How to do the following with Linux tools : LVM partition alignment and alignment of partition on LVM ?

What in case where I want to setup LVM partition (for "pv") and then partitions ?

To be more specifig, I'd like to make following setup:

  • sda1 - boot , about 256MB
  • sda2 - LVM pv On LVM : swap, root, home etc.

How to setup LVM parition and paritions on LVM to obtain best performance? (Command line linux tools please ;) )

Am I right, that when LVM extents are aligned, created partitions are as well ?

What's the best size of block? : Thanks to @maxschlepzig, we have elegant method of obtaining sector size - for example 4k. Now, questions stays, how to apply this knowledge.

  • Hi, Grzegorzu :) You should have a look at answers to this question. Aug 11, 2011 at 10:20
  • Yes, I've looked at LVM manuals and tutorials, but answers I've managed to found where to me too vague. Could you find there precise answer and could reference precisely to any of those resources ? Aug 11, 2011 at 10:31
  • Unfortunately, I myself know very little about LVM, so I can't judge any of the tutorials. Aug 11, 2011 at 10:35

1 Answer 1


On a recent Linux distribution, the kernel should provide the physical sector size of the device and the partition/lvm/mkfs tools should automatically chose the alignment such that it is compatible with the physical sector size (for best performance).

For example on a Debian system of mine:

# cat /sys/block/sdb/queue/physical_block_size
# cat  /sys/block/sdb/queue/logical_block_size

Update: To check for kernel support, you can check if /sys contains the mentioned files, you can call fdisk -l to check if it prints this information (it should), you can check the specification of your hard disk (available by your vendor), you can check the changelog and/or source of LVM tools. Most mkfs commands provide a verbose option to see what block size is used. Last but not least you can just do a simple benchmark - e.g. one without any LVM (e.g. whole disk as device) and repeat it when your LVM setup is in place.

  • 1
    That's great tip. Thanks. Now question stays : how to apply this knowledge while creating LVM partition and partitions on LVM :). . Best, Greg Aug 11, 2011 at 9:04
  • @Grzegorz Wierzowiecki as he said, ( recent versions of ) the tools apply it automatically.
    – psusi
    Aug 11, 2011 at 13:47
  • @psusi Can I be sure about it ? Is it the case of tools: 'fdisk' , 'cfdisk', 'pvcreate', 'lvcreate' ? Should I just start partitioning and with them, creating lvms and everything will be aligned ? - please, ensure me. References to tools documentation are welcome. Aug 11, 2011 at 14:19
  • @Grzegorz Wierzowiecki, updated the answer with some comments about checking. Aug 11, 2011 at 14:31
  • I have Seagate ST2000DL003 while is described as 4k disk, while $ cat /sys/block/sdg/queue/physical_block_size gives 512 - I am afraid it's due to "AF" technology. So I'd like to ensure 4k aligning. Aug 11, 2011 at 16:07

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .