I'm planning on building a home file server with a few 2 TB drives and I wanted to use software RAID 5 under Linux (most likely ubuntu).

Before I start, I wanted to know how easy is it to expand a RAID 5 in case I wanted to add 1 or 2 more drives in the future. Do I have to start from scratch and migrate all my data off before hand or will it just restripe the data.


It is possible. For example. if you build software raid with mdadm, then you can add later new discs and extend the array. Check --grow flag in the mdadm manual. After that you can resize file system with resize2fs command. I also recommend to consider using LVM for more flexible management of disk space.

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