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CompTIA Linux+ XK0-005 - 1.3 - Inspecting RAID Implementations

RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) is a critical technology in data storage and management, combining multiple physical disks into a logical unit for enhanced performance and data redundancy. This guide focuses on two essential tools for inspecting RAID implementations in Linux: mdadm and /proc/mdstat, providing in-depth insights into their usage and the information they reveal about RAID arrays.


mdadm is a versatile command-line tool used to manage and monitor software RAID devices in Linux. It is integral for tasks ranging from creating and assembling RAID arrays to their management and repair.

Key Commands for RAID Inspection

  • mdadm --detail: This command is pivotal for inspecting RAID arrays. It provides comprehensive information, such as the RAID level, array size, number of active and failed devices, and the state of the array.

Example of mdadm --detail Output:

$ mdadm --detail /dev/md0
        Version : 1.2
  Creation Time : Sat Sep 25 14:36:42 2021
     Raid Level : raid1
     Array Size : 1048576 (1024.00 MiB 1073.74 MB)
  Used Dev Size : 1048576 (1024.00 MiB 1073.74 MB)
   Raid Devices : 2
  Total Devices : 2
    Persistence : Superblock is persistent

    Update Time : Sun May 23 11:45:10 2023
          State : clean
 Active Devices : 2
Working Devices : 2
 Failed Devices : 0
  Spare Devices : 0
  • mdadm --examine: Provides detailed information about the metadata stored on individual devices that are part of a RAID array.
  • mdadm --query: Queries a device to determine if it is part of a RAID array and, if so, provides basic information about the array.
  • mdadm --brief: Offers a condensed view of an array's details, useful for scripts or quick checks.


The /proc/mdstat file is a dynamic view into the current status of RAID arrays in the Linux system. It serves as a quick and effective means to get an overview of the RAID status.

  • Array Configuration and Status: Displays RAID levels, participating disks, and the current state (active, rebuilding, etc.).
  • Synchronization Status: Important for RAID levels with parity or mirroring, it shows the progress of data synchronization.

Example of /proc/mdstat Output:

$ cat /proc/mdstat
Personalities : [raid1] 
md0 : active raid1 sdb1[1] sda1[0]
      1048576 blocks super 1.2 [2/2] [UU]
      [==>..................]  resync = 10.3% (108032/1048576) finish=0.1min speed=36010K/sec

unused devices: <none>

Regular monitoring of /proc/mdstat assists in early detection of potential issues, allowing for prompt remediation actions. It is especially useful after array creation or maintenance activities to verify the status and progress of RAID arrays.


Inspecting RAID implementations is a vital skill in Linux system management. The mdadm tool and /proc/mdstat file are key resources for gaining detailed insights into the status and health of RAID arrays. Understanding how to effectively use these tools ensures robust management and troubleshooting of RAID configurations in Linux environments.

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