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 Forum index » House Training » Beginners Help ( Start Here)
How to set up a NAS or RAID server?
Moderators: Flash, Ian, JohnMurga
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HardRooster

Joined: 21 Jun 2018
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Thu 21 Jun 2018, 17:30    Post subject:  How to set up a NAS or RAID server?  

I'm a total Linux noob, lets get that out of the way, I'm also a slow reader and slow learner so I need some patience. I've done quite a bit of slow reading and slow learning to land here on these forums. I've gone through all sorts of guides, tutorials, videos and conversations with friends but I still lack a firm grasp on exactly what to do. Let me start with what I wish to accomplish.

I've recently come across an old tower server, it's an IBM x3200 M3. It has a Xeon 2.80 4 core processor, 4GB of Ram and 2x 146GB SAS hard drives with room for two more.

I'd like to expand that with two additional hard drives, but I'm not certain if they need to be identical, or if I can use some 300GB SAS's as well. So I suppose that's question #1.

My intention is to use the server as a back-up for my various other devices, such as iPhone, Windows 10 laptop, maybe my wife's Mac. I think a RAID 1 might be what I'm after, as I'm more concerned with redundancy than I am capacity. I don't stream music or video, I mostly want to back up things like blender files, photos, documents, etc.

I suppose the rest of my questions are something like: Is Puppy Linux a good way to accomplish this, keeping in mind I'll be learning Linux as I go? Can I easily store my files encrypted? Could I in the future also use the same server as a web host?

(So noob, what exactly have you done so far?)

Well, like I said, I've dug around enough to find this place. I've, for example, downloaded UNetBootin, but I have yet to decide on a distro, since I really am not sure how to decide on one.

I've been to reddit for Linux noobs, Distrowatch.com, I followed the /g/ OS flowchart. I've looked at Porteus and Ubuntu minimal as well, which means I watched some videos and read some posts about all that. I'm new enough that I'm mostly confused, but I'm determined to figure it out. I've also not studied so much that I'm inflexible and fixated on any given solution. Advice on how to proceed would be appreciated. Links to more videos or posts, would also be helpful, there are so many it's hard to choose one and know whether I'm reading something useful, or something that's not going to help me.
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jafadmin

Joined: 19 Mar 2009
Posts: 842

PostPosted: Thu 21 Jun 2018, 20:28    Post subject:  

See if this might work for you:
http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=112946

I designed it to be a thumbdrive solution, but will work fine in your situation.
It will try the first LUKS partition it finds on your system. It has the tools to create the LUKS partition for you.
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HardRooster

Joined: 21 Jun 2018
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Tue 26 Jun 2018, 10:37    Post subject: Outstanding!  

Thanks for that, I'll follow that along closely once I get my server up and running. I still don't know the answer to my first question about the hard drives, can I mix and match drives or do all 4 drives need to be identical?
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 12324
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Tue 26 Jun 2018, 12:10    Post subject:  

You may be over-thinking this.

If you are mostly interested in a backup storage device, setting up an on-line NAS server with RAID seems like over-kill.

A simple USB hard drive would probably be cheaper than tracking down additional SAS drives.
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HardRooster

Joined: 21 Jun 2018
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Thu 05 Jul 2018, 22:20    Post subject:  

Welp, It seems I won't be able to download a new puppy Sad This here server is UEFI.

https://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/rep_ca/1/897/ENUS110-211/ENUS110-211.PDF

Any other recommendations?
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 12324
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Thu 05 Jul 2018, 22:39    Post subject:  

HardRooster wrote:
This here server is UEFI.
Any other recommendations?

How to install Stretch-live on a UEFI computer
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HardRooster

Joined: 21 Jun 2018
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Thu 05 Jul 2018, 23:09    Post subject:  

I clicked on your link, started reading down and following along as well as I could figure, going through the various settings menus. There was an option to boot from this location or that. I thought I was telling it to boot from the USB next time, but it immediately booted it...and it ran Puppy. It now appears to be up and running, purely in memory.

It doesn't seem to be detecting any hard drives, or I have yet to figure out how to use this thing. The latter is most likely.
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cthisbear

Joined: 29 Jan 2006
Posts: 4305
Location: Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Fri 06 Jul 2018, 01:16    Post subject:  

Specs:

http://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/ShowDoc.wss?docURL=/common/ssi/rep_ca/1/897/ENUS110-011/index.html&lang=en_US&request_locale=en

""""""

I know they are later models....

