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Thread: Installation and Partition Configuration with both Hard Drives and NVME SSD

  1. #1
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    Default Installation and Partition Configuration with both Hard Drives and NVME SSD

    I am planning the installation of a Leap 15.3 system which has both hard drives and NVME SSD. The hard drives are configured as a single RAID array with hardware raid card and the NVME SSD is on a PCIe M2 adaptor. This appears as:-

    Code:
    Disk /dev/nvme0n1: 1.82 TiB, 2000398934016 bytes, 3907029168 sectors
    Disk model: KINGSTON SNVS2000G                      
    Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    .

    What I seek is to take advantage of the speed of the SSD and my present thinking is to have the "working" partitions of /,/home and swap on the SSD and have the hard drive as multimedia data which for me takes up significant amounts of space but does not have to work too hard. (I am not a gamer!).

    The only exception to this might be if I wish to use the machine to store the database for my digiKam which I understand can have performance issues if saved on NAS and is much better on workstation.

    I would appreciate advice and suggestions for partition plan.

    Finally, on the ssd, this is shown as /dev/nvme0n1. First time I have tried all this so how is this shown if I divide the drive into partitions? How do they appear as in /dev/sdb1, /dev/sdb2, /dev/sdb3 ... Would it be /dev/nvme0n11, /dev/nvme0n12 or /dev/nvme0n1, /dev/nvme0n2...

    Grateful for all advice before I try the installation.
    Budge.

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    Default Re: Installation and Partition Configuration with both Hard Drives and NVME SSD

    First thing to determine is whether your PC's firmware supports booting from NVME on an M.2 adapter card. If not, then booting files will need to be on an SATA drive.
    Reg. Linux User #211409 *** multibooting since 1992
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    Default Re: Installation and Partition Configuration with both Hard Drives and NVME SSD

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmazda View Post
    First thing to determine is whether your PC's firmware supports booting from NVME on an M.2 adapter card. If not, then booting files will need to be on an SATA drive.
    Hi mrmazda, yes a very good point.
    I checked out the BIOS configuration screens but could not recognise the newly added PCi card which has the SSD installed.

    Using the first BIOS setup screen I have choices:-
    System Information,
    System Settings,
    Date and Time,
    Start Options
    Boot Manager
    System Events Logs
    User Security
    Save Settings
    Restore Settings
    Load Default Settings
    Exit Setup.

    Start Options have three options:-
    opensuse-secureboot
    USB Storage
    Hard Disk 0

    Boot Manager has:-
    Primary Boot Sequence
    Add Boot Option
    Delete boot Option
    Change Boot Order
    Seconary (WOL) Boot Sequence
    Add WOL Boot...
    Delete...
    Change...
    Boot From File>This takes me to a somewhere I do not recognise:-
    NO VOLUME LABEL
    [PciRoot(0x0)/Pci(0x9,0x0/Pci(0x0,0x0)/Ctrl(0x0)/Scsi(0x0,0x0)/HD(1,gpt,95C9969E-2604-4D00-8D33-88C27BB11C37,0x800,0x100000)]


    in the systems settings menu I have choices:-
    Processors,
    Memory,
    Devices and I/O Ports,
    Power
    Operating Modes,
    Legacy Support,
    Integrated Management Module,
    System Security,
    Adapters and UEFI Drivers,
    Network,

    of which the most relevant seem to be:-
    Devices an I/O Ports >
    Configure SATA as > IDE is only option at present
    Configure IDE mode > set as Native mode (alternative is Compatibility mode,)
    System CDROM/DVD>set as Enable (alternative is Disable,)
    Active Video>set as Onboard Device (alternative is Add-in Device,)
    Interrupt Round Robin>set as Disabled (alternative is Enable,)
    Scheme:
    Enable /Disable Onboard Devices > Ethernet>Enabled
    Enable / Disable Adapter Option ROM Support>Ethernet and Slots 1thro 6> All Enabled
    Set Option ROM Execution Order>Ethernet>Slot 1, Slot 2 etc to Slot 6
    PCIe Gen1/Gen2 Speed Selection>Slots 1 thro 5 all set for Gen2

