In the first article on LVM, I explained the concepts behind LVM. Now is the time to put into action what we saw on LVM. In this article, we will set up LVM on the official Gentoo Linux cvs server, cvs.gentoo.org. Although
cvs.gentoo.org has only one hard drive, the flexibility of LVM also an incredible improvement over classical techniques of static partitioning. Will show all the steps of the process of converting to LVM, so that those interested can make a similar transition on one of their machines.
Note: As the implementing LVM is a big change for the system (which involves the creation of new partitions and other potentially hazardous actions) may be a good idea to perform a full system backup before starting the journey. If you do not intend to make a backup, the author hopes that the car used in the experiments is intended and does not contain important data. It is important to note that the author has never encountered any problems in the transition to LVM, but it is always better to be prepared in case something goes wrong.
Without the necessary prerequisites, you can proceed. Before starting the conversion process, was made an update to
cvs.gentoo.org were used so that the following packages. The moment has been made the transition to LVM, these were the latest versions available (see Resources later in this article):
- Linux kernel 2.4.1-ac19
- LVM 0.9.1_beta5
- reiserfs-utils 3.6.25
To start, the hard drive. cvs.gentoo.org has a good hard drive new IBM 45 GB in it, however, when it was installed Gentoo Linux on cvs, were partitioned only about 10 gigabytes of hard disk, leaving the remaining 35 GB for future partitions. These are some little tricks that the user needs when not using LVM: left parts of the disk is not partitioned is a rough but effective way to allow for future expansions. However, LVM, there is a better approach.
The space problem
In the past few weeks, it was noted that the root
ReiserFS partition had become slowly filling up, as you can see from this printed
Code 1.1: Free space running out
Filesystem 1k-blocks Used Available Use% Mounted on /dev/hda3 9765200 6989312 2775888 72% / tmpfs 269052 0 269052 0% /dev/shm
In fact, a root partition filled to 72% is not exactly a crisis, but not a great situation.
ReiserFS, like many other file systems, performance degrades gradually fills it, and it was only a matter of time, before the root filesystem was completely full, and his performance would suffer a meltdown.
It was therefore decided to remedy the problem by using LVM to create a new logical volume out of the 35 GB of unpartitioned space that is currently at the end of the hard drive. Thus was created a filesystem on this volume and have been moved a good part of the contents of
/dev/hda3 on it.
If the reader is going to make a similar transition on one of their machines, the first thing they need is to find a part of your root filesystem suitable to move a logical volume. For the author, the choice was easy: the tree under
/home occupied about 5.7 GB. Moving
/home/home, the root filesystem should probably be roughly around 20% of its capacity, a situation very promising.
The beginning of a solution
To begin the conversion, was added to the first partition the unused space at the end of the disk drive. Using
cfdisk, you created a 35 GB partition (
/dev/hda5) and set the type of that partition to 8E (the type for the official LVM). After this change, the partition table was as follows:
Code Listing 1.2: The new partition table
# sfdisk -l Disk /dev/hda: 89355 cylinders, 16 heads, 63 sectors/track Units = cylinders of 516096 bytes, blocks of 1024 bytes, counting from 0 Device Boot Start End #cyls #blocks Id System /dev/hda1 * 0+ 247 248- 124960+ 83 Linux /dev/hda2 248 743 496 249984 82 Linux swap /dev/hda3 744 20119 19376 9765504 83 Linux /dev/hda4 20120 89354 69235 34894440 5 Extended /dev/hda5 20120+ 89354 69235- 34894408+ 8e Linux LVM
From the time that there was an empty partition of 35 GB, it was possible to proceed with its initialization for use with LVM. The steps are: first, initialization of the 35 gigabytes as a physical volume, thus creating a volume group using the above-mentioned physical volume, and finally, allocation of some entity in the volume group, thus going to create a logical volume that should contain the new file system and host all the files located at
To begin the process, we used the
pvcreate command to initialize
/dev/hda5 as a physical volume:
Code Listing 1.3: Creating the physical volume
# pvcreate /dev/hda5 pvcreate -- physical volume "/dev/hda5" successfully created
pvcreate in this case sets up a special area of ”management” on
/dev/hda5, called VGDA (volume group descriptor area). LVM uses this to keep track of how physical entities are allocated, among other things.
