There are two desktop editions of Ubuntu, the popular Linux distribution. The one most people are used to is the Live CD version, the edition that allows you to take it for a spin without installing it on your PC. The problem with the Live CD edition is that the installer is a watered-down, graphical, 7-step installer that does not have support for Linux Logical Volume Manager (LVM).
The other edition (of Ubuntu) is the “alternate installer” edition. This version has a text-based installer, and supports LVM and more of the advanced features that you’ll find in other Linux distros like Mandriva, Fedora, Foresight, and Debian. This tutorial gives a step-by-step guide on how to configure LVM in Ubuntu, using Ubuntu 8.10 “alternate installer” edition, the latest stable release of Ubuntu, which is available for download here.
This tutorial assumes a clean install, and in order to reduce the number of screenshots, begins at the point in the installation when the hard drive is detected and ends after the partitions have been formated, The steps before and after this pretty easy for anyone to complete. Keep in mind that the only difference between Ubuntu with the graphical installer and the alternate installer is, well, the installer.
Configuring LVM in Ubuntu (“alternate-text” installer) takes place in five stages listed in sequence below:
- Create a non-LVM boot partition
- Create Physical Volume (PV)
- Create a Volume Group (VG), and assign the PV created in stage 2 to the VG
- Create the Logical Volumes
- Assign filesystems and mounts points to the logical volumes created in step 4
Each of the stages is on a separate page of this tutorial.
Ok, let’s start the tutorial.
The default partitioning method is “Guided – use entire disk”, but for this tutorial, we want to create a custom setup. So use the down arrow key on your keyboard to select “Manual”. Note that if you select any one of the “Guided” options for LVM configuration, all the available disk space will be used up, leaving you no free space to grow any logical volume if or when the need arises. Ultimately, our goal is to use just enough space to get the system up and running, and leave the rest for when we need to grow logical volumes
With “Manual” selected, hit enter on the keyboard to continue.
The next step is to use the unallocated space to create a physical volume.