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A very simple question to which I couldn't find an answer:

I'm about to buy a motherboard equipped with nvidia's nforce 720D chipset, which allows RAID 0/1/5/10/jbod, but I couldn't find out if this RAID would work under linux ?

Please note that I do not attend to boot from it, this will be done on a dedicated hard drive, the RAID array will be for storage (shared with other computers in the house).

The reason I ask this is that nvidia website for this chipset state its raid "Provides a simple point and click wizard-based interface for creating and managing multi-disk storage configurations." which sounds like it's managed through a windows utility rather than a BIOS-time one.

The features I'm looking for are RAID5 and the ability to repair a damaged raid by simply replacing the faulted hard drive.

Can any one help me with that one ? I really would like not to screw up my purchase.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Here are the Linux drivers for your chipset. They're likely already available in your distribution's package manager, but if you need to verify, grab 'em straight from the source.

This chipset is probably not a real hardware RAID; it's a fakeRAID chipset that does most of the work in software. If you want real hardware RAID, buy a separate controller card -- your system performance will thank you, but your wallet won't.

That said, this chipset would do fine as software RAID under Linux, without using this chipset's own RAID features. This UbuntuForums thread discusses some of your options. One poster says pretty much the same thing I just did:

Linux is pretty much an all or nothing proposition when it comes to RAID. In other words, from the OS's point of view, it's either real RAID, or it's just another ATA device. Fortunately, there's a solution. Forget the hardware fakeRAID deal, and just go with the Linux software RAID.

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+1, excepting one thing: "If you need to verify, grab 'em straight from the source". If your package manager has software you need, don't install it from elsewhere. Mixing packaged software and unpackaged software is generally a very bad idea, unless you know what you're doing and can install to a safer location prefix than / or /usr. – Lee B Mar 6 '10 at 7:45
@Lee B: you have a good point, but the question isn't about how to install drivers (i'd agree with you there), it's about whether a certain chipset is supported. in this case examining the documentation or source code of the vendor's version is a more direct verification. – quack quixote Mar 6 '10 at 13:41

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