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My first question is with how long it takes to learn to operate the software. I have 0 expriance with any type of Linux. Never even seen one. I also have almost no experiance with the comand prompt window. The only thing I remember doing is ipcogfig/all. I will say that most of my windows XP work is done with key stokes, not the mouse. So, will I be able to learn how to use this software with screwing it up. I will keep the original HD collection to use as back ups (how about 6 months), but then I want to get rid of them. After that I don't want to lose data because I can't figure out what I'm going.

 

I'm new here, but I have spent weeks reading up on this. Seriously.

Thanks Mike

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Hey Mike,

 

Let me tell you its fairly easy for the basic stuff.  I just put together my first unraid server this week and am migrating data to it as I type.

 

Have you configured your router at home through a webpage aka going to http:\\192.168.0.1 or something?  If you have unraid will be fairly similar.

 

The tougher things about unraid is A getting the right hardware (go with the stuff limetech sells, buy from them or just order the same parts), B advanced stuff like usershares.

 

Creating a USB boot drive is fairly straight forward: http://www.lime-technology.com/joomla/unraid-os  this is the only time you are required to use the command prompt, its even a windows command prompt!!!:)

 

On another note I also recently installed Ubuntu one of the easier linux distros...  I was fairly lost using/configing it, unraid is much easier.

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My first question is with how long it takes to learn to operate the software. I have 0 expriance with any type of Linux. Never even seen one. I also have almost no experiance with the comand prompt window. The only thing I remember doing is ipcogfig/all. I will say that most of my windows XP work is done with key stokes, not the mouse. So, will I be able to learn how to use this software with screwing it up. I will keep the original HD collection to use as back ups (how about 6 months), but then I want to get rid of them. After that I don't want to lose data because I can't figure out what I'm going.

 

I'm new here, but I have spent weeks reading up on this. Seriously.

 

Linux knowledge is minor.  Setup is done via Windows.

 

More knowledge is needed on the hardware / computer building side.  You can buy a preconfigured system from Limetech, but otherwise you need to know how to install hard disks, memory, update BIOS settings, etc.

 

If you have problems with your configureation, some minimal command lining in Linux is needed.  If you can do the "ipconfig /all" command in Windows, you can do what is needed to follow troubleshooting steps.

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Thanks for the replies guys. I was going to buy the USB drives from lime tech for sure. Not going to try to figure that out. The biggest thing about buying the whole set up from lime tech is, I like some of the other cases better, though one of my thoughts is buy the whole thing and then put it in a different case.

Anyway, I've configured my router that way several times, until the new version of azureus does it for me. I've also changed bios settings several different times. So I'm ok with that too, but I'm not comfortable with editing the register. Nor do I know about wrighting any code.

 

So how much of the time when I'm working on this do I have to use the Linux program? Anytime things go wrong, during set up, and when I add a new drive? All of those right?

For example, when I install a new drive, is there a chance I would type the wrong comand, and format all the drives, instead of just the new one?

 

I understood about the keyboard, mouse and moniter. I have extras, and a KVM switch.

Thanks again

Mike

 

 

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Thanks for the replies guys. I was going to buy the USB drives from lime tech for sure. Not going to try to figure that out. The biggest thing about buying the whole set up from lime tech is, I like some of the other cases better, though one of my thoughts is buy the whole thing and then put it in a different case.

Anyway, I've configured my router that way several times, until the new version of azureus does it for me. I've also changed bios settings several different times. So I'm ok with that too,

You will need to set some bios settings on your motherboard.   

Specifically the setting for choosing the USB flash drive as the boot device. 

You might also need to set the memory voltage in the BIOS if you purchase memory strips that use a non-standard voltage. Some BIOS set it for you, some get it right, some get it wrong.

but I'm not comfortable with editing the register. Nor do I know about wrighting any code.

