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I have a fairly cheap home server build and I want to setup RAID0, but my motherboard doesn't support it. Can I set it up using only software in Ubuntu?

I have two empty 1TB Hard Drives. I have copied all my data to a 500 GB HD and I'm ready to install Ubuntu Server again. Are there any additional steps I should take, during or after install?

I've never even attempted RAID before, so the more specific the instructions the better.

How to setup a RAID Install with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS? is about how to solve a software limitation with an alternate version of Ubuntu. My question is about how to solve a hardware limitation with regular Ubuntu, plus additional software.

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  • @DavidFoerster That question refers to how to solve a software limitation with an alternate version of Ubuntu. My question is about how to solve a hardware limitation with normal Ubuntu. – A.J. Ruckman Dec 17 '15 at 14:17
  • Aren't you asking for a software-only RAID solution? Somehow I thought, you wanted a solution during the setup process of Ubuntu. I'll look for instructions to set up a RAID after installation. – David Foerster Dec 17 '15 at 14:24
  • Something like askubuntu.com/questions/493021/… should work. You just need to specify a different RAID level. – David Foerster Dec 17 '15 at 14:25
  • you can set up software raid at any level ubuntu and it's tools. if you ask your question to google the first page will be help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/SoftwareRAID – ostendali Dec 17 '15 at 14:26
  • I have two empty 1TB Hard Drives. I have copied all my data to a 500 GB HD and I'm ready to install Ubuntu Server again, so setting it up during install is alright. – A.J. Ruckman Dec 17 '15 at 14:31
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Yes. There are several sorts of RAID:

  • Proper hardware RAID (where hardware handles everything)
  • Fake hardware RAID (usually motherboard RAID)
  • Pure software RAID (eg mdadm, or brtfs RAID)

Even if you have FakeRAID, I'd suggest you use mdadm. It's solid and allows you to move an array to another system without having to reconstruct the array.

Obviously proper hardware RAID is the fastest, but the cards cost $300+. Cheaper cards are often just FakeRAID controllers (just some extra SATA ports).

As for how, the wiki has pretty decent instructions for mdadm. Installing server on btrfs RAID differs slightly.

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  • Would you recommend using btrfs or ext4 for RAID0? – A.J. Ruckman Dec 17 '15 at 14:40
  • They both have benefits in certain scenarios. I can't tell you what's best for you. You're starting from scratch so just try one (in a way you can measure), reinstall with the other benchmark and see what you want to stick with... But I'd personally avoid RAID0 altogether and go with a SSD if I needed fast access. – Oli Dec 17 '15 at 15:06
  • I've been following the wiki guide you linked and my installation hangs after "Automatically partitioning" the second HD. It leaves me at the purple screen. I can find no other reports online, what should I do? – A.J. Ruckman Dec 17 '15 at 16:05

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