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LVM Cheatsheet

Directory and Files Tools Physical Volumes Volume Groups Logical Volumes Miscellaneous
The Linux Logical
Volume Manager (LVM)

Random Findings



Material of this page is based on RedHat - LVM cheatsheet

This is a quick and dirty cheat sheet on LVM using Linux.

I have highlighted many of the common attributes for each command however this is not an extensive list, make sure you look up the man page for the command.

With the pvs, vgs and lvs commands, the number of -v defines that level of "verbosity": the more v you put, the more verbose information is produced.

For example

pvs -vvvvv 

Display, scanning, listing of physical volumes (PV)

pvdisplay -v 
pvs -v 
pvs -a 
pvs attributes are:
  1. (a)llocatable
  2. e(x)ported
pvscan -v

Note: scans for disks for non-LVM and LVM disks


lvmdump -d <dir>
dmsetup [info|ls|status] 
Note: by default the lvmdump command creates a tar ball Physical Volumes


pvcreate /dev/sdb1

Create physical volume with specific UUID, used to recover volume groups (see miscellaneous section)

pvcreate --uuid <UUID> /dev/sdb1 

Common Attributes that you may want to use:

-M2 create a LVM2 physical volume


pvck -v /dev/sdb1 
Note: check the consistency of the LVM metadata

Change physical attributes

do not allow allocation of extents on this drive

pvchange -x n /dev/sdb1

Common Attributes that you may want to use:

--addtag add a tag
-x allowed to allocate extents
-u change the uuid


pvmove -v /dev/sdb2 /dev/sdb3 

Note: moves any used extents from this volume to another volume, in readiness to remove that volume. However you cannot use this on mirrored volumes, you must convert back to non-mirror using "lvconvert -m 0"

Volume Groups


vgdisplay -v 			
vgs -v
vgs -a -o +devices
vgs flags:vgs attributes are:

1. permissions (r)|(w)
2. resi(z)eable
3. e(x)ported
4. (p)artial
5. allocation policy - (c)ontiguous, c(l)ing, (n)ormal, (a)nywhere, (i)nherited
6. (c)luster


vgscan -v 


vgcreate VolData00 /dev/sdb1 /dev/sdb2 /dev/sdb3
vgcreate VolData00 /dev/sdb[123]
Use 32MB extent size
vgcreate VolData00 -s 32 /dev/sdb1 
Common Attributes that you may want to use:


vgextend VolData00 /dev/sdb3 


vgreduce VolData00 /dev/sdb3
vgreduce --removemissing --force VolData00 


vgremove VolData00

Common Attributes that you may want to use:


vgck VolData00 
Note: checks the consistency of the LVM metadata

Change volume attributes

vgchange -a n VolData00
Common Attributes that you may want to use:


vgrename VolData00 Data_Vol_01
Note: the volume group must not have any active logical volumes

Converting metadata type

vgconvert -M2 VolData00
Note: vgconvert allows you to convert from one type of metadata format to another for example from LVM1 to LVM2


vgmerge New_Vol_Group Old_Vol_Group
Note: the old volumes group will be merged into the new volume group


vgsplit Old_Vol_Group New_Vol_Group [physical volumes] [-n logical volume name] 


vgimport VolData00
Common Attributes that you may want to use:


To see if a volume has already been export use "vgs" and look at the third attribute should be a x
vgexport VolData00
Common Attributes that you may want to use:

Backing up

Backup to default location (/etc/lvm/backup)
vgcfgbackup VolData00
Backup to specific location
vgcfgbackup -f /var/backup/VolData00_bkup VolData00

Note: the backup is written in plain text and are by default located in /etc/lvm/backup


vgcfgrestore -f /var/backup/VolData00_bkup VolData00
Common Attributes that you may want to use:

-l list backups of file
-f backup file
-M metadataype 1 or 2


vgimportclone /dev/sdb1
Note: used to import and rename duplicated volume group

Special files

vgmknodes VolData00
Note: recreates volume group directory and logical volume special files in /dev

