John Mercier

[A software developer interested in java, groovy, and nixos]

Recently I decided to reinstall gentoo. The first install went well but I would like to switch the system to use raid 0, GPT, and LVM on LUKS. Setting up the hard drives is the primary reason for doing a complete reinstall. I also want to setup X with LXDM, LXDE, and notion. I really like notion but I do not want to build an entire desktop environment around it.

LVM on LUKS uses only one key to access the system.

LVM cannot span multiple volumes in this case. Since I am using raid 0 on my two hard drives this will not be a problem and my system will never expand beyond two hard drives.

Backup Everything

I made a script that copies /etc and the kernel config to my dropbox folder. This will be used as a reference to help configure the kernel and applications. In the future, on the new setup, this should be setup as a cron job to back things up in case something happens. Configuring the system is a lot of work and I do not want to lose it.

Create a System Rescue CD boot disk.

I decided to use System Rescue CD because it is recommended by others on the gentoo forum. Also in the first install of gentoo I could not setup gpt and grub with the minimal install cd. Instead I had to use mbr and grub. These instruction can be found at

Raid 0

Turning on Raid 0 can be done in the bios.

  1. start up the system and press F2

  2. go to Settings -> System Configuration -> SATA Operation

  3. Set SATA Operation to RAID On

  4. Press Apply and Exit

Now that raid is on a new menu will appear at startup after the bios screen. Press CTRL + I to open the raid screen. On this menu simply create a RAID Volume with the settings that you would like.

  1. Select Create RAID Volume

  2. Use default settings (RAID0, Strip Size 128KB)

  3. Select Create Volume

  4. Enter y to create the volume

In The End…

The raid that comes with my system is called a fakeraid. This means that it is really a software raid implemented in the firmware. It allows for a software raid to be setup that can be recognized between different operating systems. If I were to setup a dual boot system they raid could be shared between them. Since I am not doing this I decided to go with a software raid implemented in the linux kernel.

The plan now is to have a software raid 0 to combine the drives into one volume, use luks to encrypt it, and use lvm to do volume management (add, remove, resize partitions).

In the next post I will cover this setup.

2014 - 2018 | Mixed with Foundation v5.5.1 | Baked with JBake v2.6.1