LVM(8)                     System Manager's Manual                    LVM(8)

NAME         top

       lvm — LVM2 tools

SYNOPSIS         top

       lvm [command|file]

DESCRIPTION         top

       lvm provides the command-line tools for LVM2.  A separate manual page
       describes each command in detail.

       If lvm is invoked with no arguments it presents a readline prompt
       (assuming it was compiled with readline support).  LVM commands may
       be entered interactively at this prompt with readline facilities
       including history and command name and option completion.  Refer to
       readline(3) for details.

       If lvm is invoked with argv[0] set to the name of a specific LVM
       command (for example by using a hard or soft link) it acts as that

       On invocation, lvm requires that only the standard file descriptors
       stdin, stdout and stderr are available.  If others are found, they
       get closed and messages are issued warning about the leak.  This
       warning can be suppressed by setting the environment variable

       Where commands take VG or LV names as arguments, the full path name
       is optional.  An LV called "lvol0" in a VG called "vg0" can be
       specified as "vg0/lvol0".  Where a list of VGs is required but is
       left empty, a list of all VGs will be substituted.  Where a list of
       LVs is required but a VG is given, a list of all the LVs in that VG
       will be substituted.  So lvdisplay vg0 will display all the LVs in
       "vg0".  Tags can also be used - see --addtag below.

       One advantage of using the built-in shell is that configuration
       information gets cached internally between commands.

       A file containing a simple script with one command per line can also
       be given on the command line.  The script can also be executed
       directly if the first line is #! followed by the absolute path of


       The following commands are built into lvm without links normally
       being created in the filesystem for them.

       config        The same as lvmconfig(8) below.
       devtypes      Display the recognised built-in block device types.
       dumpconfig    The same as lvmconfig(8) below.
       formats       Display recognised metadata formats.
       fullreport    Report information about PVs, PV segments, VGs, LVs and
                     LV segments, all at once.
       help          Display the help text.
       lastlog       Display log report of last command run in LVM shell if
                     command log reporting is enabled.
       lvpoll        Complete lvmpolld operations (Internal command).
       pvdata        Not implemented in LVM2.
       segtypes      Display recognised Logical Volume segment types.
       systemid      Display any system ID currently set on this host.
       tags          Display any tags defined on this host.
       version       Display version information.

COMMANDS         top

       The following commands implement the core LVM functionality.

       pvchange      Change attributes of a Physical Volume.
       pvck          Check Physical Volume metadata.
       pvcreate      Initialize a disk or partition for use by LVM.
       pvdisplay     Display attributes of a Physical Volume.
       pvmove        Move Physical Extents.
       pvremove      Remove a Physical Volume.
       pvresize      Resize a disk or partition in use by LVM2.
       pvs           Report information about Physical Volumes.
       pvscan        Scan all disks for Physical Volumes.
       vgcfgbackup   Backup Volume Group descriptor area.
       vgcfgrestore  Restore Volume Group descriptor area.
       vgchange      Change attributes of a Volume Group.
       vgck          Check Volume Group metadata.
       vgconvert     Convert Volume Group metadata format.
       vgcreate      Create a Volume Group.
       vgdisplay     Display attributes of Volume Groups.
       vgexport      Make volume Groups unknown to the system.
       vgextend      Add Physical Volumes to a Volume Group.
       vgimport      Make exported Volume Groups known to the system.
       vgimportclone Import and rename duplicated Volume Group (e.g. a
                     hardware snapshot).
       vgmerge       Merge two Volume Groups.
       vgmknodes     Recreate Volume Group directory and Logical Volume
                     special files
       vgreduce      Reduce a Volume Group by removing one or more Physical
       vgremove      Remove a Volume Group.
       vgrename      Rename a Volume Group.
       vgs           Report information about Volume Groups.
       vgscan        Scan all disks for Volume Groups and rebuild caches.
       vgsplit       Split a Volume Group into two, moving any logical
                     volumes from one Volume Group to another by moving
                     entire Physical Volumes.
       lvchange      Change attributes of a Logical Volume.
       lvconvert     Convert a Logical Volume from linear to mirror or
       lvcreate      Create a Logical Volume in an existing Volume Group.
       lvdisplay     Display attributes of a Logical Volume.
       lvextend      Extend the size of a Logical Volume.
       lvmchange     Change attributes of the Logical Volume Manager.
       lvmconfig     Display the configuration information after loading
                     lvm.conf(5) and any other configuration files.
       lvmdiskscan   Scan for all devices visible to LVM2.
       lvmdump       Create lvm2 information dumps for diagnostic purposes.
       lvreduce      Reduce the size of a Logical Volume.
       lvremove      Remove a Logical Volume.
       lvrename      Rename a Logical Volume.
       lvresize      Resize a Logical Volume.
       lvs           Report information about Logical Volumes.
       lvscan        Scan (all disks) for Logical Volumes.

