Posts Tagged ‘volume group’

Recovering Logical Volumes deleted with lvremove

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

Need to recover an LVM Logical Volume that you deleted by mistake? No problem, luckily LVM archives all of the old Logical Volume and Volume Group metadata in /etc/lvm/archive/ whenever you use something like lvremove to make adjustments to the Logical Volumes.

Before you start, remember that any kind of operation like this is potentially dangerous and so backup anything of importance on the intact Logical Volumes. Also, as a safety net, backup the contents of /etc/lvm just in case and then run “vgcfgbackup” to put an up to date copy of the metadata in /etc/lvm/backup.

Now look for the appropriate file in /etc/lvm/archive. Each LVM operation will create a file in here with the name of the affected Volume Group and an incrementing number. By default on RHEL/CentOS this will be “VolGroup00”, so you will be looking for /etc/lvm/archive/ where xxx is the appropriate increment.

If you open up your chosen file in your favourite text editor you should see a line that starts “description” and has something like “Created *before* executing ‘lvremove -f /dev/VolGroup00/xxx'” on it. You can use this to verify that you have the right file.

The next thing that you need to do is verify that this file has valid metadata and thus will be useable. To do this, you can use the vgcfgrestore command in a test mode that will perform a dry run. Assuming you are trying to restore Volume Group VolGroup00 from, this would look like:

vgcfgrestore VolGroup00 –test -f /etc/lvm/archive/

Which will return something along the lines of:

Test mode: Metadata will NOT be updated.
Restored volume group VolGroup00

Assuming this all went well, you can now re-run the same command but without the “–test” option:

# vgcfgrestore VolGroup00 –test -f /etc/lvm/archive/
Restored volume group VolGroup00

Now run an “lvscan” and you should see your missing Logical Volume(s) have returned, but are inactive. Re-activate them with “lvchange” and you are back in business, just be more careful next time 😉

lvchange -a y /dev/VolGroup00/xxx

Restoring the contents of /dev

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

Have you ever deleted everything out of /dev by accident (or even on purpose)? Although it may seem that all is lost or that you have a lot of work ahead of you, it’s actually quite easy to restore on a modern Linux system such as CentOS 5 (or the RHEL equivalent).

The first thing you need to know is that CentOS and Red Hat use udevd, which means that the entries in /dev are dynamically created by the udev daemon and restarting this daemon will force it to re-create everything in /dev, just as it would when you start your computer up. This daemon isn’t controller in the normal way through the /etc/init.d scripts though, all you need to run is:


This will kill any copies of udev running and then start it back up, re-creating the /dev entries in the process. This seems to be quite safe to do on a production system, but it might be wise to only do this if you really have to, as if you haven’t damaged the contents of /dev, then some of your applications may not take kindly to the contents disappearing.

This will have re-created most of your device nodes in /dev, but there are still a couple of important ones missing, namely those used by device-mapper and LVM. You can get these back with the following two commands:

dmsetup mknodes

The first of which will re-create entries under /dev/mapper and the second of which will re-create LVM volume group entries under /dev/ such as /dev/VolGroup00/ by default on CentOS or Red Hat.

Helpfully this will save someone a real headache or even rebuilding/restoring from backup unnecessarily. Just be more careful with rm next time! 😉