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Thread: Linux expertise required please!

  1. #1
    The late but legendary peterb - Onward and Upward peterb's Avatar
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    Linux expertise required please!

    An intresting and tricky problem, but one I really need to resolve.

    System is FC 12 with two 1,5Tb drives, sda and sdb.

    The drives are partitioned identically sda1 is about 200Mb - sda 2 is the rest sda 1 is reserved for /boot

    The system was originally built with the drives partitioned during the build process and sda2 and sdb2 form a RAID 1 array using mdadm and is designated logical device md0. An LVM is then overlayed on md0 giving with one volume group called system. Filesystems / /home /var are defined separate volumes so they appear as /dev/mapper/system-root /dev/mapper/system-root -home and /dev/mapper/system-var and the filesystem in use is Ext3.

    And it all works - or it did until I had a failure of sdb very early on and the conclusion is that it was damaged in transit - it was very badly packed.

    Long story short - I replaced sdb with a new drive - duplicated the partition table and mbr using dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb bs 512 count 1 - so copying the first 512 bytes from a to b. The drive was trhen added back to the array and it rebuilt itself.

    As it stands, sdb is not bootable - so I ran grub on sdb and copied the files in /boot to a tempory mount point /boot2 for sdb. All worked.

    So - to test the system, I failed sda with mdadm --fail /dev/sda2 and swapped the disks over. The system boots, but during the initial start up sequences while the system is running on the ramdisk, I get a problem with the file system check.

    This isn't an exact output (I don't have the system to hand) but someting like fsck - /system/mapper-var clean

    but then in the line underneath it says fail and refuses to boot - dropping into a command terminal.

    Logging into that as root (the only option) and running fsck manually gives a missing superblock error but the fs itself is shown as clean. running fsck -f and forcing a check shows up no errors and the file system itself can be mounted manually. However trying to change the runlevel to 3 using init 3 fails because the system can't write a lock file to /var

    Swapping the drives back again and the system boots normally.

    So - anding a third drive sdc and repeating the same setup allows me to have an array with sdb2 and sdc2 with sda failed ond not part of it. But trying to boot off either sdb or sdc results in the same error, while booting off sda even though sda2 is not part of the array allows a normal boot.

    Anyone any ideas why, and how to fix? Re-installing is not an option - or only one of very last resort.
    Last edited by peterb; 18-05-2010 at 06:48 AM.
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    Re: Linux expertise required please!

    Did you do grub-install /dev/sdb after you allowed md to rebuild your /boot array?
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

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    The late but legendary peterb - Onward and Upward peterb's Avatar
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    Re: Linux expertise required please!

    Can't remember if it was before or after (the boot partition isn't part of the array)

    Code:
    grub>
    
    root (hd1,1)
    
    install (hd1)
    But it is booting - at least up to when udev starts and looks for the filesystems. So it is reading, loading and running initrd and vimlinuz off the boot partition.
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    Re: Linux expertise required please!

    paste output from fdisk -l /dev/sd{a,b} && mdadm -D /dev/md{0,1} && pvs && vgs && lvs from your live env. please?
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

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    Re: Linux expertise required please!

    OK

    Code:
    Disk /dev/sda: 1500.3 GB, 1500301910016 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 182401 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x00070b3a
    
       Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
    /dev/sda1   *           1          26      204800   83  Linux
    Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.
    /dev/sda2              26      182401  1464931201   fd  Linux raid autodetect
    
    Disk /dev/sdb: 1500.3 GB, 1500301910016 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 182401 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x00070b3a
    
       Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
    /dev/sdb1   *           1          26      204800   83  Linux
    Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.
    /dev/sdb2              26      182401  1464931201   fd  Linux raid autodetect
    /dev/md0:
            Version : 0.90
      Creation Time : Tue Jan  1 03:09:23 2002
         Raid Level : raid1
         Array Size : 1464931136 (1397.07 GiB 1500.09 GB)
      Used Dev Size : 1464931136 (1397.07 GiB 1500.09 GB)
       Raid Devices : 2
      Total Devices : 2
    Preferred Minor : 0
        Persistence : Superblock is persistent
    
        Update Time : Tue May 18 06:40:05 2010
              State : clean
     Active Devices : 2
    Working Devices : 2
     Failed Devices : 0
      Spare Devices : 0
    
               UUID : 8141778e:ee097228:bfe78010:bc810f04
             Events : 0.299700
    
        Number   Major   Minor   RaidDevice State
           0       8        2        0      active sync   /dev/sda2
           1       8       18        1      active sync   /dev/sdb2
    mdadm: cannot open /dev/md1: No such file or directory
      PV         VG     Fmt  Attr PSize PFree
      /dev/md0   system lvm2 a-   1.36T 163.86G
      VG     #PV #LV #SN Attr   VSize VFree
      system   1   8   0 wz--n- 1.36T 163.86G
      LV      VG     Attr   LSize   Origin Snap%  Move Log Copy%  Convert
      home    system -wi-ao  11.72G
      photos1 system -wi-ao 300.00G
      photos2 system -wi-ao 300.00G
      photos3 system -wi-ao 300.00G
      photos4 system -wi-ao 300.00G
      root    system -wi-ao  14.65G
      swap    system -wi-ao   1.95G
      var     system -wi-ao   4.88G
    There is only one raid partition - md0 (sda2 and sdb2) Creation time of 202 is because I hadnt reset the system clock when I loaded the OS about 6 weeks ago.

