CentOS 8 how to convert to a bootable mdadm RAID software array

The cool thing here is that we only need 1 drive to make a RAID 10 or RAID 1 array, we just tell the Linux mdadm utility that the other drive is "missing" and we can then add our original drive to the array after booting into our new RAID array.

Step#1 Install tools we need


yum -y install mdadm rsync


Step #2 Create your partitions on the drive that will be our RAID array

Here I assume it is /dev/sdb

fdisk /dev/sdb

#I find that mdadm works fine with the default partition type Linux although the fd flag will make them easier to find (fd means Software RAID)

/dev/sdb1 (md0) = Partition #1=/boot size=1G
/dev/sdb2 (md1) = Partition #2=swap size=30G (or whatever is suitable for your RAM and disk space)
/dev/sdb3 (md2) = Partition #3=/ size = the remainder of the disk (unless you have other plans/requirements).

Step #3 - Make our RAID arrays

To make sure your RAID array is bootable we need to ALWAYS make our md0 or /boot this way.

#md0 /boot
#we use level = 1 and metadata=0.90 to ensure /boot is readable by grub otherwise boot will fail
mdadm --create /dev/md0 --level 1 --raid-devices 2 /dev/sdb1 missing --metadata=0.90

#md1 swap
mdadm --create /dev/md1 --level 10 --raid-devices 2 /dev/sdb2 missing

#md2 /
mdadm --create /dev/md2 --level 10 --raid-devices 2 /dev/sdb3 missing

Notice that we specified the second drive as "missing". We will re-add it after we are all done and have rebooted into our RAID array.  Still, with the degraded array and only a single drive you can convert a live system into RAID without reinstalling anything.

Step #4 - Make filesystems on RAID arrays


mkfs.ext4 /dev/md0

mkswap /dev/md1

mkfs.ext4 /dev/md2


Step #5 - Mount and stage our current system into new mdadm RAID arrays


We will use /mnt/md2 as out staging point but it could be anything technically.

#make our staging point
mkdir /mnt/md2


# mount our root into our staging point
mount /dev/md2 /mnt/md2

#we need to make our boot inside our staging point before we copy things over
mkdir /mnt/md2/boot

# mount our boot into our staging point
mount /dev/md0 /mnt/md2/boot

Step #6 - Copy our current environment to our new RAID


#we exclude /mnt/so we don't double copy what is in /mnt including our staging environment
# we also exclude the contents of proc, sys because it slows things down and proc and sys will be populated once our new array environment actually gets booted from
rsync -Phaz --exclude=/mnt/* --exclude=/sys/* --exclude=/proc/* / /mnt/md2

Step #7 - chroot into and configure our new environment

Here is how we chroot properly:
#remember I assume your staging point ins in /mnt/md2 change that part if yours is different
for mount in dev sys proc; do
 mount -o bind /$mount /mnt/md2/$mount
done

#now let's chroot

chroot /mnt/md2

Step #8 - Disable SELinux

#1 Let's disable selinux it causes lots of problems and if you don't update the selinux attributes you will not be able to login after you boot!
#you would get this error "Failed to create session: Start job for unit user@0.service failed with 'failed'"



sed -i s#SELINUX=enforcing#SELINUX=disabled#  /etc/selinux/config

#double check that /etc/selinux/config has SELINUX=disabled just to be sure

Step #9 - Modify grub default config

#2 Let's fix our default grub config, it will often have references to lvm and other hard coded partitions that we no longer have.  We also have to add "rd.auto" or grub will not assemble and boot from our array

vi /etc/default/grub

Find this line:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="crashkernel=auto resume=/dev/mapper/cl-swap rd.lvm.lv=cl/root rd.lvm.lv=cl/swap rhgb quiet"

change to

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="crashkernel=auto rd.auto rhgb quiet"

rd.auto will automatically assemble our raid array otherwise if it's not assembled we can't mount and boot from it.

update grub

grub2-mkconfig > /etc/grub2.cfg

 

Make sure your grub entries are correct:

Centos grub would not boot because it was relative to /boot but that is wrong since we changed to an actual partition for /boot

cd /boot/loader/entries

ls

02bcb1988e6940a1bed64c61df98716a-0-rescue.conf
02bcb1988e6940a1bed64c61df98716a-4.18.0-147.5.1.el8_1.x86_64.conf
02bcb1988e6940a1bed64c61df98716a-4.18.0-80.el8.x86_64.conf


[root@localhost entries]# vi 02bcb1988e6940a1bed64c61df98716a-4.18.0-147.5.1.el8_1.x86_64.conf
title CentOS Linux (4.18.0-147.5.1.el8_1.x86_64) 8 (Core)
version 4.18.0-147.5.1.el8_1.x86_64
linux /boot/vmlinuz-4.18.0-147.5.1.el8_1.x86_64
initrd /boot/initramfs-4.18.0-147.5.1.el8_1.x86_64.img $tuned_initrd

options $kernelopts $tuned_params
id centos-20200205020746-4.18.0-147.5.1.el8_1.x86_64
grub_users $grub_users
grub_arg --unrestricted
grub_class kernel
 

Fix the lines in bold and remove the /boot because that will cause your system not to boot.  If you have the /boot above it means that your current system has no separate boot partition.

