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have 8 hard drives of different sizes that I want in a RAID 5 or 6 configuration, the OS is Ubuntu 12.04 desktop.

Does the native RAID in Ubuntu support RAID configurations with hard drives of different sizes? Can i grow the RAID in the future?

If not, is ZFS a good alternative to this?

I have looked at other alternatives like FlexRAID (support is terrible and documentation is just as reliable), UnRAID, and snapRAID but there seems to be limitations with each of them. But, ZFS seems to be a good long term solution for RAID management and growth.

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Btrfs can also manage RAID5/6 in last versions

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Use ZFS.

ZFS uses zpools which are made up of vdevs, which accommodates different hard drive sizes.

A more detailed explanation is found here.

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