By default gmirror and the GPT partitioning scheme do not get along. This is because both GEOM (the provider for gmirror) and GPT write meta data at the end of the disk.
The concept behind this procedure and “work around” is that instead of mirroring the entire disk, you use gmirror to mirror each of your partitions.
The order of these steps is important to avoid corruption. I would only do this on a clean install (and these directions are for that). If you setup a gmirror after the fact on a running machine the gmirror meta data has to get written somewhere, and if you’ve got a file system on it with data, you risk corrupting it and losing data if it happens to be at the end.
To avoid this we’ll setup GPT, create the partitions, create the gmirror providers and finally newfs the appropriate partition. This ensures nothing will get corrupted.
Step 1: Boot The FreeBSD Installer
Start the FreeBSD 9 install process as normal. When you are asked about how you want to partition the disk pick “Shell”:
Step 2: Setup The Partitions
Once inside the shell here are the commands to setup GPT and slice up both disks. These examples assume you are doing this on disk ‘ada0’ and ‘ada1’ (SATA), if you are using SCSI you’d do da0, da1:
# ---- Setup 1st disk # gpart create -s gpt ada0 gpart add -s 64k -t freebsd-boot -l boot0 ada0 gpart add -s 8G -t freebsd-swap -l swap0 ada0 gpart add -t freebsd-ufs -l root0 ada0 # -- Install boot code to first disk gpart bootcode -b /boot/pmbr -p /boot/gptboot -i 1 ada0 # ---- Setup 2nd disk # gpart create -s gpt ada1 gpart add -s 64k -t freebsd-boot -l boot1 ada1 gpart add -s 8G -t freebsd-swap -l swap1 ada1 gpart add -t freebsd-ufs -l root1 ada1 # -- Install boot code to 2nd disk gpart bootcode -b /boot/pmbr -p /boot/gptboot -i 1 ada1
If the first command gives you a
gpart: geom 'ada0': File exists error, you need to erase the existing using
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/ada0 bs=512 count=1
Step 3: Setup The Gmirror Providers
Before we proceed we need to have GEOM “re-taste” the partitions so our nice labels show up in /dev/gpt/:
true > /dev/ada0 true > /dev/ada1 # You can check to make sure this worked by running: ls -l /dev/gpt/
Now we can continue to build the mirror providers for each of our partitions:
# -- Load the geo_mirror KLD kldload geom_mirror # -- Build gmirrors gmirror label boot /dev/gpt/boot0 /dev/gpt/boot1 gmirror label swap /dev/gpt/swap0 /dev/gpt/swap1 gmirror label root /dev/gpt/root0 /dev/gpt/root1 # -- Check status gmirror status
Step 4: Create And Mount The Root (/) Filesystem
Here we actually format the root filesystem, enabling soft updates (-U). I also use “-L root” to set the filesystem label but this isn’t needed. Then we mount the new filesystem in /mnt (which is where the installer expects the target filesystem to be).
newfs -U -L root /dev/mirror/root mount /dev/mirror/root /mnt
We now need to create the fstab file which will be put into place by the installer:
# Device Mountpoint FStype Options Dump Pass# /dev/mirror/swap none swap sw 0 0 /dev/mirror/root / ufs rw 1 1
Exit out of the partitioning shell to resume the setup:
Step 5: Resume The Setup
Continue through the rest of the install as you normally would do. At the very end when you exit the installer you will see the prompt below:
Step 6: Final Configuration
Inside this shell we just need to set a few last minute things to make sure our new OS loads GEOM on boot and also reports the mirror status in the daily report emails.
# -- Make sure gmirror module comes up on boot echo 'geom_mirror_load="YES"' >> /boot/loader.conf # -- Enable daily status reporting echo 'daily_status_gmirror_enable="YES"' >> /etc/periodic.conf
And that’s it! Exit out of this shell: