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I'm struggling with getting my Ubuntu server up and running. I have four 4TB drives and want to set up a software RAID10.

All drives are set to GPT and I booted the setup via a USB flash drive in UEFI mode.

I've partitioned all four drives equally as follows:

  • 4GB "physical volume for RAID"
  • ~4TB "physical volume for RAID"

Then I've set up RAID10 over the four partitions with no spare drives. The resulting partitions were configured as follows:

  • 8GB SWAP
  • 8TB EXT4 / (root partition)

Ubuntu server happily installed, but failed to boot.

So I repeated the setup, but added a 1MB partition, set as Reserved BIOS boot area on the first drive and 1MB partitions, which should not be used on the rest of the drives.

Grub failed to install.

So I repeated the setup and created four 1MB physical volume for RAIDs, created a RAID10 with the four partitions and on the resulting 2MB partition configured the Reserved BIOS boot area.

Grub failed to install again.

How do I get a software RAID10 with four 4TB drives to boot Ubuntu Server?

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Apparently this seems to work:

  • Booted USB flash drive in UEFI mode.

  • 1MB Reserved BIOS boot area on each disk.

  • The rest on each disk as physical volume for RAID, which is then configured as RAID10.

  • The resulting 8TB partition was configured as an LVM volume group, with two logical volumes. One for SWAP the other as root.

  • Install GRUB to the MBR

Tested and working with Ubuntu server 16.04.1 and 14.04.4

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    Similar challenge/solution, but here: a) 8TB drives b) No UEFI (2012 BIOS) c) skipped LVM d) Ubuntu 16.04.4. Mainly: thanks for mentioning Reserved BIOS boot area without which my install could not grub!
    – dannyman
    Jun 5, 2018 at 20:46

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