       The following commands are not implemented in LVM2 but might be in
       the future: lvmsadc, lvmsar, pvdata.

OPTIONS         top

       The following options are available for many of the commands.  They
       are implemented generically and documented here rather than repeated
       on individual manual pages.

       Additional hyphens within option names are ignored.  For example,
       --readonly and --read-only are both accepted.

              Display the help text.

              Display version information.

              Set verbose level. Repeat from 1 to 3 times to increase the
              detail of messages sent to stdout and stderr.  Overrides
              config file setting.

              Set debug level. Repeat from 1 to 6 times to increase the
              detail of messages sent to the log file and/or syslog (if
              configured).  Overrides config file setting.

              Suppress output and log messages.  Overrides -d and -v.
              Repeat once to also suppress any prompts with answer 'no'.

              Don't prompt for confirmation interactively but instead always
              assume the answer is 'yes'.  Take great care if you use this!

              Run in test mode. Commands will not update metadata.  This is
              implemented by disabling all metadata writing but nevertheless
              returning success to the calling function.  This may lead to
              unusual error messages in multi-stage operations if a tool
              relies on reading back metadata it believes has changed but

       --driverloaded {y|n}
              Whether or not the device-mapper kernel driver is loaded.  If
              you set this to n, no attempt will be made to contact the

       -A|--autobackup {y|n}
              Whether or not to metadata should be backed up automatically
              after a change.  You are strongly advised not to disable this!
              See vgcfgbackup(8).

              When set, the tools will do their best to provide access to
              Volume Groups that are only partially available (one or more
              Physical Volumes belonging to the Volume Group are missing
              from the system).  Where part of a logical volume is missing,
              /dev/ioerror will be substituted, and you could use dmsetup(8)
              to set this up to return I/O errors when accessed, or create
              it as a large block device of nulls.  Metadata may not be
              changed with this option. To insert a replacement Physical
              Volume of the same or large size use pvcreate -u to set the
              uuid to match the original followed by vgcfgrestore(8).

       -S|--select Selection
              For reporting commands, display only rows that match Selection
              criteria.  All rows are displayed with the additional
              "selected" column (-o selected) showing 1 if the row matches
              the Selection and 0 otherwise. For non-reporting commands
              which process LVM entities, the selection can be used to match
              items to process. See Selection section in lvmreport(7)  man
              page for more information about the way the selection criteria
              are constructed.

       -M|--metadatatype Type
              Specifies which type of on-disk metadata to use, such as lvm1
              or lvm2, which can be abbreviated to 1 or 2 respectively.  The
              default (lvm2) can be changed by setting format in the global
              section of the config file lvm.conf(5).

              This lets you proceed with read-only metadata operations such
              as lvchange -ay and vgchange -ay even if the locking module
              fails.  One use for this is in a system init script if the
              lock directory is mounted read-only when the script runs.

              Use to avoid exiting with an non-zero status code if the
              command is run without clustered locking and some clustered
              Volume Groups have to be skipped over.

              Run the command in a special read-only mode which will read
              on-disk metadata without needing to take any locks.  This can
              be used to peek inside metadata used by a virtual machine
              image while the virtual machine is running.  It can also be
              used to peek inside the metadata of clustered Volume Groups
              when clustered locking is not configured or running.  No
              attempt will be made to communicate with the device-mapper
              kernel driver, so this option is unable to report whether or
              not Logical Volumes are actually in use.

              Cause the command to access foreign VGs, that would otherwise
              be skipped.  It can be used to report or display a VG that is
              owned by another host.  This option can cause a command to
              perform poorly because lvmetad caching is not used and
              metadata is read from disks.

              Cause the command to access shared VGs, that would otherwise
              be skipped when lvmlockd is not being used.  It can be used to
              report or display a lockd VG without locking. Applicable only
              if LVM is compiled with lockd support.