The "registry" is a windows thing... only complete fools are comfortable editing it... even after years of experience... In any case, it is not involved at all, nor any equivalent. (and clearly, you are no fool ;D)

 

You do not need to write any code.

So how much of the time when I'm working on this do I have to use the Linux program?

    Anytime things go wrong?

The one task you will be asked to perform if you run into trouble and come here for support is to supply a copy of your system log.  As of the most current beta, it is available from your browser. In the past you needed to log in via telnet or on the system console  run a Linux command to copy the system log to your flash drive.  In both cases, it is so you could then upload it as a text file to your post in this forum and more experienced users can guide you through resolution.  There are specific commands you might  be asked to run in a trouble situation... most never need to run them  The one command used most often is the one used to get a SMART status report from your disk drives.   (SMART is a self-monitoring "standard" used by disk manufacturers.  In windows it is not usually available, and disks run until they eventually crash.   Under linux we have the "smartctl" command that can be used to get an idea of a disk's health before it crashes.   Again, you do not need to run it, but is good to know you can. 

 

If a drive were to fail you can go through the entire process of replacing it and reconstructing the data on the replacement drive entirely from the web-management screen.  There is no need to use Linux commands at all.  It is only in unusual situations you may be asked to type a command at the command prompt... at that point, an experienced linux user (a participant in these forums) would typically be providing guidance.   These multi-drive failure situations are rare, but if you read these forums, they can occur.  It is usually when multiple drives fail at the same time that help is needed.  (Multi-drive failures can occur in ANY raid system... unRAID does not lose all the data, most other raid arrays lose everything. For that, unRAID has a huge advantage)  For single drive failures, or normal drive replacement or upgrades, the process is all done from the web-interface, and no Linux experience is needed at all.

during set up?
No need to do any Linux commands during setup. It is all done either through the web-interface, or done when the flash drive is plugged into your windows PC.
and when I add a new drive?
Nope, no Linux commands involved here either, the drive is assigned to the array using the web-management page..   There is a script I created and you can run to pre-test and pre-clear drives before you add them to an array but it is not necessary to use it. Many users of unRAID like to use it to give a drive a good workout before putting data on it. (much easier to RMA it before it holds your data)  If you do not use it, the clearing and preparation of the drive is done by the supplied unRAID web-management-interface for you. During the clearing (through the web-interface), your array will be off-line from normal users.  (clearing a large drive can take 4 or more hours).  If the clearing is done using my script, the array off-line time is minutes. (The clearing still takes hours, but the array is on-line and available to your users while it is occurring)  Using my script involves downloading it to your flash drive (unzipping it) both from your windows PC, then from either the system console or a telnet login, typing a one line command at the command prompt.  The script I created is described in the add-on section of the wiki. (see my signature line for a link to it)

All of those right?
Wrong... none of them.

For example, when I install a new drive, is there a chance I would type the wrong comand, and format all the drives, instead of just the new one?

No, since it is not done through command line commands, you will not be allowed to assign drives incorrectly.   Even the pre-clear script I wrote will not allow you to use it on a disk that is already assigned to your array or already in use.  It can only be used on a disk that is not assigned or in use at all.

 

Note that some motherboard's BIOS try to help you by assigning a newly installed disk to be the boot device.. In that case you need to use the system console to re-set the BIOS to use the USB-Flash drive as the boot device once more if you have one of those "helpful" BIOS.

I understood about the keyboard, mouse and moniter. I have extras, and a KVM switch.

Thanks again

Mike

You are welcome.

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You seem cautious (a good thing).  Here are a few suggestions to ease into unRAID ...

 

1 - Buy a motherboard that other users have had good luck with.  I suggest the SuperMicro C2SEE, as it is the one that LimeTech uses.

2 - Don't try to buy fast memory.  It gives no real benefits, won't work in many motherboards (need special BIOS features), and if set up wrong gives memory errors.

3 - Don't try to set up an uber-array right off the bat, start with the free license version and 3 drives (2 data + 1 parity).