Logical Volumes


lvdisplay -v 
display mirror volumes
lvdisplay --maps
lvs -v
lvs -a -o +devices

lvs commands for mirror volumes:

lvs -a -o +devices
lvs -a -o +seg_pe_ranges --segments
lvs attributes are:
  1. volume type: (m)irrored, (M)irrored without initail sync, (o)rigin, (p)vmove, (s)napshot, invalid (S)napshot, (v)irtual, mirror (i)mage  mirror (I)mage out-of-sync, under (c)onversion
  2. permissions: (w)rite, (r)ead-only
  3. allocation policy - (c)ontiguous, c(l)ing, (n)ormal, (a)nywhere, (i)nherited
  4. fixed (m)inor
  5. state: (a)ctive, (s)uspended, (I)nvalid snapshot, invalid (S)uspended snapshot, mapped (d)evice present with-out tables,  mapped device present with (i)nactive table
  6. device (o)pen (mounted in other words)


lvscan -v 


Plain old volume

lvcreate -L 10G VolData00

Plain old volume but with a specific name web01:

lvcreate -L 10G -n web01 VolData00 

Plain old volume but on a specific disk

lvcreate -L 10G VolData00 /dev/sdb1

A striped volume called lvol1

lvcreate -i 3 -I 32 -L 24G -n lvol1 vg01

Mirrored volume:

lvcreate -L 10G -m1 -n data01 vg01

Mirrored volume without a mirror log file:

lvcreate -L 10M -m1 --mirrorlog core -n data01 vg01
Common Attributes that you may want to use:


lvextend -L 20M /dev/VolData00/vol01
Common Attributes that you may want to use:

-L size of the volume [kKmMgGtT]
-l number of extents
-C contiguous [y|n]
-i stripes
-I stripe size

Note: you can extend a ext2/ext3 filesystem using the "resize2fs" or "fsadm" command

fsadm resize /dev/VolData01/data01
resize2fs -p /dev/mapper/VolData01-data01 [size]

The -p option displays bars of progress while extending the filesystem


lvreduce -L 5G /dev/VolData00/vol01
lvresize -L 5G /dev/VolData00/vol01
Note: rounding will occur when extending and reducing volumes to the next extent (4MB by default), you can use resize2fs or fsadm to shrink the filesystem

fsadm resize /dev/VolData01/data01 [size]
resize2fs -p /dev/mapper/VolData01-data01 [size]


lvremove /dev/VolData00/vol01

adding a mirror to a non-mirrored volume

lvconvert -m1 --mirrorlog core /dev/VolData00/vol01 /dev/sdb2 

change volume attributes

lvchange -a n /dev/VolData00/vol01
Common Attributes that you may want to use:

-a availability
-C contiguous [y|n]


lvrname /dev/VolData00/vol_old /dev/VolData00/vol_new


lvcreate --size 100M --snapshot -name snap /dev/vg01/data01 


Simulating a disk failure
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb2 count=10 

Repairing a failed mirror no LVM corruption

Check volume, persume /dev/sdb2 has failed:

lvs -a -o +devices

Remove the failed disk from the volume (if not already done so) , this will convert volume into a non-mirrored volume

vgreduce --removemissing --force VolData00

Replace the disk physically, remember to partion it with type 8e:

fdisk /dev/sdb

Add new disk to LVM
pvcreate /dev/sdb2
Add the disk back into volume group
vgextend VolData00 /dev/sdb2

Mirror up the volume:

lvconvert -m1 --mirrorlog core /dev/VolData00/vol02 /dev/sdb2

Repair corrupt LVM metadata without replacing drive

Attempt to bring the volume group online:

vgchange -a y VolData00

Restore the LVM configation

vgcfgrestore VolData00

Attempt to bring the volume group online:

vgchange -a y VolData00 

File system check:

e2fsck /dev/VolData00/data01

Repair corrupt LVM metadata and replace the faulty disk

# attempt to bring the volume group online but you get UUID conflict errors make note of the UUID number
vgchange -a y VolData00
vgchange -a n VolData00

## sometimes it my only be a logical volume problem
lvchange -a y /dev/VolData00/web02
lvchange -a n /dev/Voldata00/web02

## replace the disk physically, remember to partion it with type 8e
fdisk /dev/sdb

# after replacing the faulty drive the disk must have the previuos UUID number or you can get it from /etc/lvm directory
pvcreate --uuid <previous UUID number taken from above command> /dev/sdb2

# Restore the LVM configation
vgcfgrestore VolData00

# attempt to bring the volume group online or logical volume
vgchange -a y VolData00
lvchange -a y /dev/VolData00/web02

# file system check
e2fsck /dev/VolData00/data01

Note: if you have backed the volume group configuration you can obtain the UUID number in the backup file by default located in /etc/lvm/backup or running "pvs -v"

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