Fixing them would like this:

title CentOS Linux (4.18.0-147.5.1.el8_1.x86_64) 8 (Core)
version 4.18.0-147.5.1.el8_1.x86_64
linux /vmlinuz-4.18.0-147.5.1.el8_1.x86_64
initrd /initramfs-4.18.0-147.5.1.el8_1.x86_64.img $tuned_initrd

options $kernelopts $tuned_params
id centos-20200205020746-4.18.0-147.5.1.el8_1.x86_64
grub_users $grub_users
grub_arg --unrestricted
grub_class kernel



Step #10 - Update /etc/fstab


Modify /etc/fstab and give the UUID for /, boot and swap of your md devices.
md0=/boot
md1=swap
md2=/

#Let's get their block IDs/UUID

blkid /dev/md0
/dev/md0: UUID="f4dc88f5-90ea-4916-97d7-8d627935118" TYPE="ext4"
blkid /dev/md1
/dev/md1: UUID="3adf88f5-90ea-4916-97d7-8d6279871f18" TYPE="swap"
blkid /dev/md2
/dev/md2: UUID="45aa90ea-4916-97d7-8d6279871f18" TYPE="ext4"

vi /etc/fstab
It should look something like this with ONLY the RAID arrays we have and the old stuff commented out

UUID=45aa90ea-4916-97d7-8d6279871f18    /                       ext4     defaults        0 0
UUID=f4dc88f5-90ea-4916-97d7-8d627935118 /boot                   ext4    defaults        1 2
UUID=3adf88f5-90ea-4916-97d7-8d6279871f18     swap                    swap    defaults        0 0


Step #11 - Use dracut to update our initramfs otherwise we don't be able to boot still!

#the first part below after -f is the full path name to the initramfs that you will be booting.  The second part is just the raw kernel version
dracut -f /boot/initramfs-4.18.0-147.5.1.el8_1.x86_64.img 4.18.0-147.5.1.el8_1.x86_64

dracut -f alone will work IF you are on the same OS and kernel that is installed

Step#12 - Install grub to all bootable drives

This depends on how many drives you have but let's assume 2 then they are /dev/sda and /dev/sdb

grub2-install /dev/sda

grub2-install /dev/sdb

Step#13 - Cross fingers and reboot

It would be a good idea to go back through the steps and make sure everything is right, including your grub default conf, UUIDs in /etc/fstab etc..

I also recommend NOT doing this on a production machine and at least not without backups.  If you want to practice it is best to run through the steps on a Virtual Machine first to identify any mistakes you've made.

reboot


Tags:

centos, convert, bootable, mdadm, raid, software, arraystep, install, yum, partitions, dev, sdb, fdisk, default, partition, linux, fd, md, swap, suitable, ram, disk, remainder, requirements, arrays, array, metadata, ensure, readable, grub, devices, filesystems, mkfs, ext, mkswap, mount, mnt, staging, mkdir, exclude, contents, proc, sys, slows, populated, booted, rsync, phaz, chroot, configure, ins, bind, disable, selinux, update, attributes, login, quot, user, sed, enforcing, disabled, etc, config, references, lvm, coded, rd, auto, assemble, ll, mkconfig, cfg, doesn, vi, default_kernelopts, uuid, fa, aaa, eb, aa, ro, crashkernel, resume, mapper, cl, lv, rhgb, automatically, updated, fstab, modify, ids, blkid, dc, ea, adf, commented, defaults, dracut, initramfs, booting, kernel, _, img, sda, reboot,

Latest Articles

  • How to resize a pdf without losing much quality in Linux Mint Ubuntu Debian Redhat Solution
  • qemu: could not load PC BIOS 'bios-256k.bin' solution
  • Proxmox How To Custom Partition During Install
  • Hyper-V Linux VM Boots to Black Screen, Storage, NIC Not Found Issues
  • Ubuntu Mint How to Fix Missing/Broken /dev and /dev/pts which causes terminal to immediately close exit and not work
  • How high can a Xeon CPU get?
  • bash fix PATH environment variable "command not found" solution
  • Ubuntu Linux Mint Debian Redhat Youtube Cannot Play HD or 4K videos, dropped frames or high CPU usage with Nvidia or AMD Driver
  • hostapd example configuration for high speed AC on 5GHz using WPA2
  • hostapd how to enable and use WPS to connect wireless devices like printers
  • Dell Server Workstation iDRAC Dead after Firmware Update Solution R720, R320, R730
  • Cloned VM/Server/Computer in Linux won't boot and goes to initramfs busybox Solution
  • How To Add Windows 7 8 10 11 to GRUB Boot List Dual Booting
  • How to configure OpenDKIM on Linux with Postfix and setup bind zonefile
  • Debian Ubuntu 10/11/12 Linux how to get tftpd-hpa server setup tutorial
  • efibootmgr: option requires an argument -- 'd' efibootmgr version 15 grub-install.real: error: efibootmgr failed to register the boot entry: Operation not permitted.
  • Apache Error Won't start SSL Cert Issue Solution Unable to configure verify locations for client authentication SSL Library Error: 151441510 error:0906D066:PEM routines:PEM_read_bio:bad end line SSL Library Error: 185090057 error:0B084009:x509 certif
  • Linux Debian Mint Ubuntu Bridge br0 gets random IP
  • redis requirements
  • How to kill a docker swarm