    The other option which I believe is relevant is;-
    Adapters and UEFI Drivers.
    >Available Adapters and Drivers which are listed:-
    Broadcom Gigabit Ethernet Driver
    I-PciRoot(0x0/Pci(0x1,0x0)/Pci(0x0,0x0)
    I-I-PciRoot(0x0)/Pci(0x1,0x0)/Pci(0x0,0x0)/MAC(34 . 40B592A054,0x0)

    Broadcom Gigabit Ethernet Driver
    I-PciRoot(0x0/Pci(0x1,0x0)/Pci(0x0,0x1)
    I-I-PciRoot(0x0)/Pci(0x1,0x0)/Pci(0x0,0x1)/MAC(34 . 40B592A055,0x0

    LSI EFI SAS Driver
    I-PciRoot(0x0)/Pci(0x9,0x0)/Pci(0x0,0x0)
    I-I-PciRoot(0x0)/Pci(0x9,0x0)/Pci(0x0,0x1)/Ctrl(0 . x0)
    I-I-PciRoot(0x0)/Pci(0x9,0x0)/Pci(0x0,0x1)/Ctrl(0 . x1)

    I have not been able to identify the NVME device in all the above and it is quite possible that I need a particular driver.
    I think it work investigating a bit more if you have the time.

    If there is no option to boot from SSD available and I cannot get any firmware update would it be possible to set up so my initial boot is to a USB and then have this run the SSD thereafter.

    Hope you can advise further please.
    Budge

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    Default Re: Installation and Partition Configuration with both Hard Drives and NVME SSD

    Quote Originally Posted by Budgie2 View Post
    If there is no option to boot from SSD available and I cannot get any firmware update would it be possible to set up so my initial boot is to a USB and then have this run the SSD thereafter.
    I doubt a firmware update would add such a basic function. An NVME should simply show up in boot options along with SATA, USB and SCSI disks. I should have written SATA or USB as location for booting files.
    Reg. Linux User #211409 *** multibooting since 1992
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    Default Re: Installation and Partition Configuration with both Hard Drives and NVME SSD

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmazda View Post
    I doubt a firmware update would add such a basic function. An NVME should simply show up in boot options along with SATA, USB and SCSI disks. I should have written SATA or USB as location for booting files.
    OK understood. AFAIK the ability to boot NVME was excluded in the original Red Book for this server. I was told it had now been enabled, ie the exclusion removed but I have no details.

    Since there is nothing obvious (to me) to try, I think I should not waste time on this now and concentrate on the other options.

    My objective is to get the speed benefits from SSD for my day to day work and multimedia library on the raid array.

    Please could you suggest a suitable approach for booting and then getting my root and home partitions working from SSD.

    As a footnote to getting my new hardware I had hoped to find an inexpensive PCIe X8 M2 NVME adaptor which would occupy all of my slot, but could only easily source an X4. The X8 were eight times more expensive and were for 2 memory cards. I assume they must offer some on-board raid capability for the two memory cards otherwise I can't understand why the cost difference. I do not know what benefits can be achieved from the X8 vs X4.

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    Default Re: Installation and Partition Configuration with both Hard Drives and NVME SSD

    Hi
    The expensive boards have Bifurcation, did see one that is not RAID, but this HP supports nvme boot....

    My intel M/B doesn't so when running that just setup to boot from SSD, does your motherboard have a spare USB 2.0 or 3.0 header free, if so get a USB header adaptor to plug in for an internal USB key to boot from (then no chance of getting removed accidentally)?

    I also configured my nvme for 4K not 512;

    Code:
     nvme list
    Node             SN                   Model                                    Namespace Usage                      Format           FW Rev  
    ---------------- -------------------- ---------------------------------------- --------- -------------------------- ---------------- --------
    /dev/nvme0n1     xxxxxxxxxxxxx        WDC WDS250G1B0C-00S6U0                   1         250.06  GB / 250.06  GB      4 KiB +  0 B   201000WD
    You might want to explore the nvme command for more info on your device...
    Cheers Malcolm °¿° SUSE Knowledge Partner (Linux Counter #276890)
    SUSE SLE, openSUSE Leap/Tumbleweed (x86_64) | GNOME DE
    If you find this post helpful and are logged into the web interface,
    please show your appreciation and click on the star below... Thanks!

