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I have 3 x 3TB drives and a linux computer and i want to use the space as "one" drive for music, movies, and pictures (home server). In Addition the stored data should be encrypted.

I do not want to lose all the data if just one drive gets damaged and it would be nice if the system can be expanded later.

What is the best way to achieve this ? RAID5 ? LVM ? Both? Something else ?

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Combining the three drives into one can easily be done with the right RAID setup. You could use an encrypted filesystem on top of that. However RAID also has some downsites (e.g. a stripe of 3 disks will fail completely if any of the three disks dies. An alternative is only getting 6TB storage from your three 3TB drives, e.g. with RAID 5. See this link for some of the options. (No idea about encrypting them). –  Hennes Jun 22 '13 at 20:27
    
If btrfs were stable, I'd recommend that. It handles both, and is much easier to configure than LVM. However, it's still in development. Sans that, I recommend LVM, with an encrypted filesystem. –  jpaugh Jun 22 '13 at 20:34
    
@Hennes So you recommend raid5+dmcrypt/LUKS ? –  JHnet Jun 22 '13 at 20:37
    
@jpaugh Yes btrfs would be cool, but, as you mentioned, it is still in development. With just using LVM i am worried about that single point of failure, if one single drive crashes, all the data is lost... Or not ? –  JHnet Jun 22 '13 at 20:39
    
Idk. I've been meaning to switch to it for years, but now I'll just wait for btrfs, myself. But I thought raid required hardware support? @Hennes? –  jpaugh Jun 22 '13 at 20:41

1 Answer 1

You most likely want setup like that:

              FileSystem

_______________________________________

               RAID5

_______________________________________
LUKS        | LUKS       | LUKS

LVM pv/vg/lv|LVM pv/vg/lv| LVM pv/vg/lv

I'm marking this as community wiki, because it's obvioulsy not complete answer, I'd make comment, but I don't have enough reputation.

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