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Jammy B

New user looking to Unraid.

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Hi,

 

UK user here looking at the task of leaving familiar territory - Windows and moving to Unraid and dockers. 
 

I’ve watched a fair few YouTube videos and been reading various threads on the forum. 
 

But there are a couple gaps in my knowledge that hold me back from doing the change. 
 

1. Currently, I cannot afford parity. So will be running without it until I am able to. I religiously back up so am not concerned with data loss. But will it be a detriment to the system to not have parity?
 

2. SSDs I’m a bit lost as to what to do with SSDs. Current system is OS SSD, VM SSD and Plex SSD. I assume (rightly or wrongly) that one would be assigned as cache drive and continue to use the other two as they are now but under Unraid with VMs on one and Plex in a docker on the other. 

 

3. i take it it’s as simple as adding more dockers for Sonarr, NZBGet et al and they’ll all come to life. 


aim is to begin the change once question two is solved. 👍

 

it’s a great community and a joy to read the replies that not only help OP but also guide future users like me who are hungry to learn. 
 

Thanks for reading!

 

James

Edited by Jammy B

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1. No, it's not at all detrimental. Parity is like insurance.

 

(2) and (3). It's more complicated.

You need to provide details on what you plan to do with the server e.g. what sort of apps, any VM, GPU pass through, hardware transcoding, what kind of SSD, what hardware you already have, what hardware you plan to purchase etc.?

 

 

 

 

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Want to run

Plex

Sonarr

NZBGet

Unifi Controller

Homebridge

VM1 Windows 10 (my daily)

VM2 Windows 10 (wife’s daily)

 

NVIDIA GTX 950 for Plex transcoding and use RAM. No gaming requirements. 

 

Spec

i7 3770

32GB ram

HBA - mix of hard drives totalling 24.5TB 

 

SSD1 - 120GB current Win10 host OS

SSD2 - 240 - Plex

SSD3 - 250 - VMs (Win10 x2 and Ubuntu for Homebridge in docker)

 

 

Aim is free up resources. Instead of host OS being Win10 and incessant rebooting and hoping it doesn’t corrupt an active VM. it’s Unraid and two VMs. Then can lose the Ubuntu VM and run Homebridge in a docker on Unraid. 

 

Effectively the two Win10 VMs can do as they please and not affect any containers managing the media or downloads. 

 

 

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How do you plan to access the VM? Remotely through RDP from another computer or directly on the server?

  • If it's the latter then you won't be able to have 2 Windows VM because each VM needs exclusive use of a dedicated graphics card (i.e. pass through). If you add the GTX 950 for Plex then it would be 3 cards.
  • If the former then it should be fine.

 

You can put SSD1 in the cache pool for the docker image + appdata and as temp space to hold data for you to convert the other 2 SSD to xfs / btrfs (Unraid won't work with NTFS, at least not as a daily driver).

 

You use SSD3 for VM then presumably it holds vdisk (probably VM Ware vmdk?). If so, you probably want to convert the vdisk to either raw or qcow2 format (I recommend raw) for best compatibility with Unraid KVM/QEMU.

 

Plex will be a little complicated. You will have to google db conversion from Windows to Linux format or run Plex in a VM with the 950 passed through.

You probably don't need a dedicated SSD to hold the Plex db (i.e. can use SSD1, unless you have a seriously massive db) but you can do that if you want to.

 

In terms of actually mounting the 3 SSD.

  • For 6.8.3 and prior, you will need the Unassigned Device (UD) and Unassigned Device Plus (UD+) plugins to mount SSD 2 and SSD 3 outside of the main cache pool.
  • For 6.9.0 (currently beta25), there is multi-pool functionality so you can have 3 pools of 1 SSD each without need for UD/UD+ plugins. Still recommend you to install them e.g. for use with external USB etc.

 

In terms of dockers, I know there are NZBGet + Unifi + Homebridge dockers in the app store but don't have any experience using them.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, testdasi said:

Plex will be a little complicated. You will have to google db conversion from Windows to Linux format or run Plex in a VM with the 950 passed through.

I'll only comment that according to Plex, the db is the same across all filesystems.  So you should be able to take a linux db and use it on Windows and back on linux again and vice versa and here there to, in perpetuity, for ever and ever.

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1 hour ago, Energen said:

I'll only comment that according to Plex, the db is the same across all filesystems.  So you should be able to take a linux db and use it on Windows and back on linux again and vice versa and here there to, in perpetuity, for ever and ever.

The file paths could be an issue, I'm not familiar with how the plex db keeps track of file locations.

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4 hours ago, jonathanm said:

The file paths could be an issue, I'm not familiar with how the plex db keeps track of file locations.

Pretty much the same across all systems.


Unraid: /appdata/<plex>/Library/Application Support/Plex Media Server/Plug-in Support/Databases

Windows: "%LOCALAPPDATA%\Plex Media Server\Plug-in Support\Databases"

Mac: ~/Library/Application\ Support/Plex\ Media\ Server/Plug-in\ Support/Databases/

Linux: $PLEX_HOME/Library/Application\ Support/Plex\ Media\ Server/Plug-in\ Support/Databases/

And then obviously all the other metadata folders if one wanted to copy it all.

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11 hours ago, testdasi said:

How do you plan to access the VM? Remotely through RDP from another computer or directly on the server?

  • If it's the latter then you won't be able to have 2 Windows VM because each VM needs exclusive use of a dedicated graphics card (i.e. pass through). If you add the GTX 950 for Plex then it would be 3 cards.
  • If the former then it should be fine.

 

all RDP. aim is a headless build. RDP will be using ZeroTier. [but couldn't intel integrated graphics be considered/come into play here to physical access?]

