LVM and Thin Provisioning

Nicolas Michel be.nicolas.michel at
Thu Aug 23 19:12:02 UTC 2012


I didn't know that thin provinsioning was a feature of LVM! Good to know it
Said that, isn't the future will BTRFS? No need of LVM anymore then since
all of the features will be "packages" in the filesystem.


2012/8/23 John Moser <john.r.moser at>

> Gents,
> Do you think in the future Ubuntu would benefit from an LVM with thin
> provisioning default whole-disk layout?  At the moment thin
> provisioning is not considered stable, and so it would be
> inappropriate.
> I believe that once LVM thin provisioning is stable, it would be
> worthwhile for Ubuntu to use it by default when installing across a
> whole disk.  Essentially with a single large disk, Ubuntu could create
> one big logical volume such that 100% of the disk is /, 100% is /home,
> and some small amount is swap.  This would allow for snapshot backups,
> encryption, and such through the supported LVM interfaces.  More
> importantly, it would allow for the isolation of file systems
> (particularly / and /home) without complex considerations like "how
> big do we make them?"
> The down side to this is LVM complexity--power users can't simply pull
> up gparted and manipulate LVM partitions, slide things around to
> install an alternate OS, etc, without learning some new tools.  I
> think power users would plan ahead for that, and other users who do a
> full disk install won't particularly have such needs because they'll
> be of the "Install one Linux because I want my computer to work"
> variety.
> Users who are resizing an existing OS and using part of the disk may
> legitimately have a middle ground where they eventually move to resize
> partitions (remove the old OS or Ubuntu) and find that their basic
> knowledge is suddenly useless and they don't know where to go from
> here or really want to put in that kind of effort.  From that
> perspective, shrinking a Windows partition and putting an LVM Physical
> Volume next to it with a complex Logical Volume layout may not be a
> great idea; the distinction between "power user" and "regular user"
> does have a gray-zone border, and these sorts of installs fall within
> it much more often than straight-up whole disk installs.  But then,
> maybe it'd be perfectly fine anyway.
> LVM thin provision does legitimize automatic file system migration.
> Passing TRIM through a thin provisioned LVM volume doesn't just knock
> a block off an SSD; it tells the thin provisioning layer that that
> block is free.  When an entire extent is TRIMed off, it becomes
> available again (as is my understanding, anyway).  So a user on Ubuntu
> with ext3 migrating to ext4 loses out on a lot of features that ext4
> simply has to be created from scratch for; well you can create a new
> thin root, move the data across (TRIMing as you go), and then remove
> the old LV.  Even if the disk is 90% full.  Same for when some fool
> has experimented with btrfs and realizes there's no fsck tool (fsck
> doesn't FIX btrfs, it just tells you if it's broken) and he wants to
> go back to ext4 or XFS.
> Thoughts?
> --
> Ubuntu-devel-discuss mailing list
> Ubuntu-devel-discuss at
> Modify settings or unsubscribe at:

Nicolas MICHEL
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the Ubuntu-devel-discuss mailing list