >> This is a software RAID, Intel Rapid Storage Technology
> >> 
> >> I have included the full information at the end. The system is
> >> presently running Win 10 PRO just fine. I want to convert it to a
> >> FreeBSD 12 system. If I install FreeBSD 12 amd64 utilizing ZFS, will
> >> it recognize the drives and set them up correctly or will I have to
> >> do something manually? I want to keep the RAID setup and not use the
> >> drives individually.  
> >
> >Is there a reason you don't want to use ZFS's native RAID
> >features? It's commonly suggested to not rely on software
> >RAID and instead let ZFS manage the drives. You can construct
> >the same RAID setups with ZFS as you can with the controller,
> >and as you're going to scratch the existing content anyway,
> >there is no need to preserve anything of the previous layout.
> >
> >More information here:
> >
> >
> >
> >
> That doesn't answer my question. I wanted to know if when I first
> install FreeBSD 12, and choose ZFS as the file system, will it
> recognize the three drives and set them up by default as a RAIDZ (RAID5
> or do I have to do that manually after FreeBSD is installed?

That depends on the configuration and settings of the RAID
controller. If you have already configured the disks into a
specific setup, it _could_ represent it to FreeBSD as "one
disk". As you said you're going to scratch the content anyway,
it's much less trouble to switch off all the "clever" features
of the controller and have it represent the three disk as what
they are - three individual disks. You then use FreeBSD's zfs
command to create whatever RAID setup you want.

Experience suggests to leave drive handling to ZFS. It can do
this much better than all those "clever" RAID controllers,
and as operations are now transparent (!) to ZFS, dealing with
possible problems and enabling its built-in integrity features
is going to work much better, because there is no interfering
intransparent layer involved.

Of course, the FreeBSD installer will not _automatically_ see
three disks and say: "Oh great! Let's make a ZFS RAID-Z out
of this without asking questions!" ;-)

However, the installer has preconfigurations availabe for the
most common

See section 2.6.4. and figure 2.19. + 2.20. for details. There
is additional information available in the ZFS chapter:

However, you should get the expected results using bsdinstall.

> Time is money, and I don't have a lot of either to waste trying to get
> this system up and running. If it is going to be time intensive, then I
> will just throw the whole idea onto the back burner.

I won't be time intensive. Just get rid of those "clever"
software RAID features - "each disk as-is" - and leave things
to ZFS. After making the appropriate selection in the installer,
everything will be taken care of automatically. Simple solution
wins. :-)

> Also, as a side note, can the wireless card, a
> Broadcom BCM4352HMB 802.11ac 2x2 Wi-Fi Adapter
> be configured to work when FreeBSD is being installed or do I have to
> wait until the system is up and running to do that? I just ask, because
> MS Windows, at least Win 10 ,allow the card to be setup and running
> during installation of the OS. I intend to install FreeBSD with by
> creating a DVD from the "FreeBSD-12.0-RELEASE-amd64-bootonly.iso"
> download. I therefore need Internet access. I could use an Ethernet
> cable, but for logistical reasons, I would rather not.

Hmmm... when you're going to burn a DVD (4.7 GB capacity),
why waste the medium and not go for the DVD ISO? As it is
the same media, you can perform the installation without
needing any Internet at this point, and depending on what
kind of Internet + WLAN you have, it _could_ even be faster,
as you pointed out that time is money.

However, I have never tried to install FreeBSD over wireless.
Wired networking, sure, this works out of the box, but I
assume that wireless networking requires you to drop to the
shell to set it up in 3 simple steps. But as I said: I've
never tried that, and people might even suggest that due to
security considerations, wired connections shall be preferred
over wireless ones.

By the way, in order to reduce waste, why not use a USB stick
and boot with that? You could re-use it afterwards, while the
12.0 DVD will soon be an "AOL coaster"... ;-)

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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