I started using LVM on my server. Today I created the VG and assigned a drive to it. But after looking around I saw, that nearly every tutorial speaks about assigning partitions to the VG.

What I did:

vgcreate test /dev/sdd
lvcreate -n mydrive -l 100%FREE test
vgextend test /dev/sde
lvextend -l +100%FREE /dev/mapper/test/mydrive

This works fine for now. I can mount, passthrough, write and read my LV.

Are there differences between "using disks instead partitions" and/or are there problems to expect, if I do it this way?


This is how I manage my storage, and I haven’t run into any problems.

There are some differences:

  • some system firmware will only boot from a disk with MBR or GPT partitions, so you won’t be able to use such a disk as a boot device in all cases (in particular, UEFI doesn’t use a boot sector any more);
  • if you ever need to copy the physical volume to another disk, you may run into issues caused by variations in the exact number of sectors in disks, but since you’re using LVM in the first place that shouldn’t be a real problem (you’d copy LVs, not PVs);
  • since you don’t have partitions, you won’t have /dev/sddN devices, which is an advantage given that copy-pasting typical commands which do expect partitions won’t result in catastrophe.
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  • Thanks a lot for your detailed explanation. Can you give me also informations about "replacing a drive of VG"? Is this still possible? – Johannes C. Schulz Jun 29 at 10:25
  • A straight pvmove between two disks will only work if the target disk is at least as large as the source disk, which should be fine most of the time but can cause issues if you’re moving to a disk which has the same size in theory but is a few sectors smaller. But that can be handled by adding the new disk to your VG and using pvmove to move LVs instead, assuming the LVs fit on the new disk. – Stephen Kitt Jun 29 at 10:29

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