SETUP-STORAGE(8) - Linux man page online | Administration and privileged commands

Automatically prepare storage devices.

November 18, 2016
setup-storage(8) System Manager's Manual setup-storage(8)


setup-storage - automatically prepare storage devices


setup-storage [-X] [-f filename] [-d] [-h] [-s] [-D disks] [-L directory]


Using FAI disk_config files, setup-storage computes effective partition and volume sizes and executes the necessary commands to configure storage devices. It manages disk drives as well as RAID and LVM volumes plus encryption and tmpfs. It handles following filesys‐ tems: ext2/3/4, vFAT(FAT32), msdos(FAT16), reiserFS, XFS and BTRFS but is flexible enough to be extended to further types as well. Once the storage devices are prepared, an appro‐ priate fstab(5) (and possibly also a crypttab(5) file is generated. Without the -X parameter setup-storage runs in test-only mode and does not execute com‐ mands other than writing disk labels to a blank disk. The exit code of setup-storage is 0 if all operations were performed successfully and non- zero if an error occurs.


-X Really write the configuration to disk. Otherwise setup-storage runs in test-only mode. -f filename Normally setup-storage selects an appropriate configuration from $FAI/disk_config/ by picking the class with the highest priority from classes that has an existing file. If however -f is given the configuration in filename is used. -d Enable debugging output. Equivalent to environment variable debug set to a non-zero value. See below for further details. -s Perform syntax check of disk_config file only and exit. -D disks Specify the list of disk drives to be configured using setup-storage. Overrides disklist.Donotforgettoquotethisspaceseparatedlist. -L directory Use the specified directory instead of LOGDIR. -h Display the synopsis and version info and exit.


setup-storage will use the following environment variables: disklist If option -D is not used, the disklist variable may contain a space separated list of disk drives available in the system. Their order matters as they may be referred to as disk1, etc. in disk_config. If unset, fai-disk-info will be called to deter‐ mine the list. debug If debug is set to a non-zero value all actions and details to track the operation of setup-storage are printed to stderr. FAI The location of the config space to find the disk_config directory. classes The list of FAI classes to determine the appropriate configuration to choose. LOGDIR setup-storage generates, fstab, and possibly crypttab (see below) in this directory. Defaults to /tmp/fai if unset. Option -L overrides this. flag_initial This variable determines if partitions should be preserved when they are tagged with preserve_reinstall (see below for details). Normally set by the list of FAI flags (FAI_FLAGS).


If setup-storage executes successfully, an fstab(5) file matching the specified configura‐ tion is generated as $LOGDIR/fstab. Furthermore the file $LOGDIR/ is generated. This file defines the following variables, if not yet set: SWAPLIST, ROOT_PARTITION, BOOT_PARTITION (which is only set in case this resides on a disk drive), and BOOT_DEVICE. The latter two describe the partition and disk/RAID/LVM device hosting the mount point for /boot. If /boot has no extra mount point, / is used instead. You may source $LOGDIR/ to get the variables set. The example config space shipped with FAI sources this file in scripts/GRUB_PC/10-setup. If encryption was configured, a proper crypttab(5) file plus key files will be generated.