4 - Keep backups of everything you put on the array to start.  If you do have any problems, they are 100x worse if you have nonrecoverable data on your array!  Use it for a week or two knowing that it's just an "experiment" for now.

5 - Install the php Web GUI (which includes unmenu).  It provides GUI access to many features that would otherwise require you to use the Linux command line.

6 - unmenu provides features for pulling smartctl reports and a syslog.  Look at these and post them to the forums to make sure that all is well with your build.

7 - Consider "practicing" replacing a disk.  Many users experience this for the first time when they have a true failure.  I think you'll see its pretty easy - and give you confidence moving forward.

 

At the end of a couple weeks, run a full parity check to make sure that all is well.  At this point you should have confidence in the array and be ready to upgrade your license (if you need more than 2 data disks) and take it out of "experiment" status.

 

Good luck!

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A lot of what you read here is either to support extra features or to troubleshoot problems.

 

The basic operation is really pretty simple. After the initial boot you could be copying files within minutes. The basic operation just requires using the web page interface which is pretty simple.

 

The hard part is the setup the BIOS and the creation of the flash drive.

 

Peter

 

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You seem cautious (a good thing).  Here are a few suggestions to ease into unRAID ...

 

7 - Consider "practicing" replacing a disk.  Many users experience this for the first time when they have a true failure.  I think you'll see its pretty easy - and give you confidence moving forward.

 

 

Good luck!

 

Thanks guys.

 

#7 above is a great idea, that I didn't think of.

I was planing on pratcing with just a few disks to start, including keeping the original files.

I'm also leaning far towards buying the complete set up. My biggest complaint is the case.

What is a "uber-array"?

 

Mike

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You seem cautious (a good thing).  Here are a few suggestions to ease into unRAID ...

 

7 - Consider "practicing" replacing a disk.  Many users experience this for the first time when they have a true failure.  I think you'll see its pretty easy - and give you confidence moving forward.

 

 

Good luck!

 

Thanks guys.

 

#7 above is a great idea, that I didn't think of.

I was planing on pratcing with just a few disks to start, including keeping the original files.

I'm also leaning far towards buying the complete set up. My biggest complaint is the case.

What is a "uber-array"?

 

Mike

Uber = the best, the top, the supreme ... in this context the most maxed out array with all the addon functionality possible.  Don't try to get there on day one.

 

Start with a few drives, get it stable, and then grow the array a few drives at a time.

 

BTW, I recommend using version 4.5 beta 3.

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BTW, I recommend using version 4.5 beta 3.

 

Out of curiousity, why? It seems odd to me that a new user (and I fall under that heading myself) would want to use a beta version of an application they don't know. I just ignored anything past 4.4 to try and keep my brain from being any more overloaded than possible, but I'd like to hear your reasoning.

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Out of curiousity, why? It seems odd to me that a new user (and I fall under that heading myself) would want to use a beta version of an application they don't know. I just ignored anything past 4.4 to try and keep my brain from being any more overloaded than possible, but I'd like to hear your reasoning.

 

The beta of unRAID are usually pretty stable.  The current one 4.5 beta 3 is an example of that.  There are some missing libraries and patches that have been fixed in the beta that make is better then the 4.4.2 stable release.

 

I run 4.4.2 because it is required by BubbaRaid; if I was not running BubbaRaid I would probably be running the 4.5 beta

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You seem cautious (a good thing).  Here are a few suggestions to ease into unRAID ...

 

7 - Consider "practicing" replacing a disk.  Many users experience this for the first time when they have a true failure.  I think you'll see its pretty easy - and give you confidence moving forward.

 

 

Good luck!

 

Thanks guys.

 

#7 above is a great idea, that I didn't think of.

I was planing on pratcing with just a few disks to start, including keeping the original files.

I'm also leaning far towards buying the complete set up. My biggest complaint is the case.

What is a "uber-array"?