 

11 hours ago, testdasi said:

You can put SSD1 in the cache pool for the docker image + appdata and as temp space to hold data for you to convert the other 2 SSD to xfs / btrfs (Unraid won't work with NTFS, at least not as a daily driver).

 

You use SSD3 for VM then presumably it holds vdisk (probably VM Ware vmdk?). If so, you probably want to convert the vdisk to either raw or qcow2 format (I recommend raw) for best compatibility with Unraid KVM/QEMU.

VMs currently VDI using VirtualBox. for ease [and to increase my understanding] i aim to install all fresh and migrate required over to the new VMs as opposed to try and convert the existing to something compatible and then have to troubleshoot that.

 

11 hours ago, testdasi said:

Plex will be a little complicated. You will have to google db conversion from Windows to Linux format or run Plex in a VM with the 950 passed through.

You probably don't need a dedicated SSD to hold the Plex db (i.e. can use SSD1, unless you have a seriously massive db) but you can do that if you want to.

 

In terms of actually mounting the 3 SSD.

  • For 6.8.3 and prior, you will need the Unassigned Device (UD) and Unassigned Device Plus (UD+) plugins to mount SSD 2 and SSD 3 outside of the main cache pool.
  • For 6.9.0 (currently beta25), there is multi-pool functionality so you can have 3 pools of 1 SSD each without need for UD/UD+ plugins. Still recommend you to install them e.g. for use with external USB etc.

 

In terms of dockers, I know there are NZBGet + Unifi + Homebridge dockers in the app store but don't have any experience using them.

again, rather than migrate tens of thousands of files of metadata, user data. this will be a fresh install. i don't want to troubleshoot permissions/access/performance issues when i barely know the landscape.

 

only docker i've got is Homebridge. someone on reddit wrote me a step by step/piecemeal how to which i use once a year to destroy/update/rebuild.

 

the multi-SSD thing was one of the next things to query which you've addressed. looks like 6.8.3 is the way to go.

 

7 hours ago, Energen said:

I'll only comment that according to Plex, the db is the same across all filesystems.  So you should be able to take a linux db and use it on Windows and back on linux again and vice versa and here there to, in perpetuity, for ever and ever.

thats correct, the filesystem is standardisd and transferable between systems so long as you make sure its exact. But due to the volume of files, i think it would be simpler to start it again from scratch. i've already pre-empted my remote users that things are being reset and to expect downtime for the next month whilst i attempt this and make the data move.

 

5 hours ago, jonathanm said:

The file paths could be an issue, I'm not familiar with how the plex db keeps track of file locations.

you move your DB over and then load your new Plex and point it to the DB. everything else comes back. But changing systems mean paths change so you then typically add the new paths to each of your libraries. scan then delete your old paths from your libraries. [sounds simple, but permissions are a b*tch!]

 

1 hour ago, Energen said:

Pretty much the same across all systems.

 


Unraid: /appdata/<plex>/Library/Application Support/Plex Media Server/Plug-in Support/Databases

Windows: "%LOCALAPPDATA%\Plex Media Server\Plug-in Support\Databases"

Mac: ~/Library/Application\ Support/Plex\ Media\ Server/Plug-in\ Support/Databases/

Linux: $PLEX_HOME/Library/Application\ Support/Plex\ Media\ Server/Plug-in\ Support/Databases/

 

And then obviously all the other metadata folders if one wanted to copy it all.

 

yeah thats it, all of the plex DB and folders is currently on its own SSD. i find poster display performance improved for client devices.

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ok.

 

more questions.

 

4. whats best order of works. its going to be like moving the fox and chicken across the river and not enough seats on the boat. by that, can i offer an empty drive onto Unraid, begin to fill it up, once another drive empties on the existing system, move that over and continue to fill until all moved over?

 

5. SSDs. now you know what i want to do. what do i do with SSDs in terms of layout on unraid before putting things on them

 

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6. if a drive fails in the array built across say 6 drives. is all lost or only the data on that drive? 

 

what processes would you follow to establish/confirm if just a connection issue or a hard drive failure?

 

after more reading, i'm looking into a parity drive as the sheer ability to continue to function with drive issues, is lovely.

 

 

 

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29 minutes ago, Jammy B said:

if a drive fails in the array built across say 6 drives. is all lost or only the data on that drive? 

Each drive is independent, so only the involved drive(s) is lost.

 

Parity will emulate 1 drive per parity slot, so if you have the max of 2 valid parity drives, you can have 2 drive failures and the array will present the failed drives as normal by mathematically combining the binary content of all the remaining drives. If you then have a third concurrent failure, you will lose the content on the three failed drives, but the remaining data drives will all still be readable after reconfiguring the array to only include the intact data drives. Parity drives don't contain readable content, only the bits needed to complete the parity equation.

 

Or, as a last resort, any array data drive can be pulled and read in any system capable of parsing the file system used, be that XFS or BTRFS.

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4 minutes ago, jonathanm said:

Each drive is independent, so only the involved drive(s) is lost.

 

Parity will emulate 1 drive per parity slot, so if you have the max of 2 valid parity drives, you can have 2 drive failures and the array will present the failed drives as normal by mathematically combining the binary content of all the remaining drives. If you then have a third concurrent failure, you will lose the content on the three failed drives, but the remaining data drives will all still be readable after reconfiguring the array to only include the intact data drives. Parity drives don't contain readable content, only the bits needed to complete the parity equation.

 

Or, as a last resort, any array data drive can be pulled and read in any system capable of parsing the file system used, be that XFS or BTRFS.

that helps a lot. Parity it is. i'm consolidating files to prep the move and looking to make a parity drive. 

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