setup-storage configures storage devices according to a FAI disk_config file. The full grammar describing the syntax of these disk_config files is given below. First we show a number of examples to give an intuition what these should look like. Simple configuration of /dev/hda disk_config hda preserve_always:6,7 disklabel:msdos bootable:3 primary /boot 20-100 ext3 rw primary swap 1000 swap sw primary / 12000 ext3 rw createopts="-b 2048" logical /tmp 1000 ext3 rw,nosuid logical /usr 5000 ext3 rw logical /var 10%- ext3 rw logical /nobackup 0- xfs rw · Preserve /dev/hda6 and /dev/hda7. The disklabel is msdos which is the default for x86. Furthermore, partition /dev/hda3 is made bootable. · Create a primary partition /dev/hda1 with a size between 20 and 100 MiB and mount it read-write as /boot; it is formatted using ext3 filesystem. · /dev/hda2 will be a swap space of 1000 MiB · /dev/hda3 should be formatted using ext3 filesystem; when calling mkfs.ext3 the option "-b 2048" is appended. · Create the logical partition /dev/hda5 · Make /dev/hda7 at least 10% of the disk size · Use mkfs.xfs to format the partition 8 Create a softRAID disk_config sda primary - 20GiB - - primary - 4GiB - - disk_config sdb primary - 20GiB - - primary - 4GiB - - disk_config raid raid1 / sda1,sdb1 ext3 rw raid1 swap sda2,sdb2 swap sw · Create 2 partitions of size 20 and 4 GiB, respectively, on disks /dev/sda and /dev/sdb. No file system or fstab entry will be created. · Create a RAID-1 on /dev/sda1 and /dev/sdb1, format using mkfs.ext3 and mount it as / · Create a RAID-1 on /dev/sda2 and /dev/sdd2, prepare as swap space and use it as such later on. Advanced softRAID features disk_config raid raid1 / sda1,sdd1 ext2 rw,errors=remount-ro raid0 - disk2.2,sdc1,sde1:spare:missing ext2 default · Create a RAID-1 on /dev/sda1 and /dev/sdd1, format using mkfs.ext2 and mount it as / · Create a RAID-0 on the second partition of the second disk, /dev/sdc1, and /dev/sde1 as a spare partition. The latter may be missing. · The configurations for /dev/sda, /dev/sdd, disk2, /dev/sdc, and /dev/sde are omit‐ ted in this example. These devices can be configured similar to the configuration shown in the first example. They may also already be properly set up and hence the configuration can be left out. Simple LVM example disk_config sda bootable:1 primary /boot 500 ext3 rw primary - 4096- - - disk_config lvm vg my_pv sda2 my_pv-_swap swap 2048 swap sw my_pv-_root / 2048 ext3 rw · Configure /dev/sda with two partitions. · The second of those, /dev/sda2, is then used in the LVM volume group my_pv. · This volume group hosts two logical volumes: _swap and _root. LVM on software RAID disk_config disk1 primary - 350 - - primary swap 2G swap sw,pri=1 primary - 0- - - disk_config sdb sameas:disk1 disk_config raid fstabkey:uuid raid1 /boot disk1.1,disk2.1 ext4 rw,noatime,errors=remount-ro raid1 - disk1.3,disk2.3 - - disk_config lvm fstabkey:uuid vg vg_system md1 vg_system-root / 8G ext4 rw,noatime vg_system-var /var 20G ext4 rw,noatime vg_system-home /home 10G ext4 rw,noatime,nosuid,nodev vg_system-tmp /tmp 30G ext4 rw,noatime,nosuid,nodev · Configure the first and second disk identical with three partitions each. · The first partitions of each device are bundled into a RAID 1 (/dev/md0), which will be mounted at /boot. · The third partitions of each device are combined as another RAID 1, but not mounted. Instead, the resulting device /dev/md1 is used to host the LVM volume group vg_system. Do not forget to install the packages mdadm and lvm2 into