Openfiler is one of two free and open source NAS/SAN applications in active development (the other one is FreeNAS). By default, Openfiler is installed to hard disk using the traditional Linux disk partitioning system. Linux Logical Volume Manager (LVM) adds a layer of flexibility to disk space configuration and management that is not possible with the traditional method of disk partitioning. Fedora, Debian and Mandriva have installers with automatic LVM partitioning features. With Openfiler, however, your only option is by manual configuration. This tutorial offers a step-by-step guide to installing Openfiler on disk using LVM.
By default, Openfiler creates the following partitions – the sizes are in parenthesis:
- /boot (101 MB)
- swap (1020 MB)
- / (the rest of the disk space is allocated to the /, the main system partition)
Once installed, a default installation of Openfiler takes up just about 630 MB and 8.4 MB of the available space on the root and boot partitions respectively. That is less than 1.0 GB for a default installation. Knowing this, we can now tailor our LVM configuration to use just the disk space needed to get the system up and running.
Note that this is not a complete installation guide for Openfiler. We are only dealing with the disk partitioning aspect of the installation process. As such, this tutorial starts at the point in the installation process where disk partitioning begins.
By default the installer will automatically partition the disk. We want to select “Manual partition with Disk Druid.” Select and click “Next.”
With manual partitioning selected, click “Next.”
This is where the fun starts. For this tutorial, our test machine has a disk drive of about 50 GB. The first step is to create a non-LVM partition for the boot partition. Select the drive and click the “New” button.
We only need to allocate about 100 MB. Recall that by default, Openfiler allocates 101 MB. Make the selections as shown in the screenshot below and click “Ok.”
With the /boot created, the next steps are all concerned with LVM configuration. The first step of that is to create a Physical Volume (PV), that is, to initialize the rest of the disk space for use by LVM. Next is to create a Volume Group (VG) and assign the PV to the VG. Finally, Logical Volumes (LVs) are created. LVs are LVM equivalents of disk partitions. Select the free space on the disk and click “New.”
To create the PV, select “physical volume (LVM)” for File System Type, and click on the radio button next to Fill to maximum allowable size. “Ok.”
With the PV created, the next step is to create a VG. Click on the “LVM” button.
All you need to do to create a VG here is to give it a name. You may leave the default name or choose one that suits you. Now that that is done, click on the “Add” button to start creating the LVs.