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Lilo redundancy when booting from a RAID array
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ferg
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Joined: 15 Nov 2002
Posts: 434
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 9:52 am    Post subject: Lilo redundancy when booting from a RAID array Reply with quote

Hi all,

I've had an annoying problem for a while where I've not been able to get LILO to install its master boot record onto each device of the RAID1 array my boot drive is on. This means that if the drive that LILO installed the MBR on fails, then I need to boot from a different boot media (e.g. install CD) and reinstall LILO.

However, I recently found that you can install LILO's MBR on multiple discs. This way if any one of the array members dies, LILO will still allow you to start from a record on another drive (providing that BIOS is set to be able to boot from that drive).

All you need are two configuration changes.

(1) Ensure that the BOOT device is set to the actual MD array and not the disc device.

e.g.

Code:
boot=/dev/md0


and not
Code:
boot=/dev/sda


(2) The next change is to add a new configuration line to LILO. This tells LILO to install the MBR on multiple devices:

Code:
raid-extra-boot=/dev/sda,/dev/sdb,/dev/sdc


This above example tells LILO to write the MBR into sda, sdb and sdc.

Now running LILO will give some errors that some discs are not on the first device. As long as the BIOS is set to boot from one of these discs, these can be safely ignored.

I'm not sure which version of LILO this was introduced in, but I'm using this with 22.8.

You could of course use GRUB instead, but LILO works and is simple.

Cheers
Ferg
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