a system using this par‐ tition scheme. Also set when using dracut as initrd generator. Crypt example disk_config /dev/sdb primary / 21750 ext3 defaults,errors=remount-ro primary /boot 250 ext3 defaults logical - 4000 - - logical - 2000 - - logical - 10- - - disk_config cryptsetup swap swap /dev/sdb5 swap defaults tmp /tmp /dev/sdb6 ext2 defaults luks /local00 /dev/sdb7 ext3 defaults,errors=remount-ro createopts ↲ ="-m 0" · Configure /dev/sdb with 2 primary partitions, one extended partition, and 3 logical partitions. · Encrypt the swap space, /tmp, and /local00. As described in the CAVEATS section, the encryption keys will be stored in a temporary directory only. · Do not forget to install the cryptsetup package on a system using thus scheme. · The initial password for the encrypted device can also be set in the configuration file by using the syntax - luks:"secret" · With a working RAID+LVM configuration, an encryption layer can be added between the RAID and LVM device layers by adding the following cryptsetup configuration. In this case, the encrypted device will be called 'crypt_format_md1' and will be used as the underlying physical device (PV) in LVM. disk_config cryptsetup luks - /dev/md1 - - tmpfs example disk_config tmpfs tmpfs /tmp RAM:20% defaults tmpfs /scratch 3GiB defaults · Mount a tmpfs on /tmp with a maximum size equal to 20% of the total amount of RAM in the machine. This is equivalent to using size=20% in the tmpfs mount options. · Mount a tmpfs on /scratch with a maximum size of 3 GiB. Simple BTRFS example disk_config disk1 primary /boot 500 ext4 rw primary - 2G- - - disk_config disk2 primary - 2G- - - disk_config disk3 sameas:disk2 disk_config disk4 sameas:disk2 disk_config btrfs fstabkey:uuid btrfs raid1 / disk1.2,disk2.1 noatime,subvol=@/ btrfs raid1 /home disk3.1,disk4.1 subvol=@home,noatime · Four disks are used to create a BTRFS RAID. The first disk contains the boot parti‐ tion, the second partition of disk one and the second disk in its entirety are used to create the / RAID. The third and fourth disks are used to create the /home RAID. · Note that each BTRFS RAID must contain an initial subvolume. This is necessary to use advanced BTRFS features such as snapshots. The initial subvolume name is taken from the subvol mountoption. In the above example those would be @/ and @home. Subvolume names begin with an @ by convention. · Every BTRFS line must begin with btrfs followed by the RAID-level of the actual data -- NOT metadata! By default metadata uses RAID1, however this can be changed using createopts. External log device example disk_config /dev/sda fstabkey:uuid bootable:2 primary / 20GiB ext3 defaults primary /boot 250 ext2 defaults primary swap 4GiB swap defaults logical - 256 ext3_journal - logical - 256 ext4_journal - logical - 256 xfs_journal - disk_config /dev/sdb fstabkey:uuid primary /mnt/ext3 33% ext3:journal=/dev/sda5 defaults primary /mnt/ext4 33% ext4:journal=/dev/sda6 defaults primary /mnt/xfs 33% xfs:journal=/dev/sda7 defaults · Mount an ext3 filesystem on /dev/sdb1 with an external journal on /dev/sda5 · Mount an ext4 filesystem on /dev/sdb2 with an external journal on /dev/sda6 · Mount an XFS filesystem on /dev/sdb3 using /dev/sda7 as the log device Example using a GPT partition table and EFI/ESP partition disk_config disk1 disklabel:gpt fstabkey:uuid bootable:1 primary /boot/efi 200 vfat rw primary / 1G- ext4 rw · Creating a ESP partition is very simple. Use a GPT partition table, create a vfat partitoon which is aslo bootable. That's it.


