I spent the weekend loading Nexenta on my two home PCs.

Nexenta is basically Ubuntu on an OpenSolaris kernel.  This gives you all the awesomenes of Ubuntu (apt-get, gnome, kde, GNU tools), with all the awesomeness of OpenSolaris (zones, ZFS, DTrace).

Some cool things:
  • The opensolaris packages are available via apt-get.  I wanted to set up some zones, so I did an “apt-get install sunwzoner sunwzoneu”.
  • “zoneadm -z zone1 install” fires off debootstrap and creates a Nexenta Zone.
  • The install is super-easy.  Just boot off the CD and answer a few questions.
So, now I have two Nexenta boxen, with about 1TB of storage online.  Which brings me to why I did this in the first place:  ZFS.

I really hate Linux Software RAID.  I hate it so much that I don’t use it.  This meant that my home storage was more or less unprotected, which sucks.  I don’t have anything irreplacable on these servers, but still, it’s good form to RAID.

Creating a mirror is as easy as:
# zpool create -m /storage zstorage mirror c1d0p0 c2d0p0

Adding another mirrorset to this pool is as easy as:
# zpool add zstorage mirror c3d0p0 c4d0p0

..Which gives me 560GB of RAID10 storage with two commands.   Now I have room for a complete nightly backup of my laptop, including incrementals (thanks, ZFS snapshots!), plus a backup of my “every photo I’ve ever taken” directory.

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