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17.06.2007 Partitioning for Xen

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am a bit worried about getting the configuration right for my host domain. The three-hour session I had with the alternative installer does not help a bit. It seems that I am trying to do the impossible.

So what exactly is impossible then? I am currently installing my desktop PC that has two 120GB P-ATA disks and four 400GB S-ATA disks. First of all I want a safe root partition. The root does not have to be the size of Texas, about 10GB should do. RAID1 on the smaller drives feels like a good option. I will use the rest for something important and want to partition the space later. LVM sounds resizable.

I want to encrypt everything. LUKS can do that. The partition table is more important than it is sensitive. That suggests encryption per partition. That also allows a more fine-grained access control. I want to configure the bigger disks as a RAID5 array for maximum capacity.

Let’s do the math then. My primary use for this computer is to use it as a desktop. X should be there. LAMP should stay out. Ubiquity does not support LVM or RAID at all (didn’t find it when I last checked). Nothing at all supports encryption. I can do that with FUTURE any time, can’t I? Hence alternative desktop CD it is.

No way! When I get past the somewhat hairy procedure of removing all LVM and RAID arrays, install a language pack for a natural language and think that everything might be ok, I hear something that makes me shake in terror: Iä, iä, LILO F’tang. Someone has summoned the ancient bootloader from R’lyeh. I have no other choice. I Want to be eaten first.

After the first wave of terror I see that the computer boots up properly. I try to run FUTURE. It crashes because I have obviously made some terrible mistake and /boot cannot be moved to another mount point. I type halt and carefully pronounce the word (note to self: this is the first time you use the F-word in this blog) flipper. I think about the happy faces in the cover of the LiveCD. They must be on drugs. This has ceased to be fun.

Why on earth would an alternative desktop enforce the use of LILO?