This section describes the syntax of disk_config files file ::= <lines> EOF lines ::= EOL /* empty lines or whitespace only */ | <comment> EOL | <config> EOL comment ::= #.* config ::= disk_config lvm( <lvmoption>)* | disk_config raid( <raidoption>)* | disk_config cryptsetup( <cryptsetupoption>)* | disk_config tmpfs | disk_config end | disk_config disk[[:digit:]]+( <option>)* | disk_config [^[:space:]]+( <option>)* /* fully qualified device-path or short form, like hda, whereby full * path is assumed to be /dev/hda; may contain shell globbing such * as /dev/disk/by-id/scsi-* */ | <volume> lvmoption ::= /* empty */ | preserve_always:([^/,\s\-]+-[^/,\s\-]+(,[^/,\s\-]+-[^/,\s\-]+)*|all) /* preserve volumes -- always */ | preserve_reinstall:([^/,\s\-]+-[^/,\s\-]+(,[^/,\s\-]+-[^/,\s\-]+)*|all) /* preserve volumes -- unless the system is installed for the first time */ | preserve_lazy:([^/,\s\-]+-[^/,\s\-]+(,[^/,\s\-]+-[^/,\s\-]+)*|all) /* preserve volumes -- unless these don't exist yet */ | always_format:([^/,\s\-]+-[^/,\s\-]+(,[^/,\s\-]+-[^/,\s\-]+)*|all) /* run mkfs on the volumes, even if marked as preserve */ | resize:([^/,\s\-]+-[^/,\s\-]+(,[^/,\s\-]+-[^/,\s\-]+)*|all) /* attempt to resize partitions */ | fstabkey:(device|label|uuid) /* when creating the fstab, the key used for defining the device may be the device (/dev/xxx), a label given using -L, or the uuid */ raidoption ::= /* empty */ | preserve_always:([[:digit:]]+(,[[:digit:]]+)*|all) /* preserve volumes -- always */ | preserve_reinstall:([[:digit:]]+(,[[:digit:]]+)*|all) /* preserve volumes -- unless the system is installed for the first time */ | preserve_lazy:([[:digit:]]+(,[[:digit:]]+)*|all) /* preserve volumes -- unless these don't exist yet */ | always_format:([[:digit:]]+(,[[:digit:]]+)*|all) /* run mkfs on the volumes, even if marked as preserve */ | fstabkey:(device|label|uuid) /* when creating the fstab the key used for defining the device may be the device (/dev/xxx), a label given using -L, or the uuid */ cryptsetupoption ::= /* empty */ | randinit /* initialise all encrypted partitions with random data */ option ::= /* empty */ | preserve_always:([[:digit:]]+(,[[:digit:]]+)*|all) /* preserve partitions -- always; the numbers refer to partition numbers, i.e., preserve_always:5 for /dev/hda refers to /dev/hda5, which may not necessarily be the 5th line of the configuration */ | preserve_reinstall:([[:digit:]]+(,[[:digit:]]+)*|all) /* preserve partitions -- unless the system is installed for the first time. See preserve_always above for the semantics of numbers used for referring to partitions. */ | preserve_lazy:([[:digit:]]+(,[[:digit:]]+)*|all) /* preserve partitions -- unless these don't exist yet */ | always_format:([[:digit:]]+(,[[:digit:]]+)*|all) /* run mkfs on the partitions, even if marked as preserve */ | resize:([[:digit:]]+(,[[:digit:]]+)*|all) /* attempt to resize partitions */ | disklabel:(msdos|gpt|gpt-bios) /* write a disklabel - default is msdos */ | bootable:[[:digit:]]+ /* mark a partition bootable, default is / */ | virtual /* do not assume the disk to be a physical device, use with xen */ | fstabkey:(device|label|uuid) /* when creating the fstab the key used for defining the device may be the device (/dev/xxx), a label given using -L, or the uuid */ | sameas:(disk[[:digit:]]+|[^[:space:]]+) /* Indicate that this disk will use the same scheme as the given device. The referenced device must be defined before the device using this option. Use only with identical hardware. */ | align-at:([[:digit:]]+[kKMGTPiB]*) /* Align partitions at multiples of the given block size (unit defaults to MiB, if omitted). Such an alignment, e.g., 4K, might be important for proper performance of RAID arrays which use a logical block size other than the sector size of the underlying disks. It must, however, always be a multiple of this sector size. */ volume ::= <type> <mountpoint> <size> <filesystem> <mount_options> <luks_options> <fs_options> | vg <name> <size> <fs_options> /* lvm vg */ | tmpfs <mountpoint> <tmpfs_size> <mount_options> /* tmpfs volume */ type ::= primary /* for physical disks only */ | logical /* for physical disks only */ | raw-disk /* for physical disks only: do not partition this disk, use it as-is */ | raid[0156] /* raid level */ | luks /* encrypted partition using LUKS and auto-generate a key file */ | luks:"[^"]+" /* encrypted partition using LUKS and use quoted string as passphrase */ | tmp /* encrypted partition for /tmp usage, will be recreated with a random key at each boot and reformatted as ext2 */ | swap /* encrypted partition for swap space usage, will be recreated with a random key at each boot and reformatted as swap space */ | [^/[:space:]]+-[^/[:space:]]+ /* lvm logical volume: vg name and lv name*/ mountpoint ::= (-|swap|/[^[:space:]]*) /* do not mount, mount as swap, or mount at fully qualified path */ name ::= [^/[:space:]]+ /* lvm volume group name */ sizespec ::= RAM:[[:digit:]]+%|[[:digit:]]+[kKMGTP%iB]* /* size in kilo (KiB), mega (default, MiB), giga (GiB), tera (TiB), * petabytes (PiB) or percentage of disk size or RAM size; integers * only, no decimal numbers. * Use KB, MB, GB, ... for a factor of 1000 instead of 1024 as * multiplier */ size ::= <sizespec>(-(<sizespec>)?)?(:resize|:preserve_(always|reinstall|lazy))? /* size, possibly given as a range; physical partitions or lvm logical * volumes only */ | -<sizespec>(:resize|:preserve_(always|reinstall|lazy))? /* size given as upper limit; physical partitions or lvm logical * volumes only */ | [^,:[:space:]]+(:(spare|missing))*(,[^,:[:space:]]+(:(spare|missing))*)* /* devices and options for a raid or lvm vg */ tmpfs_size ::= <sizespec> /* tmpfs size */ mount_options ::= [^[:space:]]+ filesystem ::= - | swap | [^[:space:]] /* must exist */ luks_options ::= (lukscreateoptions=".*") /* options to supply to cryptsetup when creating a LUKS * encrypted filesystem. If no ciper (-c) is specified, then * aes-cbc-essiv:sha2 is used. If no key size (-s) is * specified then 256 is used. */ fs_options ::= (createopts=".*"|tuneopts=".*"|(pv|vg|lv|md)createopts=".*")* /* options to append to and to the filesystem-specific * tuning tool, pvcreate, vgcreate, lvcreate or mdadm */


