4.2.0rc5 Struggles With Storage

I have been working on installing 4.2.0rc5 on an HP Z420 and I am satisfied I have a system on an LSI 1.6TB PCIe flash drive that I’m going to use for deeper exploration of networking.

I have a couple 250GB SATA SSDs and a pair of PCIe NVMe carriers with 120GB cards in them and I’ve been doing install experiments. My long term goal is replicating what I do for Linux now - a data center grade SSD for boot and caching, then a pair of spindles in a mirror as storage. I use ZFS most everywhere and my LVM knowledge is at the level of quickly doing stuff after reviewing howtos.

Here are some of today’s experiments and outcomes.

The install runs with the pair of NVMe carriers alone results in a report of no bootable drive.

Using a SATA SSD and the PCIe carriers results in an install procedure that only spots one of the two cards. Attempting to boot with both fails, as does attempting to boot with just one of them. The system gets partway through the process and then loops with a low level file system alert about being unable to find a specific block. Attempting to boot with just the SATA drive shows /dev/qubes_dom0 things are missing.

Shutting it all down, starting this post, and deciding to reboot with the SATA drive and one carrier has led to the system booting and offering the Finish Installation screen. I have not reproduced this step by step, but I think it’s nondeterministic - in other words, rebooting it once in this configuration led to a low level error loop, and now the second try presents what appears to be a working system.

I’ve been trying to treat the pair of small NVMe drives in the same fashion I would use a pair of spindles and that may not be the best model - no expense was spared to make them as cheaply as possible. I have an identical set of SSD/spindles to the ones in my desktop, but they ended up in a rack mount system and I won’t get them back until after New Years.

Am I getting out in front of the pack by expecting Qubes to have the same level of storage discipline I can do with Linux? My LVM knowledge is limited, I don’t even know if there is a drive mirror option available, let alone how to go about splicing that into a Qubes install.

I guess my next step on this path will be a single SATA SSD install, then adding the NVMe drives and seeing if I can get a mirror pair working with LVM or ZFS.

Some advice from those who understand where Qubes is headed long term would be much appreciated. If this is useful testing, yay. If it’s a niche where I’m the only denizen, I’ll likely stop with just the LSI drive and rig up some backup method using an external drive.