Module – 4 Logical Volume Manager (LVM)

What is Logical Volume Manager?

  • LVM is a logical volume manager for the Linux kernel that manages disk drives and similar mass-storage devices
  • It is a tool for logical volume management which is used to allocating disks, striping, mirroring and resizing logical volumes
  • LVM can span across multiple physical disks

Standard Partition Vs Logical Volume Manager

First off, lets discuss life without LVM. Back in the bad old days, you had a hard drive. This hard drive could have partitions. You could install file systems on these partitions, and then use those filesystems. Uphill both ways. It looked a lot like this:


Logical Volume manager:



Step:1 Creating Physical Volumes for LVM:

The underlying physical storage unit of an LVM logical volume is a block device such as a partition or whole disk. To use the device for an LVM logical volume the device must be initialized as a physical volume (PV). Initializing a block device as a physical volume places a label near the start of the device.

By default, the LVM label is placed in the second 512-byte sector. You can overwrite this default by placing the label on any of the first 4 sectors. This allows LVM volumes to co-exist with other users of these sectors, if necessary.

An LVM label provides correct identification and device ordering for a physical device, since devices can come up in any order when the system is booted. An LVM label remains persistent across reboots and throughout a cluster.


To create physical Volume

# pvcreate /dev/sdb


# pvcreate /dev/sdb /dev/sdc /dev/sdc  ( You can create PV adding multiple disk)


To verify the PV’s:

# pvs  or pvdisplay


Step:2 Creating Volume Group for LVM:

Physical volumes are combined into volume groups (VGs). This creates a pool of disk space out of which logical volumes can be allocated.

Within a volume group, the disk space available for allocation is divided into units of a fixed-size called extents. An extent is the smallest unit of space that can be allocated, Within a physical volume, extents are referred to as physical extents.

To Create Volume group

# vgcreate appvg /dev/sdb   (mininum one disk required)


# vgcreate appvg /dev/sdb /dev/sdc /dev/sdd  (If you want to add  more disk at the time of creation)

To Verify the VG’s:

# vgs or vgdisplay

Step:3 Creating Logical Volume

In LVM, a volume group is divided up into logical volumes. It is similar to partition on disk.

To create logical volume:

# lvcreate -n app01-vol -L 100M appvg  

# lvcreate -n app02-vol -L 2G appvg  

To Verify the LV’s

# lvs or lvdisplay

Step:4 Creating File system

To create file system

# mkfs -t ext4 /dev/appvg/app01-vol

# mkfs -t ext4 /dev/appvg/app02-vol

Step:5 Mounting File system

To mount file system, you need to create empty directory under root (/)

# mkdir /app01

# mkdir /app02

# mount -t ext4 /dev/appvg/app01-vol /app01

# mount -t ext4 /dev/appvg/app02-vol /app02

Verify file system status:

# df -h

Step:6 Update the file system in “/etc/fstab” file

This step will ensure the following file systems are mounted even after rebooting the server.

vi /etc/fstab

/dev/appvg/app01-vol        /app01      ext4    defaults        0   0

/dev/appvg/app02-vol        /app02      ext4    defaults        0   0


Well, we are done !!


1. pvcreate–> 2. vgcreate- -> 3.lvcreate –> 4.mkfs –> mount –> update /etc/fstab


Now.. let us see how to extend the existing Volume Group,Logical Volume & File system

Before you extend the file system, follow the below steps:

1. Check file system current size & usage # df -h

2. Check free space in volume group # vgdisplay appvg

3. Check the size of logical volume # lvdisplay app01-vol


If you have enough space in volume group, you can simply extend the logical volume and file system by following following steps:

For example, your file system /app01 is 1 GB, you wanted to extend this to 1.5 GB.

a. # lvextend -L +500M /dev/appvg/app01-lv   –> (+500M , will just add another 500MB to the LV)

b. # resize2fs /dev/appvg/app01-lv   –> This step will increase the file system to 1.5 GB


If you see no enough space available in volume group, first extend the volume group by adding new disks & extend LV & file system.

a. Add new disk to the server

b. Check the new disk name by running # fdisk -l | grep Disk   (example, your new disk is /dev/sdf – 2 GB)

c. Convert the physical disk as “PV”  # pvcreate /dev/sdf 

d. Verify the PV creation step # pvdisplay

e. Add this disk to existing Volume Group # vgextend appvg /dev/sdf

f. Verify the Volume Group # vgdisplay

g. Now, extend the logical volume  # lvextend -L +500M /dev/appvg/app01-lv —> (+500M , will just add another 500MB to the LV)

h. Increase the file system # resize2fs /dev/appvg/app01-lv   –> This step will increase the file system to 1.5 GB


Now.. let us see how to decrease the existing File system / Logical Volume & Volume Group


Assume your /app01 file system is 2 GB, & you wanted to reduce it to 1 GB.

a. Unmount the file system        # umount /app01

    Note: It is highly recommended to unmount the file system to avoid data corruption during size reduce.

b. Run file system check               # e2fsck –f /dev/appvg/applv

c. Reduce the file system size       # resize2fs /dev/appvg/applv 1G   (Example you want to reduce from 2 GB to 1 GB)

d. Reduce the logical volume size # lvresize –L -1G /dev/appvg/applv

e. Mount the file system                 # mount /app01

f. To remove PV from VG               # vgreduce appvg /dev/sde

g. To remove PV from OS             # pvremove  /dev/sde



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