I'm looking for a tool that will scan my GUI-less server and create an easy to digest rough overview of all the block devices and their relationship (disk partitions, mdadm devices, LVM PVs & LVs etc) in some rich visual format (html, pdf, svg, png...).

Here's a simple example visualization:

    +--------+---------------------+ +-------------------+
    | sda1   |                     | |       sdc1        |
    +--------+---------------------+ +-------------------+
        +               +                      +
    +--------+---------------------+ +-------------------+
    | sdb1   |                     | |       sdd1        |
    +--------+---------------------+ +-------------------+
        |               |                      |
        v               v                      v
    +---+---+ +---------+----------+ +--------+----------+
    |  md0  | |        md1         | |       md2         |
    +-------+ +---------+----------+ +--------+----------+
    | /boot |                    \     /
      ext4                        \   /
                                   \ /
              |                vgmain                    |
              |/root |  /home          |   /var          |
                ext4    btrfs              ext4

I don't need detail (I can get that from the CLI tools like lsbls, fdisk, mdadm, pvdisplay, lvdisplay, df)

  • 3
    lsblk does a tree like view, what else do you need? – frostschutz Nov 24 '16 at 15:28
  • Compare the output of lsblk with the example visualization above. In lsblk an md device will appear multiple times (one for every partition that's part of the md device). Also in lsblk there is no indication of the size of each block device. Neither any indication of free space (e.g. un-partitioned space) – ndemou Nov 24 '16 at 15:38
  • gparted has a graphical representation but I'm not sure if it's what you're after. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Nov 24 '16 at 23:30
  • I like the visualization of gParted but it can't "scan my GUI-less server" and (though I haven't tested it) I doubt it's visualization will cope well with the full set of "disk partitions, mdadm devices, LVM PVs & LVs etc". – ndemou Nov 25 '16 at 6:05
  • 1
    parted -l gives much of the same information as gparted, in case that's a better starting point. – SauceCode Dec 5 '16 at 17:05

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that no such tool currently exists.

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  • 1
    I'm afraid you're right but I don't feel such an answer deserves a bounty. It sourly doesn't help me or anybody else with the same question at all. What's your opinion? – ndemou Dec 8 '16 at 17:48
  • Ooops! Too late to fix the spelling (sourly -> surely). Sorry for the bad taste ;-) – ndemou Dec 8 '16 at 18:25
  • I think stackoverflow is about questions and answers, not about helping people. The bounty / internet points is not important to me. I think the answer is correct, though. – Alexander Dec 9 '16 at 14:40
  • I hope this site is not about questions and answers but also about a community of people helping each other. Otherwise the only 100% correct answer to my question would be "Such a tool either exists or doesn't exist" and no-one wants to see such answers. – ndemou Dec 9 '16 at 19:15
  • There is already a system in place for this. If people wants to see an answer, it is voted up. – Alexander Dec 12 '16 at 23:01

You have - kind of* - two options in Linux:

system-config-lvm: Ideal for visualization, but it is buggy (abandonware?) and not available in some Linux distributions and/or releases; it seems to fail with some obscure gnome/unity settings that cause errors with pixels, rendering or something like that. But you can always use it from an Ubuntu Live CD (16.04 works fine for that).

KVPM: It doesn't have the same visualization level as system-config-lvm, but it shows the information in a mix of visual and table/report formats. It is more stable and have more features and it's made a la KDE (i.e., no oversimplified interface but instead a GUI with what you need at the power level you need). It also can manage normal partitions.

* For that to work on a GUI-less server, you can install x applications but run them remotely and open them in Windows using something like PuTTY + an X server or MobaXterm.

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