Booting to USB key- IBM System x3400, x3500

https://www.ibm.com/support/home/docdisplay?lndocid=migr-5082940

Or

May need bios upgrade...at your own risk.

https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/community/forums/html/topic?id=77777777-0000-0000-0000-000014720610

https://www.saibatudomt.com.br/2017/12/solved-pendrive-boot-on-old-ibm-x3200.html

Chris.
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 12324
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Fri 06 Jul 2018, 09:17    Post subject:  

HardRooster wrote:
I clicked on your link, started reading down and following along as well as I could figure, going through the various settings menus. There was an option to boot from this location or that. I thought I was telling it to boot from the USB next time, but it immediately booted it...and it ran Puppy. It now appears to be up and running, purely in memory.

It doesn't seem to be detecting any hard drives, or I have yet to figure out how to use this thing. The latter is most likely.


Please clarify:

1. You built a UEFI-style bootable flash drive.
2. You put a Puppy on it instead of Stretch-Live? Which one?
3. It booted the machine, but cannot see the hard drives?
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HardRooster

Joined: 21 Jun 2018
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Fri 06 Jul 2018, 10:40    Post subject:  

rcrsn51 wrote:


Please clarify:

1. You built a UEFI-style bootable flash drive.
2. You put a Puppy on it instead of Stretch-Live? Which one?
3. It booted the machine, but cannot see the hard drives?


1 & 2: I formatted a USB flash drive, then used UNetbootin to download and install puppy onto it. It installed the Latest_Live version, or so it says.

Link for Unetbootin: https://unetbootin.github.io/

3: I booted into the UEFI, from there I was able to boot up Puppy...which was kind of an accident...but it happened. Once inside I started to click around since Linux is totally new to me, and I think I found the area where you would see the hard drives under storage, but there was nothing there. The only thing it saw was the USB drive.

Extra: I was spending some time fiddling around in the UEFI, I didn't change any settings, but I was trying to figure out if I needed to configure the hard drives from within there, since two of them are new that I just installed...so the machine now has 4 "identical" HD's.

Extra pt2: I also noticed that Puppy only recognized 2GB of memory in the machine, where I verified 4GB in the UEFI.

Edit: I've rebooted Puppy (This time, just starting the box with the USB installed fired up Puppy without the need to navigate the UEFI, it just booted in.) So I've accidentally done a thing right...maybe.

I found the HardInfo System Report utility and ran it, and that too can't identify any of the hard drives. I can only assume I need to configure that in the UEFI...which is magic I've yet to learn. I'll try to fiddle with it some more a bit later when I get some time. (I've only ever entered a BIOS once or twice many years ago, and I've never used a UEFI, so I'm total no0b in this regard)
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 12324
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Fri 06 Jul 2018, 11:22    Post subject:  

Are these SAS drives connected to a hardware RAID controller?
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HardRooster

Joined: 21 Jun 2018
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Fri 06 Jul 2018, 11:47    Post subject:  

rcrsn51 wrote:
Are these SAS drives connected to a hardware RAID controller?


*DuckDuckGo's "hardware RAID controller"

Yes. I pulled them all out, verified that parts haven't been stolen and there is the drive interface board there...then a big wire comes out of it and it's attached to a board that's in a PCIe2 slot, which I must assume is the "hardware RAID controller" though identifying marks are not immediately visible.
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HardRooster

Joined: 21 Jun 2018
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Fri 06 Jul 2018, 13:32    Post subject:  

At present, I'm lost in IBM support land. I've landed here;

http://systemx.lenovofiles.com/help/index.jsp?topic=%2Fcom.lenovo.sysx.7945.doc%2Fc_using_lsi_configuration_utility_program.html

Under "Starting the LSI Utility Program" I'm attempting to follow the link to the IBM support website, but all the links are failing to redirect me properly.

So I'm attempting to find my way around IBM support with just a search...and I'm totally lost here;

https://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/search/system%20x%20storage%20support%20matrix

Am I even barking up the right tree?
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HardRooster

Joined: 21 Jun 2018
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Fri 06 Jul 2018, 16:57    Post subject:  

Update;

I found a video that pointed me in the direction I needed to go, and I got the hard drives set up in the UEFI/LSI deal.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPyMFu2uE8k

However, Puppy still doesn't seem to recognize the existence of my new "virtual" drive, which is all 4 of my hard drives set up in RAID 1 configuration. Either that, or I don't know where in Puppy to look. Same place as before I'd assume. I can see my USB drive, but nothing else.
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