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23Nov/110

Linux: How to shrink a Logical Volume with LVM

LVM is a logical volume manager for the Linux kernel. It manages disk drives and similar mass-storage devices, in particular large ones. The term "volume" refers to a disk drive or partition thereof. LVM was originally written in 1998 by Heinz Mauelshagen, who based its design on that of the LVM in HP-UX.

The LVM can:
- Resize volume groups online by absorbing new physical volumes (PV) or ejecting existing ones.
- Resize logical volumes (LV) online by concatenating extents onto them or truncating extents from them.
- Create read-only snapshots of logical volumes (LVM1).
- Create read-write snapshots of logical volumes (LVM2).
- Stripe whole or parts of logical volumes across multiple PVs, in a fashion similar to RAID 0.
- Mirror whole or parts of logical volumes, in a fashion similar to RAID 1.
- Move online logical volumes between PVs.
- Split or merge volume groups in situ (as long as no logical volumes span the split). This can be useful when migrating whole logical volumes to or from offline storage.

In this article I'll show you how to shrink a LVM Volume Safely.

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