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Install OpenSuse

In this article I will show you a log for installing OpenSuse using my personal home server. I have installed OpenSuse Leap. This install is for a computer that has 7 HDD of various sizes and boot CF memory card of only 4GB with IDE adapter.

Make the install DVD

First you download the OpenSuse iso image from official site.

Make sure you download the correct version. If you have a DVD writer then you can use Windows or a disk writer program to create a bootable OpenSuse DVD. If you do not then you have to create a bootable USB Stick.

Verify to BIOS setup

You must modify the BIOS setup to use DVD as primary boot device and one of HDD for second boot option. Alternative you can use a shortcut button to open the BIOS specific boot menu. This can be F9 or F10 or other key depending on your motherboard BIOS.

For UEFI Setup

If your motherboard has UEFI support then you can try to use UEFI setup. For this you must boot in UEFI mode form DVD-ROM. Then the setup will be able to use GPT disk partition table.

For uefi you need to create a small /boot partition of 512 MB and a small /boot/efi partition of 100MB. This partition must be FAT32 partition on GPT disk or else you will not be able to boot the OS in EFI mode.

In this article I will talk only about BIOS legacy mode install not UEFI install.

Benchmark Test

After partitioning and formatting I have done some benchmark tests before installing the operating system. I have try to do this benchmark 2 times. First time I had done the benchmark immediate after I have formatted the disk using XFS and EXT4. I have discover later that disks are formatted in the background and the test was showing bad performance. After waiting several hours with the computer on, the performance was significantly improved.

Theoretical for RAID-10 performance for read is 4 times greater than one disk and write performance is 2 times greater than one disk.  The space for RAID 10 is 2 times bigger than one disk. In practice software RAID-10 do not give you expected performance. It is depending on sample size.

Single disk performance:

  • Read 92 MB/s
  • Write 84 MB/s
  • 16.34 ms

For test I have created RAID-10 using 4 HDD of 250 GB each.

RAID-10 performance:

  • Read: 143 MB/s
  • Write: 73 MB/s
  • Access time: 15 ms

I can use RAID-10 array but I need to use 4 disks of same capacity. These tests show me that will not be practical to use RAID-10 since my disks have various sizes. Therefore I have chosen to use LVM, RAID-0 and RAID-1.

Configure DISK using RAID

For this I have used live DVD with G-parted program to create this partitions.

  1. Compact Flash 4 GB for /boot partition (single partition)
  2. RAID-0 array for / using 2 disks of 250 GB each (partitioned)
  3. RAID-1 array for /home using 2 disks of 500 GB each (single partition)
  4. LVM RAID-0 using 3 disks of 1000 GB each (single partition)

I have created disk partitions and LVM logical volumes with following configuration.

  • /swap    (16 GB) – disk 1 partition 1
  • /swap    (16 GB) – disk 2 partition 1
  • /boot     (1 GB)    – flash card  – EXT2
  • /tmp      (120 GB) – XFS (disk 1+2 partition 2)
  • /              (40 GB)  – XFS (disk 1+2 partition 3)
  • /home   (500 GB) – RAID1  – EXT4

LVM = Subvolumes (RAID-0) – EXT4

  • /var       (100 GB)
  • /usr/local (100 GB)
  • /srv       (100 GB)
  • /opt       (100 GB)
  • /var/log  (100 GB)

Provision  – 1500 GB

Boot partition

The primary disk is the small flash card used only to start the operating system. Operating system programs and files are distributed across other disks so it will not be heavily used and will have a longer life. This is a NAND flash card therefore I have used EXT-2 file system on it.