· If you use software RAID or LVM in your disk config, do not forget also to add the required packages (like mdadm and lvm2) to the package config. Otherwise the client will not be able to use these features. · Machine does not boot because no partition is marked as bootable: If the bootable option is not specified, not partition will be marked as such. Modern BIOSes don't seem to require such markers anymore, but for some systems it may still be neces‐ sary. Previous versions of setup-storage by default marked the partition mounting / as bootable, but this is not a sane default for all cases. If you want to be sure not boot failures happen because of a missing bootable marker, explicitly set the bootable option. Of course, there are lots of other reasons why a system may fail to boot. · Crypto support requires some site-specific changes: If you use cryptsetup stanza, a crypttab(5) file and key files for all luks volumes will be created (unless you used the passphrase option). The key files are left in /tmp/fai; you will want to copy these to some removable media. To make encrypted root devices actually usable, you need to add busybox (and initramfs-tools) to your package config. · For backwards compatibility or other system-specific reasons an alignment to cylin‐ der boundaries may be necessary. Yet other systems will have other alignment con‐ straints. setup-storage sets the alignment as follows: If align-at is set, align accordingly. Otherwise, if any partition on the particular disk is to be preserved, default to cylinder alignment. Else use sector alignment.


This program is part of FAI (Fully Automatic Installation). The FAI homepage is Further documentation, including coding related information, is available in a wiki page at


The setup-storage program was written by Michael Tautschnig <>, with contri‐ butions from Christian Kern, Julien Blache <> and others. The original and primary author of FAI is Thomas Lange <>.
Debian GNU/Linux November 18, 2016 setup-storage(8)
This manual Reference Other manuals
setup-storage(8) referred by
refer to crypttab(5) | fstab(5)
Download raw manual
Index System Manager's Manual (+2060) Debian GNU/Linux (+103) № 8 (+5755)
Go top