Raid 5 in Ubuntu

This post is a bit of a question and also maybe a bit of a rant. I am a ‘professional’ but not an ‘expert’ Linux user. Professional in that I get paid to build machines and set up Linux on some of them. I have used Linux as my personal machine OS for a couple years and know (mostly) how to accomplish what I need to at home, and I also host a number of websites on LAMP (which I have become reasonably comfortable with setting up). Where I lack, I know where to find solutions.

I built a 1u server with dual Xeon, 384 GB ecc, and 4x 8 TB drives that were intended to be RAID 5. The server board had built in RAID controller, but was the build list included a PCI-e RAID controller card.

When I first started working with the machine, I installed Ubuntu Server 18.04, and everything went smoothly. Easy as pie. According to plan…until it came to the reboot after finishing Ubuntu install. It refused to boot to the RAID set. I wiped it out and did again…same issue.

This ended up becoming a major fight and it frustrated me to no end. The machine took almost 5 minutes to boot each time, 384gb of RAM to check etc…and screamed like a banshee the whole time because the BIOS writers scripted the fan program to be 100% during the whole POST.

I tried to install Windows 10 Pro, just to see if everything was functional…installed perfectly and ran perfectly as intended. The client, however, did not want Windows so I couldn’t skate through so easily.

We ended up using an additional drive, a SATA SSD, to contain the OS and the spinners were set up separately as RAID 5 using the PCI-e controller. This frustrated me because I spent about 8 hours fighting that mofo trying to get it to work as intended and how it should have worked…in futility…and had to charge the customer for hardware that theoretically they did not need.

I found a little info online about the situation similar to what I faced. The consensus of folks online was that Ubuntu cannot exist on a RAID 5 set and be booted to.

Is this correct? Windows 10 did it perfectly and easily. I hate to think that MS has an edge up on Ubuntu for this.