       --addtag Tag
              Add the tag Tag to a PV, VG or LV.  Supply this argument
              multiple times to add more than one tag at once.  A tag is a
              word that can be used to group LVM2 objects of the same type
              together.  Tags can be given on the command line in place of
              PV, VG or LV arguments.  Tags should be prefixed with @ to
              avoid ambiguity.  Each tag is expanded by replacing it with
              all objects possessing that tag which are of the type expected
              by its position on the command line.  PVs can only possess
              tags while they are part of a Volume Group: PV tags are
              discarded if the PV is removed from the VG.  As an example,
              you could tag some LVs as database and others as userdata and
              then activate the database ones with lvchange -ay @database.
              Objects can possess multiple tags simultaneously.  Only the
              new LVM2 metadata format supports tagging: objects using the
              LVM1 metadata format cannot be tagged because the on-disk
              format does not support it.  Characters allowed in tags are:
              A-Z a-z 0-9 _ + . - and as of version 2.02.78 the following
              characters are also accepted: / = ! : # &.

       --deltag Tag
              Delete the tag Tag from a PV, VG or LV, if it's present.
              Supply this argument multiple times to remove more than one
              tag at once.

       --alloc {anywhere|contiguous|cling|inherit|normal}
              Selects the allocation policy when a command needs to allocate
              Physical Extents from the Volume Group.  Each Volume Group and
              Logical Volume has an allocation policy defined.  The default
              for a Volume Group is normal which applies common-sense rules
              such as not placing parallel stripes on the same Physical
              Volume.  The default for a Logical Volume is inherit which
              applies the same policy as for the Volume Group.  These
              policies can be changed using lvchange(8) and vgchange(8) or
              overridden on the command line of any command that performs
              allocation.  The contiguous policy requires that new Physical
              Extents be placed adjacent to existing Physical Extents.  The
              cling policy places new Physical Extents on the same Physical
              Volume as existing Physical Extents in the same stripe of the
              Logical Volume.  If there are sufficient free Physical Extents
              to satisfy an allocation request but normal doesn't use them,
              anywhere will - even if that reduces performance by placing
              two stripes on the same Physical Volume.

       --commandprofile ProfileName
              Selects the command configuration profile to use when
              processing an LVM command.  See also lvm.conf(5) for more
              information about command profile config and the way it fits
              with other LVM configuration methods. Using --commandprofile
              option overrides any command profile specified via
              LVM_COMMAND_PROFILE environment variable.

       --metadataprofile ProfileName
              Selects the metadata configuration profile to use when
              processing an LVM command.  When using metadata profile during
              Volume Group or Logical Volume creation, the metadata profile
              name is saved in metadata. When such Volume Group or Logical
              Volume is processed next time, the metadata profile is
              automatically applied and the use of --metadataprofile option
              is not necessary. See also lvm.conf(5) for more information
              about metadata profile config and the way it fits with other
              LVM configuration methods.

       --profile ProfileName
              A short form of --metadataprofile for vgcreate, lvcreate,
              vgchange and lvchange command and a short form of
              --commandprofile for any other command (with the exception of
              lvmconfig command where the --profile has special meaning, see
              lvmconfig(8) for more information).

       --reportformat {basic|json}
              Overrides current output format for reports which is defined
              globally by report/output_format configuration setting in
              lvm.conf(5).  The basic format is the original format with
              columns and rows and if there is more than one report per
              command, each report is prefixed with report's name for
              identification. The json stands for report output in JSON

       --config ConfigurationString
              Uses the ConfigurationString as direct string representation
              of the configuration to override the existing configuration.
              The ConfigurationString is of exactly the same format as used
              in any LVM configuration file. See lvm.conf(5) for more
              information about direct config override on command line and
              the way it fits with other LVM configuration methods.

VALID NAMES         top

       The valid characters for VG and LV names are: a-z A-Z 0-9 + _ . -

       VG names cannot begin with a hyphen.  The name of a new LV also
       cannot begin with a hyphen.  However, if the configuration setting
       metadata/record_lvs_history is enabled then an LV name with a hyphen
       as a prefix indicates that, although the LV was removed, it is still
       being tracked because it forms part of the history of at least one LV
       that is still present.  This helps to record the ancestry of thin
       snapshots even after some links in the chain have been removed.  A
       reference to the historical LV 'lvol1' in VG 'vg00' would be
       'vg00/-lvol1' or just '-lvol1' if the VG is already set.  (The latter
       form must be preceded by '--' to terminate command line option
       processing before reaching this argument.)

