A Final RAID Solution

After some consternation with Suse 10, I decided to try a different distro for my RAID solution.

At the behest of the Big Swede, I downloaded Ubuntu to give it a shot. Went something like this:
No graphical installer, okay no big deal.
Hrmm installer won’t recognize 2 drives connected directly to the logic board. Bummer, but hey, I’ll download a driver.
Okay, everything is installed, reboot.
ahh it’s throwing a bad refresh rate or resolution to the monitor and I have no video.
Do I boot in single user mode and hack away at the x11 conf file?
No. I get out my Fedora Core 5 Disks.

Okay onto FC5 Boot from the CD. Pretty installer
Installer recognizes all of my drives. Whee!
Basic install only uses 2 cds. Whee!
Install done. Reboot. Video card driver in Fedora correctly detects resolution and refresh rate of monitor and supports it perfectly. Something no other distro has done out of the box.
Gnome is f’in pretty. Damn.
System admin tools are really good now.
Add remove software is very good.
cat /proc/mdstat – hey there’s the raid. It auto detected it and set up md0.
edit fstab, mount -a – a nice 1.2TB raid mounted up all pretty.
start copying files with sftp – 3MB/sec uggh. set up samba – including disabling SILinux.
start copying files with samba – 5MB/Sex uggh. set up plain FTP server – man add remove software is nice.
start copying files with FTP – 35MB/sec. w00t.

Conclusions Linux samba and sftp just plain suck on my hardware. I’m not sure what the issue is, but somewhere in the chain things are going horribly wrong. Somehow FTP doesn’t trip over the same issues. I should point out that samba from the server to my G5 is pretty snappy. It’s only from the G5 to the linux box. I’ve seen lots of posts around the intarweb that talk to the same results.

Ultimately, I think that FTP on suse would have been just as fast. Pretty much the same kernel, and the same packages. But Fedora’s driver support built in is much much better, so I’m sticking with it.

I’m going to install Fedora on my G5 at home and run some tests with SFTP and Samba on it to see if I can duplicate the slow speeds, both from a mac and from another linux box to see if there are just wonky protocol differences between the machines that could be causing it.

This time around I don’t really care, as I’m really just using the RAID as a backup, and not the primary server any more. So one big upload over FTP, then I can rsync things and not worry about speed. Still it would be nice to get real speed out of a relatively fast RAID living on gig-E.

There will be more updates. Promise.

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