Installing Ubuntu 9.10 desktop w/ software RAID + LVM

I have 4 hard drives in my system and I’ve been running them with RAID 1 pairs tied together using LVM. The first couple GB of each are set aside for /boot and swap space.

I was running Debian and I wanted to try Ubuntu, but Ubuntu Desktop out-of-box doesn’t support this kind of configuration. Ubuntu Server advertises LVM support, but for whatever reason didn’t recognize my configuration. I probably could have recreated the same configuration w/ Ubuntu Server’s installer, but I didn’t want to risk losing my data and then discovering it doesn’t actually support it.

Finally after some trial and error I figured out the Ubuntu Alternate distribution has LVM and software RAID support if you run it in “expert” mode. It was a bit of a pain to manually walk it through the installer, but eventually it recognized my existing drive configuration. Definitely not the “friendly” Ubuntu installation experience I was hoping for, but it worked.

When the install was done it left me with a console-only bare-bones install. But since I had the Ubuntu Desktop CD handy, I popped it in the drive and ran:

apt-cdrom add
apt-get install ubuntu-desktop

…and away it went.

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