Installing Nethserver on data disk

Hi Team,

I’m downloading the latest Nethserver iso to install on Proxmox 6.2. I’d like to separate the OS and all the modules/apps I plan to install on Nethserver. I’ve added a 64gb drive and a second 150 gb drive to the Proxmox VM. When I walk through the Nethserver wizard how do I choose where Nethserver will run from? I would like to install Nethserver to run from the 150gb disk I added to the VM. Are there instructions with screenshots on how to do this? I feel for future growth of data on my Nethserver apps ( mail and Nextcloud for example) it’s important to be able to easily expand my 150gb data disk from the Proxmox GUI.

Thank you.

@greavette

Hi Charles

In my opinion, it’s MUCH easier to just install NethServer one a single disk - I’d suggest 60-120 GB…

Once NethServer is installed, shut it down and add in your needed disks in Proxmox. You can use eg Symlinks pointing to /var/lib/nethserver/ibays or what you need.

As to separating Apps from the OS in NethServer: I don’t think that’s really possible, it would be a bunkload of work.

I’d consider the following:

Create your NethServer. Use Proxmox Backup to create - and archive - milestones of your installation.

The combination Proxmox / NethServer allows VERY quick enlargment of disks, sometimes even without reboot. We’re talking about 3-4 Minutes (!)
See here:
https://wiki.nethserver.org/doku.php?id=userguide:nethserver_and_proxmox#nethserver_in_proxmoxenlarging_your_nethserver_disk
This doc is still WIP, but the disk enlargement works as described and illustrated!

My suggestion would be to go for a single disk, max 2 disks. Makes your life easier, less breaking of NethServer during major upgrades…

My 2 cents
Andy

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Three cents of my analysis (2 cents is specialty of @Andy_Wismer).
The list of “spacehogs” of Nethserver is quite… defined.

  • Mailboxes
  • SMB Shares
  • NextCloud data folder
  • DB of complex apps

Therefore, after take a look on documentation you can (if you desire) mount or symlink some paths to spacedisk you prefer.
Also don’t forget that LVM is installed by default, gaining the advantage of Cockpit partitioning tool.

But the most important question is: what you’ll use NethServer for?
File Server? This is quite hard to tell how diskspace it will need, maybe you have to evaluate your current server and your current space increment, so you can try to plan the starting size and even the growing side you are expecting. Put some deadlines to verify if expected data consumption is consistent with actual data consumption and you can define a future upgrade of storage for your setup.
CloudServer? Similarly to the FileServer, you have to evaluate all your current cloudspace used (i think you would like to consolidate into your setup) and the data growth of the current cloud solution/s, plus add a bit more overhead due to nextcloud features you would like to add.
MailServer? Verify your current data usage, match it with the expected future mailbox list and a quota you consider fitting your needs, it will give you (more or less) the disk size you need.

Andy told you about the “easyness” to growth the single-partition installation: i can confirm.
My test installation of NethServer is an old desktop PC, and one day a friendly message from smartctl told me “guy, you would like to change your HD, believe me”.
I found a “not that old” replacement hard drive, which was not the same size.
Long story short, this is how the things went


If that’s no obvious enough, the “not so old” drive was a bit bigger than the “you want to change it”

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Hello @Andy_Wismer and @pike for the replies.

I agree with you that planning out how much space I need for future is the way to go. That’s why I’m spinning up a new production Nethserver and proactively asking these questions. I don’t want to move /var (ie: Nethserver data) to my data drive after. I’m installing Nethserver new on Proxmox and at the disk configuration part of the wizard I have my two drives available. I want to put my root (/) and /boot and /swap on my 64 gb OS disk and I want to put /var on my 150 gb data disk .
Are there instructions or screenshots of how I do this in the Nethserver wizard at install? The wizard assumes I want Nethserver on one disk. I’m looking to put /var on my data disk at install.

Thank you.

@greavette

Hi

As said here, AFAIK there’s NO option to split up disks at install.
You would have to do that AFTER the installation.
Basically, that’s just asking for a headache!

WHY?

It can’t be a space issue, as disks can be easily and quickly enlarged in Proxmox.

The most I’d bother doing is adding a disk at
/var/lib/nethserver/ibays/

Basically, you’re wasting a lot of time pursueing this, NethServer works well as planned and the way 99.9% of the users use it!
And it makes NO sense to split of /var in a virtualized system.

Any issues with the /var volume, the server won’t boot up, and fixing it would be hard.

My 2 cents
Andy

1 Like

I agree with this statement.

You can install NethServer on a fresh minimal install of CentoOS after you have setup the customization’s that you want. For example you could install CentOS on the primary OS drive and then format and add a symbolic link/mounting point and permissions for the data drive the way you want before you install the NethServer on the VM. Would I do this? No, like @Andy_Wismer is saying tons of potential headaches that you’ll have to support/figure out on your own due to your unique situation.

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Thank you for this feedback. All good points you’ve given. Creating a large enough Nethserver now that can grow for my future needs is a good solution.

Thanks!

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Hi Charles

In the years here on this community I learned to listen (value their advice) :grinning:

A short amendment: In the virtual world growing disk-space is easy, do this wisely: shrinking is not that simple. (At least in my experience, which is not comprehensive)

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Expecially in XFS, which do not natively support partition shrinking. (AFAIK)

Hi

In virtualization, at least with systems that can easily be enlarged, it’s better to start small. Saves a lot of time during backups is a good reason. Enlarge as needed, it’s really quick!

Shrinking, is, as said, NOT possible with XFS.

-> The only sure way to do it is get a second, smaller disk ready next to the used NethServer disk.
I will usually setup here a minimal NethServer system, just to make sure the boot system is setup correctly.
Boot up a live system like SystemRescueCD.
Rename the LV on the original (source) - AFAIK, you can’t mount two LVs with the same name.
Mount both disks (Boot partition & Data LV).
Sync the entire contents with rsync…

-> Done

A LOT of work compared with enlarging!

I needed to do it for a client who requested 2TB space on the NethServer. At least 1 TB would have been ISOs. I moved the ISO storage to the NAS, where they would be usable for Proxmox VMs, and some other Stuff. At the end, I needed a 300 GB Disk for NethServer. The backup for 2 TB, mostly empty space still took a lot of time, as Proxmox stuffs this all into a .gz file. So I went through with this, and: It works!!!

(If anyone needs this procedure, I WILL put this into my Proxmox HowTo in the Wiki…)

My 2 cents
Andy

2 Likes