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If you are working with computers at the level of system administrator or “advanced” user, you have surely seen the situation where some disk partition (usually the most important one) was short on space, while some other partition was grossly underused and you had to manage this situation by moving stuff around, symlinking, etc.

To avoid the described situation you can use Logical Volume Manager (LVM). Simply said, with LVM you can combine your partitions (physical volumes in LVM lingo) to form a virtual disk (so called volume group), which can then be divided into virtual partitions (logical volumes). The point is that logical volumes (and of course underlying volume groups) can span across several physical disks.

Now when you realize you need more space for your old 160GB /home partition, you can simply add a new 300GB disk to the computer, join it with your existing volume group and then resize the logical volume which holds your /home filesystem and voila — your users have some room again on their renewed 460GB partition. This example is of course a bit oversimplified. If you haven’t read it yet, you should consult the LVM HOWTO (http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/LVM-HOWTO.html).

LVM setup in debian-installer is quite simple and completely supported inside partman. First, you have to mark the partition(s) to be used as physical volumes for LVM. This is done in the Partition settings menu where you should select Use as:−→physical volume for LVM.

When you return to the main partman screen, you will see a new option Configure the Logical Volume Manager. When you select that, you will first be asked to confirm pending changes to the partition table (if any) and after that the LVM configuration menu will be shown. Above the menu a summary of the LVM configuration is shown. The menu itself is context sensitive and only shows valid actions. The possible actions are:

Display configuration details: shows LVM device structure, names and sizes of logical volumes and more

Create volume group

Create logical volume

Delete volume group

Delete logical volume

Extend volume group

Reduce volume group

Finish: return to the main partman screen

Use the options in that menu to first create a volume group and then create your logical volumes inside it.

After you return to the main partman screen, any created logical volumes will be displayed in the same way as ordinary partitions (and you should treat them as such). Configuring Encrypted Volumes

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