trying to decide whether to use LVM or not

Eric S. Johansson esj at
Sat May 5 05:47:48 UTC 2007

I'm putting together a new server with a hardware raid array and I'm debating 
whether or not I want to use LVM and I am looking for good arguments to go in 
either direction.

The good things about LVM has been the ability to resize partitions as needed. 
It's really been wonderful and once I discovered little magic trick of shrinking 
the filesystem below that of the partition, I haven't had to worry about 
tromping on the end of my filesystem.

The really bad thing about LVM is that if you lose your root partition and you 
lose your LDM configuration files, you are so completely and totally screwed 
it's not funny.  I've been in this position twice and only by sheer miracle have 
I been able to recover the LVM array.  In fact I think it's this pain that's 
keeping me from going forward straight to LVM use.  If someone could tell me how 
to recover the LVM configuration data without mucking about by hand in a 
partition table, I would be very comfortable using LVM again.  All the other 
stuff I can relearn from the manual pages the way I did the first dozen times.

So how, given an intact LVM managed disk array, how would you recover the 
necessary data enabling you to mount the partitions on that array on your 
system.  And answers with  "emacs /dev/hda" don't count.  :-)

Thanks in advance for your answers.  (This really needs to be a mini how-to)


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