       There are also various reserved names that are used internally by lvm
       that can not be used as LV or VG names. A VG cannot be called
       anything that exists in /dev/ at the time of creation, nor can it be
       called '.' or '..'.  An LV cannot be called '.', '..', 'snapshot' or
       'pvmove'.  The LV name may also not contain any of the following
       strings: '_cdata', '_cmeta', '_corig', '_mlog', '_mimage',
       '_pmspare', '_rimage', '_rmeta', '_tdata', '_tmeta' or '_vorigin'.  A
       directory bearing the name of each Volume Group is created under /dev
       when any of its Logical Volumes are activated.  Each active Logical
       Volume is accessible from this directory as a symbolic link leading
       to a device node.  Links or nodes in /dev/mapper are intended only
       for internal use and the precise format and escaping might change
       between releases and distributions.  Other software and scripts
       should use the /dev/VolumeGroupName/LogicalVolumeName format to
       reduce the chance of needing amendment when the software is updated.
       Should you need to process the node names in /dev/mapper, you may use
       dmsetup splitname to separate out the original VG, LV and internal
       layer names.

UNIQUE NAMES         top

       VG names should be unique.  vgcreate will produce an error if the
       specified VG name matches an existing VG name.  However, there are
       cases where different VGs with the same name can appear to LVM, e.g.
       after moving disks or changing filters.

       When VGs with the same name exist, commands operating on all VGs will
       include all of the VGs with the same name.  If the ambiguous VG name
       is specified on the command line, the command will produce an error.
       The error states that multiple VGs exist with the specified name.  To
       process one of the VGs specifically, the --select option should be
       used with the UUID of the intended VG: '--select vg_uuid=<uuid>'.

       An exception is if all but one of the VGs with the shared name is
       foreign (see lvmsystemid(7).)  In this case, the one VG that is not
       foreign is assumed to be the intended VG and is processed.

       LV names are unique within a VG.  The name of an historical LV cannot
       be reused until the historical LV has itself been removed or renamed.

ALLOCATION         top

       When an operation needs to allocate Physical Extents for one or more
       Logical Volumes, the tools proceed as follows:

       First of all, they generate the complete set of unallocated Physical
       Extents in the Volume Group.  If any ranges of Physical Extents are
       supplied at the end of the command line, only unallocated Physical
       Extents within those ranges on the specified Physical Volumes are

       Then they try each allocation policy in turn, starting with the
       strictest policy (contiguous) and ending with the allocation policy
       specified using --alloc or set as the default for the particular
       Logical Volume or Volume Group concerned.  For each policy, working
       from the lowest-numbered Logical Extent of the empty Logical Volume
       space that needs to be filled, they allocate as much space as
       possible according to the restrictions imposed by the policy.  If
       more space is needed, they move on to the next policy.

       The restrictions are as follows:

       Contiguous requires that the physical location of any Logical Extent
       that is not the first Logical Extent of a Logical Volume is adjacent
       to the physical location of the Logical Extent immediately preceding

       Cling requires that the Physical Volume used for any Logical Extent
       to be added to an existing Logical Volume is already in use by at
       least one Logical Extent earlier in that Logical Volume.  If the
       configuration parameter allocation/cling_tag_list is defined, then
       two Physical Volumes are considered to match if any of the listed
       tags is present on both Physical Volumes.  This allows groups of
       Physical Volumes with similar properties (such as their physical
       location) to be tagged and treated as equivalent for allocation

       When a Logical Volume is striped or mirrored, the above restrictions
       are applied independently to each stripe or mirror image (leg) that
       needs space.

       Normal will not choose a Physical Extent that shares the same
       Physical Volume as a Logical Extent already allocated to a parallel
       Logical Volume (i.e. a different stripe or mirror image/leg) at the
       same offset within that parallel Logical Volume.

       When allocating a mirror log at the same time as Logical Volumes to
       hold the mirror data, Normal will first try to select different
       Physical Volumes for the log and the data.  If that's not possible
       and the allocation/mirror_logs_require_separate_pvs configuration
       parameter is set to 0, it will then allow the log to share Physical
       Volume(s) with part of the data.

       When allocating thin pool metadata, similar considerations to those
       of a mirror log in the last paragraph apply based on the value of the
       allocation/thin_pool_metadata_require_separate_pvs configuration

       If you rely upon any layout behaviour beyond that documented here, be
       aware that it might change in future versions of the code.