The next step is to create the volume group and add
/dev/hda5 to this group. The volume group should function as a pool of entities (parts of blocks of memory). Once you create the volume group, logical volumes can be created many as you want. In this case, it was decided that the volume group should be called “main”:
Code Listing 1.4: Creating the volume group
# vgcreate main /dev/hda5 vgcreate -- INFO: using default physical extent size 4 MB vgcreate -- INFO: maximum logical volume size is 255.99 Gigabyte vgcreate -- doing automatic backup of volume group "main" vgcreate -- volume group "main" successfully created and activated
vgcreate command does a couple of things. In addition to creating the volume group “main”, also imposes a
/dev/hda5 entities to use 4 MB, the default size for the entities. This means that each logical volume that will be created by the specific volume group can be expanded and reduced by increments of 4 MB.
Because of the limitations of the kernel, the size of the entity determines the maximum size that a logical volume can take. As you can see from the above example, a size of 4 MB per entity imposes a restriction on the logical volume size of 256 gigabytes, which is a logical volume size to be easily reached if you add components to its high-capacity group volume. If there is a possibility that the volumes end up by becoming larger than 256 GB apiece, it is advisable to specify a larger size for use at the time of
vgcreate. The size of the entity may vary freely between 8 MB and 512 MB, and must always be a multiple of two. Increasing the size of the entities above the 4 MB, the maximum size for physical volumes will be scaled accordingly, up to a maximum of 1 petabyte (even when the current limit in the real world is equal to 2 terabytes on x86 systems). For example, to create a volume group with a magnitude equal to 32 megabytes in size, must be typed:
Code Listing 1.5: Setting a larger scale for
# vgcreate -s 32M main /dev/hda5
32 MB is a good size for size, since a granularity of 32 MB is still manageable and brings the maximum size for logical volume to 2 terabytes startup. Once the volume group is created, you can view the information by typing
Code Listing 1.6: Review the information volume
# vgdisplay --- Volume group --- VG Name main VG Access read/write VG Status available/resizable VG # 0 MAX LV 256 Cur LV 0 Open LV 0 MAX LV Size 255.99 GB Max PV 256 Cur PV 1 Act PV 1 VG Size 33.28 GB PE Size 4 MB Total PE 8519 Alloc PE / Size 0 / 0 Free PE / Size 8519 / 33.28 GB VG UUID 2qC2H2-iA8s-qW6F-cwXx-JVIh-I6VC-VVCGmn
Now that the volume group is ready, you can create a logical volume. In the specific case was initially decided to make it equal to 8 gigabytes in size and call it “
Code Listing 1.7: Creating the logical volume
# lvcreate -L8G -nlv_home main lvcreate -- doing automatic backup of "main" lvcreate -- logical volume "/dev/main/lv_home" successfully created
So, you created a filesystem on the volume:
Code Listing 1.8: Creating the filesystem
# mkreiserfs /dev/main/lv_home Block size 4096 bytes Block count 2097152 Used blocks 8275 Journal - 8192 blocks (18-8209), journal header is in block 8210 Bitmaps: 17, 32768, 65536, 98304, 131072, 163840, 196608, 229376, 262144, 294912, 327680, 360448, 393216, 425984, 458752, 491520, 524288, 557056, 589824, 622592, 655360, 688128, 720896, 753664, 786432, 819200, 851968, 884736, 917504, 950272, 983040, 1015808, 1048576, 1081344, 1114112, 1146880, 1179648, 1212416, 1245184, 1277952, 1310720, 1343488, 1376256, 1409024, 1441792, 1474560, 1507328, 1540096, 1572864, 1605632, 1638400, 1671168, 1703936, 1736704, 1769472, 1802240, 1835008, 1867776, 1900544, 1933312, 1966080, 1998848, 2031616, 2064384 Root block 8211 Hash function "r5" ATTENTION: ALL DATA WILL BE LOST ON '/dev/main/lv_home'! (y/n)y journal size 8192 (from 18) Initializing journal - 0%....20%....40%....60%....80%....100% Syncing..done.
Once you create the filesystem can be mounted on
Code Listing 1.9: Mount the new volume
# mkdir /mnt/newhome # mount /dev/main/lv_home /mnt/newhome # df Filesystem 1k-blocks Used Available Use% Mounted on /dev/hda3 9765200 6989840 2775360 72% / tmpfs 291388 0 291388 0% /dev/shm /dev/main/lv_home 8388348 32840 8355508 1% /mnt/newhome
How was it possible to see before, everything is almost ready to copy over all data to
/home. Before you begin, it is better to go to runlevel 1 to ensure that no user or process wants to access or modify files in
/home as they are copied:
Code Listing 1.10: Switch to runlevel 1
# init 1
At this point, it begins copying files:
Code Listing 1.11: Copying files to new folder
# cp -avx /home/* /mnt/newhome
In such case, the copy was completed in about ten minutes. So, was made a backup copy of the original folder
/home/home.old, in case something went wrong while copying. It was then created a new mount point, and remounted the new home on
Code Listing 1.12: The new mount point
# cd / # mv home home.old # mkdir home # umount /mnt/newhome # mount /dev/main/lv_home /home
Now, it’s time to fine-tune the server so that the new
/home partition will be available whenever the machine is started. First of all, must be modified
/etc/fstab to include the
Code Listing 1.13: Editing fstab
#fs mountpoint type opts dump/pass /dev/hda3 / reiserfs defaults 1 1 /dev/main/lv_home /home reiserfs defaults 2 2 /dev/hda2 none swap sw 0 0 /dev/hda1 /boot reiserfs noauto 0 0 /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom iso9660 noauto,ro 0 0 proc /proc proc defaults 0 0 none /dev/pts devpts mode=620 0 0 tmpfs /dev/shm tmpfs defaults 0 0
Then, go make minor changes to the initialization scripts. This is achieved by modifying the boot script “
checkroot” so the following command can be executed immediately after the root partition was remounted read
Code Listing 1.14: Editing the Startup Script
/sbin/vgscan /sbin/vgchange -a y
Still, the script must be modified to
unmount filesystems at shutdown is called, so the following command can be executed immediately after all filesystems have been removed:
Code Listing 1.15: Edit the script shutdown
/sbin/vgchange -a n
Once you complete these steps, just reboot the machine, and note with pleasure that everything works perfectly. After a day or more without any problem, can be canceled
/home.old to free up some ‘space on the root filesystem. The transition to LVM is successful.
The beauty of LVM
While the transition to LVM you can not define trivial, once the transition is complete, managing filesystems becomes tremendously easier. For example, the author decided to resize your logical volume on
/home, adding about 2 gigabytes of additional space at the end of the file system. First, additional capacity has added to its logical volume “
lv_home“, and then used the program
resize_reiserfs to expand the filesystem so that he could use this additional capacity. Here are two commands that allow this:
Code 1.16: Use additional space
# lvextend -L+2G /dev/main/lv_home # resize_reiserfs -f /dev/main/lv_home
In about a second, the filesystem on
/home has been expanded to 2 GB, surprisingly, there was no need to reboot, go to runlevel 1, or even unmount
/home to resize. Everything continued to work as he had done before. How cool is that? Following is the current state of the filesystem, after the operation:
Code 1.17: space on the filesystem
# df Filesystem 1k-blocks Used Available Use% Mounted on /dev/hda3 9765200 1413340 8351860 15% / /dev/main/lv_home 10485436 5609836 4875600 54% /home
You can find out how LVM can actually make the job of an administrator much easier. In the future, there is the hope of being able to move additional parts of the root filesystem on LVM, and eventually convert the root file system within a logical volume on LVM.