    Can't see anything glaringly obviously wrong with the output though.
    Last edited by peterb; 18-05-2010 at 06:59 AM.
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    mush-mushroom b0redom's Avatar
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    Re: Linux expertise required please!

    Hi PeterB,
    Not what you want to hear, but this is why I swapped to OpenSolaris and ZFS. I had all sorts of problems with Linux Software RAID. ZFS is IMO much better implemented.

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    Re: Linux expertise required please!

    So sda1 and sdb1 are non mirrored boot partitions? does /sdb1 have all the files that /dev/sda1 has on it. Did you build the FS on /dev/sdb1 yourself? did you put the /boot label on the fs so the mounter can see it, what does your fstab look like? Personally I never put root on LVM, as you have to get the LVM system active before you can mount it.
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  11. #8
    The late but legendary peterb - Onward and Upward peterb's Avatar
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    Re: Linux expertise required please!

    Quote Originally Posted by b0redom View Post
    Hi PeterB,
    Not what you want to hear, but this is why I swapped to OpenSolaris and ZFS. I had all sorts of problems with Linux Software RAID. ZFS is IMO much better implemented.
    Not really an option in this case sadly. mdadm seems to work OK apart from this glitch! (although there have been problems, looking at the second link below)

    Quote Originally Posted by oolon View Post
    So sda1 and sdb1 are non mirrored boot partitions? does /sdb1 have all the files that /dev/sda1 has on it. Did you build the FS on /dev/sdb1 yourself? did you put the /boot label on the fs so the mounter can see it, what does your fstab look like? Personally I never put root on LVM, as you have to get the LVM system active before you can mount it.
    sdb1 was mounted as boot 2 and I did

    cp -r *

    to copy them over. The partition table was copied using dd on the first sector.

    LVM starts from the initrd and stalls AFTER mounting the real file system during the FS integrity check. FSTAB looks fine (can't get to it at the moment - but I'll look into it this evening.

    Basically I followed this guide

    http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showth...ighlight=mdadm

    There seems to be quite a debate here:


    http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showth...ht=RAID+1+boot
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    Re: Linux expertise required please!

    Output of tune2fs -l /dev/sdb1 would be useful
    I notice you didn't post that fstab I asked for.
    You may need to do this depending on what is in your fstab.

    e2label /dev/sdb1 /boot

    cp -r does not copy symlinks and there is one in /boot

    Any referenced to hd0 on /boot2/grub/grub.conf?
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    Re: Linux expertise required please!

    Hmmm thinking about it, when you boot up without disk0 present is the second disk then named /dev/sda ? In which case grub is referencing the wrong place, as it will be hd0 not hd1 when in failed mode. You check this by typing dmesg.
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    The late but legendary peterb - Onward and Upward peterb's Avatar
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    Re: Linux expertise required please!

    Quote Originally Posted by oolon View Post
    Output of tune2fs -l /dev/sdb1 would be useful
    I notice you didn't post that fstab I asked for.
    You may need to do this depending on what is in your fstab.

    e2label /dev/sdb1 /boot

    cp -r does not copy symlinks and there is one in /boot

    Any referenced to hd0 on /boot2/grub/grub.conf?
    can't get to the machine until this evening - no ssh capable machine until then - but IIRC - it all looked as I would expect.

    Yes, hd0 is referenced on boot2 (it was a copy of grub.conf from sda1). However your comment (I've highlighted) has got me wondering if the symlink is missing (although I wouldn't expect it to boot at all off that drive when it is connected as sda)

    Quote Originally Posted by oolon View Post
    Hmmm thinking about it, when you boot up without disk0 present is the second disk then named /dev/sda ? In which case grub is referencing the wrong place, as it will be hd0 not hd1 when in failed mode. You check this by typing dmesg.
    No, I physically remove the drive and re-connect it so it is sda - so cloning the contents of /boot to it would (and from memory) does reference the 'right' hd.
    Last edited by peterb; 18-05-2010 at 11:48 AM.
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    Re: Linux expertise required please!

    I don't think its that important just wanted to highlight it as if you had changed grub.conf it could be the problem.

    {boot}/grub
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 11 Feb 5 13:37 menu.lst -> ./grub.conf
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    Re: Linux expertise required please!

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    can't get to the machine until this evening - no ssh capable machine until then - but IIRC - it all looked as I would expect.
    If it's just software you need, try PuTTY Portable: http://portableapps.com/apps/internet/putty_portable

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  18. #14
    The late but legendary peterb - Onward and Upward peterb's Avatar
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    Re: Linux expertise required please!

    Quote Originally Posted by watercooled View Post
    If it's just software you need, try PuTTY Portable: http://portableapps.com/apps/internet/putty_portable
    Looks interesting!
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    Re: Linux expertise required please!

    Putty and Winscp are great tools. Putty will do keys and ssh-agents, more importantly it will also do port forwarding as well as using HTTPS proxies.
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    Re: Linux expertise required please!

    WinSCP wont allow you to carry out any terminal commands that require a keypress (are you sure press Y/n to continue etc).

    It's a royal PITA when you realise just after you press return and then everything locks up.
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