LVM commands

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LVM is a Logical Volume Manager for AIX. There are a few very useful commands which can help you find a way around AIX's LVM.

If you are going to use smitty (or smit) to manage your system, then you do not need to view the sections below. smitty is self explanatory and does the same commands you see below, when you submit an action

Here's a list of some which will be covered below with a small example for each one:

Adding a PVID (chdev)

You can put/assign a PVID to a disk by using the command chdev:

chdev -l <hdisk name> -a pv=yes

For example:

chdev -l hdisk0 -a pv=yes

PVID is added automatically to a hdisk when it is added to a VG but there are cases where you would want to add a PVID on your own. For example, if you have an HACMP cluster then adding a disk to a concurrent VG can produce unexpected results unless the disks already have the VG set manually. What would happen is that one node of a cluster would have one PVID and another node a different one, which can cause a cluster VG to go down. In this case the best way to proceed is to manually add a PVID, making sure by comparing that the disks have the same PVID assigned to them (which will happen as soon as you add a PVID on a second node, because it will read it off of the hdisk - if it exists, and will not generate a new one).

Remove a PVID from a disk

chdev -l hdisk1 -a pv=clear

List all PVs in a system with VG membership


Create a VG called datavg using hdisk1 by using 64 Meg PPs

mkvg -y datavg -s 64 hdisk1

Create a LV on datavg that is 1 Gig in size

mklv -t jfs2 -y datalv datavg 16

List all LVs on the datavg VG

lsvg -l datavg

List all PVs in the datavg VG

lsvg -p datavg

Take the datavg VG offline

varyoffvg datavg

Remove the datavg VG from the ODM

exportvg datavg

Import the VG which hdisk5 was member of

The following command will import the VG and name it datavg, alongside it, by reading the VGDA, it will bring all the disks previously belonging to the same VG inside the newly imported VG.

importvg -y datavg hdisk5 (-y option specifies the name of the VG you want to put the disk(s) to, in this case it will be datavg)

Vary-on the new datavg VG

varyonvg datavg

(can use importvg -n to bring it immediately online)

List all VGs (known to the ODM)


List all VGs that are on line

lsvg -o

Check to see if underlying disk in datavg has grown in size

chvg -g datavg
- The user might be required to execute varyoffvg and then varyonvg on the volume group for LVM to see the size change on the disks.
- There is no support for re-sizing while the volume group is activated in classic or enhanced concurrent mode.
- There is no support for re-sizing for the rootvg.

Move a LV from one PV to another

migratepv -l datalv01 hdisk4 hdisk5

Delete a VG by removing all PVs with the reducevg command.

reducevg hdisk3 (-d removes any LVs that may be on that PV)

Create a mirror inside a whole VG

When you have a VG to which you add new disks, you can make AIX create a mirror of the currently running disks to the new ones. There are a few ways to do this. If you would like to make an exact physical partition copy (create copies of LVs in exact physical partition order) you can use the command:

mirrorvg -c 2 -m <list of disks>

Be aware that in this case the newly added disks have to be the same size as the already existing VG disks, they need to have enough free space to perform a mirror and no other LV in the VG being mirrored can have a mirror already. If one of the previous statements is true - the command will fail. You can do a mirrorvg without the -m option, in which case it doesn't matter which are the disk sizes, since the AIX will distribute the PP mirroring across all the disks in the VG "randomly".