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    Default Re: Installation and Partition Configuration with both Hard Drives and NVME SSD

    Hi Malcolm, exactly my thoughts as I too couldn't work out how to boot from the mobo but there is an USB connection on the mobo. I think I can use this although it was intended for a VMware ESXi virtualisation key. Should be fine.

    Thanks for the suggestions on formatting. I have a bit more reading to do and problems with the on-board display which is not doing well under Leap 15.3 but otherwise looking good. I am working to get this machine ready to swap out the main machine. If all goes well I have a model for the upgrade of the second machine. Hope it goes OK as I have already purchased the upgraded memory! Some rather good prices available. Had some bad buys but no problems thanks to the now normal Ebay arrangement for returns.

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    Default Re: Installation and Partition Configuration with both Hard Drives and NVME SSD

    I agree using an internal USB instead of external is a good idea, next best thing to an SATA device. You ought to be able to count on it to maintain its place in device enumeration at each boot nearly as well as an SATA (or NVME) device. Second place to SATA is due to the massive difference in longevity expected.
    Reg. Linux User #211409 *** multibooting since 1992
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    Default Re: Installation and Partition Configuration with both Hard Drives and NVME SSD

    Quote Originally Posted by malcolmlewis View Post
    Hi
    The expensive boards have Bifurcation, did see one that is not RAID, but this HP supports nvme boot....

    My intel M/B doesn't so when running that just setup to boot from SSD, does your motherboard have a spare USB 2.0 or 3.0 header free, if so get a USB header adaptor to plug in for an internal USB key to boot from (then no chance of getting removed accidentally)?

    I also configured my nvme for 4K not 512;

    Code:
     nvme list
    Node             SN                   Model                                    Namespace Usage                      Format           FW Rev  
    ---------------- -------------------- ---------------------------------------- --------- -------------------------- ---------------- --------
    /dev/nvme0n1     xxxxxxxxxxxxx        WDC WDS250G1B0C-00S6U0                   1         250.06  GB / 250.06  GB      4 KiB +  0 B   201000WD
    You might want to explore the nvme command for more info on your device...
    Hi Malcolm,
    I looked through the man pages and there are plenty of useful commands available but sadly the command doesn't work on my memory because as yet I have no driver.
    I have a couple of USB slots on the board which I can try but with uefi now required, please could I have some detailed instructions on how to create a boot USB device. Does it have to hold the uefi partition and OS or something else. How do I arrange it so that root and home are stored on the nvme and how do I format it please?

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    Default Re: Installation and Partition Configuration with both Hard Drives and NVME SSD

    Your new boot device needs a VFAT ESP partition (260MB recommended minimum[*], >512MB seriously wastful; unlikely more than 10% of 260MB would actually be used for less than 5 installed operating systems), to be mounted at /boot/efi/; and a native (EXTx or BTRFS formatted) partition to be mounted at /boot/. 500MB is probably more than enough, but 1GB or more wouldn't hurt, probably allowing better long term reliability of the inferior quality of USB sticks compared to SSD or HDD. You could devote the entire balance of a stick remaining after ESP creation to the /boot/ partition, maximizing reliability from the periodic placement/replacement of the relatively large kernel and initrd files that will live there.

    You'll need to use the expert partitioner option during installation whether you create the partitions ahead of installation, or during.

    Partitioning is art as much as science. There is no one right or wrong way.
    [*] The only reason to use this much space is to avoid a complaint from the openSUSE installer. 100MB is actually more than 99.999% of installations would ever actually use. 260MB is the legal minimum on a 16TB or larger disk.
    Reg. Linux User #211409 *** multibooting since 1992
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