       For example, if you supply on the command line two empty Physical
       Volumes that have an identical number of free Physical Extents
       available for allocation, the current code considers using each of
       them in the order they are listed, but there is no guarantee that
       future releases will maintain that property.  If it is important to
       obtain a specific layout for a particular Logical Volume, then you
       should build it up through a sequence of lvcreate(8) and lvconvert(8)
       steps such that the restrictions described above applied to each step
       leave the tools no discretion over the layout.

       To view the way the allocation process currently works in any
       specific case, read the debug logging output, for example by adding
       -vvvv to a command.


       Some logical volume types are simple to create and can be done with a
       single lvcreate(8) command.  The linear and striped logical volume
       types are an example of this.  Other logical volume types may require
       more than one command to create.  The cache (lvmcache(7)) and thin
       provisioning (lvmthin(7)) types are examples of this.

DIAGNOSTICS         top

       All tools return a status code of zero on success or non-zero on
       failure.  The non-zero codes distinguish only between the broad
       categories of unrecognised commands, problems processing the command
       line arguments and any other failures.  As LVM remains under active
       development, the code used in a specific case occasionally changes
       between releases.  Message text may also change.


       HOME   Directory containing .lvm_history if the internal readline
              shell is invoked.

              File descriptor to use for common output from LVM commands.

              File descriptor to use for error output from LVM commands.

              File descriptor to use for report output from LVM commands.

              Name of default command profile to use for LVM commands. This
              profile is overriden by direct use of --commandprofile command
              line option.

              Directory containing lvm.conf(5) and other LVM system files.
              Defaults to "/etc/lvm".

              Suppress warnings about unexpected file descriptors passed
              into LVM.

              The Volume Group name that is assumed for any reference to a
              Logical Volume that doesn't specify a path.  Not set by

              Path to the file that stores the lvmetad process ID.

              Path to the socket used to communicate with lvmetad.

              Path to the file that stores the lvmpolld process ID.

              Path to the socket used to communicate with lvmpolld..

              A string of up to 32 letters appended to the log filename and
              followed by the process ID and a startup timestamp using this
              format string "_%s_%d_%llu".  When set, each process logs to a
              separate file.

              If more than this number of lines are sent to the log file,
              the command gets aborted.  Automated tests use this to
              terminate looping commands.

              The status anticipated when the process exits.  Use ">N" to
              match any status greater than N.  If the actual exit status
              matches and a log file got produced, it is deleted.
              LVM_LOG_FILE_EPOCH and LVM_EXPECTED_EXIT_STATUS together allow
              automated test scripts to discard uninteresting log data.

              Used to suppress warning messages when the configured locking
              is known to be unavailable.

              Abort processing if the code detects a non-fatal internal

              Avoid interaction with udev.  LVM will manage the relevant
              nodes in /dev directly.

FILES         top


SEE ALSO         top

       lvm.conf(5), lvmcache(7), lvmreport(7), lvmthin(7), clvmd(8),
       dmsetup(8), lvchange(8), lvcreate(8), lvdisplay(8), lvextend(8),
       lvmchange(8), lvmconfig(8), lvmdiskscan(8), lvreduce(8), lvremove(8),
       lvrename(8), lvresize(8), lvs(8), lvscan(8), pvchange(8), pvck(8),
       pvcreate(8), pvdisplay(8), pvmove(8), pvremove(8), pvs(8), pvscan(8),
       vgcfgbackup(8), vgchange(8), vgck(8), vgconvert(8), vgcreate(8),
       vgdisplay(8), vgextend(8), vgimport(8), vgimportclone(8), vgmerge(8),
       vgmknodes(8), vgreduce(8), vgremove(8), vgrename(8), vgs(8),
       vgscan(8), vgsplit(8), readline(3)

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the lvm2 (Logical Volume Manager 2) project.
       Information about the project can be found at 
       ⟨⟩.  If you have a bug report for this
       manual page, send it to  This page was obtained
       from the project's upstream Git repository 
       ⟨⟩ on 2017-03-13.  If you
       discover any rendering problems in this HTML version of the page, or
       you believe there is a better or more up-to-date source for the page,
       or you have corrections or improvements to the information in this
       COLOPHON (which is not part of the original manual page), send a mail

Sistina Software UKLVM TOOLS 2.02.169(2)-git (2016-11-30)             LVM(8)