Monthly Archives: December 2016

Raspberry Pi 2B RAID 5 build – Part 2

Now we’re ready to do the semi difficult parts.

Write the Raspbian Linux OS image to the micro SD card. I use a Mac so I use the following instructions:…/inst…/installing-images/

Note that when you are in the Mac’s System Report window, expand Hardware -> USB -> USB2.0 Hub -> USB 2.0 Hub then click on USB Storage. Or whatever you do, find that USB Storage node. In the details panel below on the right you’ll find “BSD Name”, in my case it is disk5, that’s the micro SD card we’re writing the image to (the Pi instructions missed this very tiny important detail).


If you use Windows then use the following instructions:…/…/installing-images/

For Macs, when you use the sudo dd command to write the image to the micro SD card, a progress update won’t be displayed. Instead press Control-T to see a status update when you want.

The process takes about 4.5 minutes on my Mac. It’ll be roughly the same on other computers as the time is dependent on the USB 2.0 port and microSD speed. I have a Class 10 micro SD card, which is pretty fast at the time this is posted.

Once you’re done with writing the Raspbian Linux OS image, boot up the Pi.

It is already preconfigured to provide X Window for a GUI display, and the network is preconfigured to use DHCP.

It’s now a ready to use Linux desktop, though I like the term tinypute myself

Next we’ll install and build the RAID 5 array itself …

On to Part 3 of the journey

Raspberry Pi 2B RAID 5 build – Part 1

First, you need a Raspberry Pi 2B computer. You can purchase it anywhere. It’s home is here:

Remember to purchase a micro USB cable with a power charger which is used as the Pi’s power supply, also remember to purchase an HDMI cable.

The HDMI cable is used to display the Pi’s video output on an HDTV monitor (1080p). I’ve only used the HDMI display once to find the IP address of the Pi, after that I typically use the terminal/ssh to connect and work with the Pi.

In case they don’t come with the USB 2.0 cable (they should), also remember to buy 4 USB 2.0 cables.

Second, you need 4 USB 2.0 external hard disks. The Pi has 4 USB 2.0 ports so up to 4 disks can be connected directly. You can use more disks but you’ll have to use a USB hub. Using a hub to use more than 4 USB disks will degrade performance as a single USB 2.0 connection is shared amongst many disks.

Third, you’ll need a micro SD card, 8GB will do. This will be the Pi’s Linux OS hard disk.

Fourth, you’ll need to download the OS (it’s called Raspbian and is actually Linux in the Debian distribution form. Get it? Rasp(berry) and (De)bian .

You can download it from here:

Next we’ll write the image to the SD Card …

On to part 2 of the journey

Raspberry Pi 2B RAID 5 build – the Journey

This is my journey in building my own at home private cloud

It has no high availability from the processing node perspective as there is no fail-over/backup processing hardware to make this a highly available cluster. There is a solution to this as described in,1 if you like the challenge. I might do that at another time.

This implementation only has disk high availability from 3 x 3TB USB 3.0 external disks turning this build into a nice NAS for my PCs, VMs, and laptops. We’ll see how slowly it crawls. It actually has decent performance for daily routines. Large file size & number copies will make it crawl. I just do that overnight (copied my iTunes library over).

Yes, I’m a digital pack-rat .

Go on part 1 of the journey!


Install a LAMP and mailman (mailing list) server


I needed a mail server for a few custom email addresses from several domains that I own. There are some 6 domains and 10 custom email addresses.

Multiple email domains can be hosted on a single mail server. They are called virtual domains. Basically and can be directed to Clients from domain1 and domain2 connect for email service to

This configuration moves my email addresses from which charges $5.- / month / email account. Totals to saving a sweet $50.- monthly. That’s $600.- a year which I could use for something else.

I begin by installing the Mail Server using this cookbook: LAMP + Mail Server + Web Mail Server then I install mailman using my own cookbook: mailman-2-1-23-install

This results in a Mail Server capable of hosting multiple domains with multiple emails accounts. In fact it is running in my home office on a Raspberry Pi box!

If you want something like this but skip about 200+ lines of instructions, let me know, I’d be happy to help!