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I am a bit of a linux newbie, and i have come across an error that i dont really know how to troubleshoot.

my idea is to cram 6TiB drives into a box, make three sets of raid1, then stretch a logical volume over the three raided sets. then make a samba share with an NTFS filesystem for a neat fileserver for a small production environment.

here is my error:

user@FSrv:~$ sudo mount /dev/box1/Recordings /rec -t ntfs
NTFS signature is missing.
Failed to mount '/dev/mapper/box1-Recordings': Invalid argument
The device '/dev/mapper/box1-Recordings' doesn't seem to have a valid NTFS.
Maybe the wrong device is used? Or the whole disk instead of a
partition (e.g. /dev/sda, not /dev/sda1)? Or the other way around?

here is lsblk:

user@FSrv:~$ sudo lsblk 
NAME                       MAJ:MIN RM   SIZE RO TYPE  MOUNTPOINT
sda                          8:0    0  29.8G  0 disk  
├─sda1                       8:1    0   243M  0 part  /boot
├─sda2                       8:2    0     1K  0 part  
└─sda5                       8:5    0  29.6G  0 part  
  ├─box1-root (dm-0)       252:0    0  15.8G  0 lvm   /
  ├─box1-swap_1 (dm-1)     252:1    0   7.9G  0 lvm   [SWAP]
  └─box1-Recordings (dm-2) 252:2    0   2.7T  0 lvm   
sdb                          8:16   0 931.5G  0 disk  
└─md0                        9:0    0 931.4G  0 raid1 
  └─box1-Recordings (dm-2) 252:2    0   2.7T  0 lvm   
sdc                          8:32   0 931.5G  0 disk  
└─md0                        9:0    0 931.4G  0 raid1 
  └─box1-Recordings (dm-2) 252:2    0   2.7T  0 lvm   
sdd                          8:48   0 931.5G  0 disk  
└─md1                        9:1    0 931.4G  0 raid1 
  └─box1-Recordings (dm-2) 252:2    0   2.7T  0 lvm   
sde                          8:64   0 931.5G  0 disk  
└─md1                        9:1    0 931.4G  0 raid1 
  └─box1-Recordings (dm-2) 252:2    0   2.7T  0 lvm   
sdf                          8:80   0 931.5G  0 disk  
└─md2                        9:2    0 931.4G  0 raid1 
  └─box1-Recordings (dm-2) 252:2    0   2.7T  0 lvm   
sdg                          8:96   0 931.5G  0 disk  
└─md2                        9:2    0 931.4G  0 raid1 
  └─box1-Recordings (dm-2) 252:2    0   2.7T  0 lvm   

here is fdisk -l :

Here is pvdisplay, vgdisplay, and lvdisplay:

Does anyone know what the root cause would be? Or what my next troubleshooting step would be?

share|improve this question
Did you create a filesystem on these partitions? See man mkfs.ntfs. – Martin Schröder Feb 9 '13 at 12:16
@Martin, that was the solution to my problem! A small oversight, but a world of difference. It didn't even occur to me that I needed to do that, so thank you!! – Ace Feb 10 '13 at 2:33
I've converted that comment into an answer. Please upvote and accept. :-) – Martin Schröder Feb 10 '13 at 22:44
Why NTFS? You'll not be able to read this filesystem on other operating systems anyway as you're using LVM (and software RAID). – gertvdijk Feb 10 '13 at 22:45
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You probably have not created a filesystem on the partitions; see man mkfs.ntfs. Just setting the partition type is not enough.

share|improve this answer
Thanks, that did it. i would upvote, but i need 15 points total to upvote. – Ace Feb 13 '13 at 1:31

First of all, you don't want to use NTFS unless you are dual booting with Windows. For sharing files with samba to Windows or other clients, you are better off using a normal filesystem like ext4.

Second, you are better off with a single raid array than letting lvm stripe over multiple raid1s. A raid5 or 6 will give you the most usable space with good performance. The raid6 can handle two disks failing without data loss. A raid10 will give the same space as what you proposed, but better performance. You should use the offset or far layout depending on whether you want to optimize for writes or reads.

share|improve this answer
my decision for ntfs is arbitrary, it wouldnt let me do ext3 or ext4 or anything else. you have not provided a solution to my problem, thank you for your input though! – Ace Feb 13 '13 at 1:33
@Ace, you contradict yourself. Either you chose ntfs arbitrarily, or you had to because there was no other choice. Which is it? – psusi Feb 13 '13 at 3:56
which one would you prefer? – Ace Feb 13 '13 at 6:33

Since You seem to have a quite large volume, You could examine ZFS as an option. Though I bet that ZFS is more stable on freebsd/solaris based systems. Freenas is fairly easy to install and use. Of course, Linux distros like OpenFiler are also viable options for handling such a bunch of disks. If You go with ZFS, study it a bit, and You'll get as large filesystem as You want. With a decent performance, volume handling, snapshots and reliability combined.

share|improve this answer
.. and one more thing. If I remember right, Linux can't handle ownerships and permissions on an NTFS volume. This leads to a situation, where You can only use share level permissions for file sharing. Believe me, this can become an administrative nightmare on many situations. – Jouni Kivilahti Feb 13 '13 at 2:14

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