FreeBSD 2.0.5 and big HDs

FreeBSD 2.0.5 and big HDs

Post by Willy Kre » Mon, 21 Apr 2003 23:31:07


Before someone jumps over me, let me clarify that I'm talking here
about an embedded system. :-)

I have a system with FreeBSD 2.0.5 i386 and a 20gb HD running on an
Intel Pentium 200Mhz and an Intel 82439TX based PCI mainboard.

I would like to upgrade it to a 120gb HD.

Is it possible? Did 2.0.5 support big HDs back then?

If not, is there anything I could do to hack back big-HD support to it
by replacing some module but without recompiling the kernel?? (it's a
tweaked kernel afaik).



1. Big (REALLY BIG) HD storage & Linux

Okie..allow me to apologize in advance, as this will be long, and
contain many questions:)

I've read (and read and read) to determine if there are limiting
factors to the amount of HD space mountable under Linux.
We are setting up a POP to support the student population of a small
campus, and a storage minimum of 5MB per student has been established.
My understanding from the SCSI-HOWTO is that Linux can handle drives
up to a Terabyte. what we actually need is the ability to handle at
least 61Gig
1. Is there a memory limitation similar to novell in that novell must
have enough memory to hold the tables for the volume size it is
mounting. I seem to remember reading somewhere (and I've tried to find
it) that Linux uses memory for the inodes on the drive....if so, how
much does it require?

2. If it does require memory, is it possible to boot linux from a
smaller partition (obviously we have to boot from one with < 1024 cyl
anyway), then, mount the extra partitions AFTER mounting the swap
partitions? (i.e. will the inode tables be swapped to the swapfile and
allow us to mount the huge partitions that way)

3. If that doesn't work, would it be possible to spread things out a
bit by adding additional servers and mounting thier volumes as NFS,
then use them for the users home directories? (i.e. what are the
memory requirements for mounting an NFS volume...obviously less than
mounting a physical drive that large, but how much less?)

4. Has anyone made use of the NFS volume provided by IBM Lan File
Services/ESA with a Linux system? (for humor I should interject here
that I thought the Mainframers were gonna pass out when we told them
in a meeting we wanted to consider sucking up 61Gig of thier shiny new
DASD...I thought the tape backup guy was gonna have a heart attack
when we started talking about ADSM:) and the IBM rep went all starry
eyed like he was gonna retire after selling us another one maybe:)

5. On a little different track, has anyone thought of a nifty way to
place user home directories under home but on another drive?
I've considered rranging them under home/home1/user...home/home2/user,
but maybe someone knows of a better way that would require a less
complicated script (we're importing a list), and less administration:)

6. Anyone had any experience (read problems) running Linux on a Compaq
Prosignia 5000 server?

I know this is long, and I apologize once again. While I've run Linux
for a while, I've never seen anyone talk about mounting more than
about I thought I'd best check out the answers to this
stuff prior to committing myself to administrative hell:)

Steve Walker

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