RAID with both Windows and Linux
I currenty have Windows, but like many get fed up with MS, so am considering trialling Linux, ie, having a dual boot for Windows and Linux. Can I make use of RAID 0 for increased performance and 1 for mirroring and recovery with such a dual boot situation?
Yes, you can dual boot Windoze and Linux on the same RAID array and with multiple arrays as you mentioned but there are a couple caveats.
The biggest issue with loading Linux onto a RAID array is linux RAID drivers. Much like the F6 process to install the RAID drivers for Windoze, you must do the same for linux; and you must have the linux drivers for that particular RAID controller.
I can tell you right now that if you are using an Intel based mobo and the RAID controller built into the ICH that there are linux no drivers (at least none that I have ever found) for the Intel ICH9R or ICH10R controller. I do not know the state of linux drivers available for AMD, Marvel, or other onboard RAID controllers.
There is a plethora of dedicated RAID controller cards that are linux compatible and that have linux RAID drivers; Areca, Highpoint, 3ware to name a few.
Because of not having linux drivers for the ICH10R southbridge, I ended up snagging a Highpoint 2310 controller card so I could dual boot Windoze and Ubuntu. While that works, as I am currently dual booting Win7 Pro 64 bit and Ubuntu 9.04 on the same RAID0 array, I can only use up to Ubuntu 9.04 because Highpoint has not released (at least not the last time I bothered to check) linux drivers for newer Ubuntu versions.
Great advice chunkymonster.
Another user I know of who has RAID in Linux is "sub mesa." I hit him up alot while setting up my rig, SSD in RAID 0.
Do you want RAID 0, or 1, or 10? I know what they are, but I only have 0. Information overkill: RAID - Wikipedia
The biggest issue is drivers as the other guy mentioned, but the drivers are not typically distro specific. In fact, most of the drivers you need come with the kernel. As a general rule the newer the kernel the more drivers are included and the better they are. This is because errors are reported and fixed over time.
A few manufacturers provide download-able linux drivers on their website, but not many. Of the ones that do, a version of the driver is sometimes included in the kernel anyway. Take adaptec you can download a driver, but aacraid modules is built-in to the kernel.
The newest kernel can be obtained from kernel.org, but it has to be compiled.
The best advice I can give is to get several of the most current "live cd(s)" and see if that type of linux can see the RAID. If it can the drivers are included and you can use that distro. You should run the partitioning tool on the live cd and see if it shows the RAID or not.
Make the bootable CD, and use it. Run the "partition editor" and see what hard drives it shows available. Version 5.6 has the most recent kernel available.