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? Nov 24, 2016 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, 2016 at 15:38
  • gparted has a graphical representation but I'm not sure if it's what you're after. Nov 24, 2016 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, 2016 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, 2016 at 17:05

1 Answer 1


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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