Linux lvm – Logical Volume Manager

LVM is a Logical Volume Manager for the Linux operating system.

Logical volume management provides a higher-level view of the disk storage on a computer system than the traditional view of disks and partitions. This gives the system administrator much more flexibility in allocating storage to applications and users.

Storage volumes created under the control of the logical volume manager can be resized and moved around almost at will, although this may need some upgrading of file system tools.

The logical volume manager also allows management of storage volumes in user-defined groups, allowing the system administrator to deal with sensibly named volume groups such as “development” and “sales” rather than physical disk names such as “sda” and “sdb”.

To manage LVM there are GUI tools available but to really understand what is happening with your LVM configuration it is probably best to know what the command line tools are. This will be especially useful if you are managing LVM on a server or distribution that does not offer GUI tools.

Most of the commands in LVM are very similar to each other. Each valid command is preceded by one of the following:

  • Physical Volume = pv
  • Volume Group = vg
  • Logical Volume = lv

The physical volume commands are for adding or removing hard drives in volume groups. Volume group commands are for changing what abstracted set of physical partitions are presented to your operating in logical volumes. Logical volume commands will present the volume groups as partitions so that your operating system can use the designated space.

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