November 6th, 2004, 22:18
Hey everyone. Have a question regarding the use of vinum on a system I am working on.

The system is going to be a mail server, that I am going to be using for personal purposes. I will run the following:

FreeBSD 4.10
Going to hosting email for about 4 domains.

I may also setup webmail as well, but not sure what one I will use.

Specs on the system:

PIII 1ghz
512mb RAM
1 - 20gig IDE drive
1 - 26gig IDE drive

This server is not going to have a high load.

I was thinking of using vinum to combine the two drives, which would give me one disk if you will, with around 46gigs of space. Being that I am going to be using IMAP, I need all the space I can get.

I was checking out the website for vinum doesn't seem terribly difficult to setup. But I was hoping to get some more feedback from anyone here who has worked with vinum and maybe lend a few tips.

That's it for now.
I look forward to your feedback.


November 7th, 2004, 00:58
I've never used vinum before but I'm almost positive that with any form of disk concantenation, which is what your looking at doing that the drives need to be the same. I.E. - The same LBA on both.

Also 5.3 came out this weekend, why not use it?

November 7th, 2004, 11:39
Actually, I've seen vinum examples of concatenating all sorts of random drives together: 4 Gig + 6 Gig + 12 Gig. There's no restriction there.

If you planned to do mirroring or striping, or any form of more complex RAID (eg RAID 5), then the drives need to have the same block count or you'll end up sacrificing any space above the size of the smallest drive on the others. Ie: if your smallest drive is 10 Gig, then all the other drives are limited to 10 Gig.

But in this setup (mail server) I'd be more concerned about reliability. Single IDE drives are fairly unreliable beasts, right down there with power supplies. If you concatenate two drives then your overall reliability is chopped in half! If either drive fails, your whole array is toast.

You'd be better off simply distributing your filesystems across the two individual drives and living with the potential space-crunch issues. Eg: spread email accounts evenly across two FS's on the two drives; some users in /usr/home (1st drive), some in /usr2/home (2nd drive).

And personally, I would make sure that FreeBSD can be booted off of either drive so you can swap them and continue running (limping) in case of disaster. That suggests creating the normal /, /var partitions on both drives. They don't need to be big on the 2nd (boot backup) drive.

(And this would be a good time to go with FreeBSD 5.3 since it's the start of new -STABLE branch.)

November 7th, 2004, 15:12
vinum is becoming obsolete.. use geom

November 7th, 2004, 23:33
Also 5.3 came out this weekend, why not use it?

Good point. I think I will do that.

I just upgraded my Firewall to OpenBSD 3.6, mine as well go for the new stuff eh?


May 7th, 2005, 01:52
Use gvinum. :biggrin: