Configure LVM in Mandriva Linux Free 2009

Now that the PV is created, we need to create a volume group (VG). A VG is a virtual container of physical volumes, and takes on the size of its physical volumes. To create a VG, click on the “Add to LVM” button.

Part of the task of creating a VG is giving it a name. The name could be anything. By default, Linux distro begin VG names with “VolGroup00” or something similar. The name you choose doesn’t have to be as touchy-feely as what you see in this screenshot.


With the VG created, you should see two tabs at the top of the disk – one for the /boot partition, and the other for the VG that we just created. Make sure that the VG is selected. When the VG is selected, the reddish sliver representing /boot should not be visible. With the VG selected, click on “Create” to start creating logical volumes. A logical volume (LV) is the LVM equivalent of a partition.

Something to point out at this step: If you click on the “Auto Allocate” button, the installer will attempt to auto-create the LVs for you. But before it does that, it presents three auto-allocate options:

  • With /usr: This creates four LVs – /, /usr, swap, and /home
  • Simple: Creates only three LVs – /, swap, and /home
  • Server: Creates a server-type scheme – /, /usr, /var, swap, and /home

For this tutorial, we are going to create LVs more like the server-style. So, click on “Create”

We are going to create six LVs – /, /usr, /tmp, /var, swap, and /home. This screenshot shows the creation of the LV for /. Repeat this step for the other 5 LVs with the following size suggestions: swap (1000 MB – most distro allocate this size to swap, and this should be just enough); /usr (5000 MB); /tmp (500MB); /var (2000 MB); /home (3000 MB).

The goal here is to allocate just enough space to each LV that is needed to install and get the system up and running. One of the benefits of using LVM is that you can always grow or shrink any LV. However, you should avoid putting yourself in a position where you have to shrink a volume. It could lead to loss of data.

By default, most Linux distros use ext3 as the (journalized) filesystem type. Other options available are: xfs, jfs, and reiserfs. Each has its pros and cons, but for ease of management, we prefer xfs. If you are new to this, we suggest you select xfs for filesystem type. Note that in Mandriva (Free), you have the option to create encrypted volumes.

If you are done creating LVs as suggested, your screen should look similar to the image below. Notice that there is still a lot of white space left on the VG. This is exactly what we want. If you had used the “Auto allocate” feature, all the available disk space would have been used up. Review this screen and if you are satisfied with your work, click on “Done”

This is the final screen dealing with disk partitioning. Clicking “Next” on this screen formats the /boot partition and the LVs that you created, and you may continue the rest of the installation process.

This should be enough to get you familiar with LVM and how to configure it using Mandriva Free. Like we wrote earlier, the same steps used here applies to any other distro that supports LVM. For a follow-up tutorial, we will look at how to perform basic management LVM task in a running system. Check back soon or subscribe to our RSS feed.

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2 Comments

  1. Alejandro Palestrini

    Very good tutorial. Clear and concise. I congratulate you. I would like to receive information on Mandriva and Ubuntu. If it is in Castilian, the better. Greetings and thanks. Alejandro Palestrini. Buenos Aires, Argentina

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