 

Mike

Uber = the best, the top, the supreme ... in this context the most maxed out array with all the addon functionality possible.  Don't try to get there on day one.

 

Got it, thanks

Mike

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Normally i would agree but there is a syslog bug in the current beta meaning you may not get access to logs if you have a problem you need to debug. Wait for the next beta.

 

I always run the latest beta or not.

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So, how does the version number work with unRAID? My assumptions were that bugfixes and missing libraries would be released as a "4.4.x" and new features/shiny toys would be found in 4.5 beta. I realize a big change in libraries can make it deadly to just drop in, but it didn't occur to me to look to the beta for missing libraries.

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I find the lines between beta and release version are rather thin.  This is not exactly IBM with its software release process.  ;)

 

Normally a release comes out (beta or not) and is buggy.  Over the next couple of days or weeks, a series of new releases comes out until all of the more serious bugs are fixed.  4.5b3 is the result of such a process (4.5.b1, 4.5b2, 4.5b3).  As was 4.4.2 (4.4, 4.4.1, 4.4.2).  Like I said, not much difference between prod and beta IMO.

 

4.4.2 was missing a library that was needed to run smartctl (it can be manually loaded).  4.4.2 also has issues with the spindown logic (it didn't always realize that a disk has spun down and might spin it up unnecessarily).  4.5b3 includes that library, improved spun down disk recognition, a newer version of Linux, a newer version of Samba, a notable performance improvement, and a few other niceties (able to access the syslog via the browser) that make it worthwhile.  I have been running it for about a month successfully, as have other forum members.

 

Your logs would have to get pretty big to experience the rotating logs issue.  Mine or no where near big enough.  Again, my recommendation would be 4.5b3.  4.4.2 is okay too - lots of people use it here.  I just had some odd performance issues with it and actually used 4.3.3 before moving to 4.5b3.

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In case anyone else is actually following along and swayed by bjp999's response, here's where I found 4.5.beta3.

 

I didn't see specific instructions for upgrading from 4.4.2 to 4.5.beta3 in the release notes... is it a matter of copying bzimage and bzroot over old version?

 

Thanks once again.

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yes that is all you do

 

however as a new user I still do not recommend you run this build. If you hit the syslog bug you will not be able to report errors since you will have no logs As such you will not be able to get support in this scenario. It is trivial to go back versions if you do hit this bug.

 

The decision is ultimately yours, just understand why you are choosing to do so and accept the potential limitations

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In case anyone else is actually following along and swayed by bjp999's response, here's where I found 4.5.beta3.

 

I didn't see specific instructions for upgrading from 4.4.2 to 4.5.beta3 in the release notes... is it a matter of copying bzimage and bzroot over old version?

 

Thanks once again.

 

Yes, the normal update process is to just replace those two files.  Pretty easy, huh?  If you are upgrading, you can just copy them over the network to the "flash" share, stop the array, and tell it to restart.  No need to physically go to the server at all.

 

Good luck!

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yes that is all you do

 

however as a new user I still do not recommend you run this build. If you hit the syslog bug you will not be able to report errors since you will have no logs As such you will not be able to get support in this scenario. It is trivial to go back versions if you do hit this bug.

 

The decision is ultimately yours, just understand why you are choosing to do so and accept the potential limitations

I'm running the 4.5beta3 release and my logs never get big enough to be "rotated" out.   Even though it has been reported that error logging stops when a log is rotated, wouldn't the (first) old log still be available?

 

In any case... the decision is yours... I'd go with the 4.5beta3 release and keep an eye on the logs as you go through setup.  It will be way easier in that release since all you need do is browse to //tower/log/syslog

 

Joe L.

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By the time we finish debating this the next beta will be out :)

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By the time we finish debating this the next beta will be out :)

I was thinking the same thing... ;D ;D ;D

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Thanks guys. I'll consider myself *just* well informed enough to fully deserve what happens to me.

 

Not that that is out of the ordinary!

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