I think I heard that RAID was removed from the Ubuntu installer recently.

My system is currently made up of a series of RAID1 arrays: one for 12.04, with /home mounted on a separate partition/array. I have kept a spare partition/array for the next OS upgrade, which is now.

I would like to do a fresh installation in this blank spare partition, keeping the existing /home (I will use different user names to get a genuine fresh install) array.

Will I be able to do this?


Since the Desktop Package of Ubuntu 14.04 does not allow for RAID installation I found the best route is to install the Server Package of Ubuntu 14.04 and add the ubuntu-desktop after.

Once partitioned, configured, and installed at a command line prompt you can enter the following to install ubuntu-desktop:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop

When the installer finishes you will need to reboot. Do this by entering:

sudo reboot now

Source: UbuntuLinuxGuide

  • 1
    I think I'll give this one a go! – artfulrobot Aug 26 '14 at 11:37

Following the instructions at Setting Up RAID During 13.04 Install -- in particular,

I think I have Ubuntu 14 now installed on my "md3" RAID partition.

The main chicken-and-egg problem is that the default Ubuntu 14 Desktop can't do RAID, so after it's installed on a RAID partition, it apparently can't boot. After installing mdadm, it can handle RAID partitions fine -- but how to install mdadm when the OS won't even boot?

The main steps are:

  • Prepare a Ubuntu USB stick and boot from it
  • Use the "try Ubuntu" and open a terminal window.
  • If you don't already have raw partitions set up, set them up with cfdisk or gparted.
  • Install mdadm the first time -- on the USB stick -- with apt-get install mdadm
  • If you don't already have the raw partitions raided together, do that now with mdadm --create ...
  • Start the installer (icon on the LiveUSB desktop)
  • Specify partitions manually, and pick the raid partition (in my case, md3), Use as Ext4, and mount it as "/". (I didn't seem to need a separate "/boot" partition, but that might be a quirk of my particular setup).
  • IMPORTANT: On the last screen of the installer, choose "continue testing" (NOT "reboot"). If you race past this and try to boot off the hard drive, it won't work -- boot the LiveUSB image again and continue with the next step.
  • While still running on the USB stick, install mdadm the second time -- on the hard drive -- with "chroot" and apt-get install mdadm (again).
  • Copy the first part of the first hard disk to the second one using 'dd' -- the MBR, the GRUB boot loader, and the boot partition.
  • reboot

Honestly, this seems unnecessarily complicated -- I will upvote anyone who posts a simpler answer.


Lubuntu: The Lubuntu Alternate ISO image supports installing on RAID, according to the Lubuntu 14 release notes.

After installation, you can later switch to whatever window manager / desktop environment you prefer -- see Switching window manager/desktop environments? .

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