Saturday, 25 March 2017

LVM: Converting root partition from linear to raid1 leads to boot failure... and how to recover

I have a system which has 3 distinct HDDs used as physucal volumes for Linux LVM. One logical volume is the root partition and it was initally created as a linear LV (vg0/OS).
Since I have PV redundancy, I thought it might be a good idea to convert the root LV from liear to raid1 with 2 mirrors.

WARNING: It seems LVM raid1 logicalvolume for / is not supported with grub2, at least not with Ubuntu's 2.02~beta2-9ubuntu1.6 (14.04LTS) or Debian Jessie's grub-pc 2.02~beta2-22+deb8u1!

So I did this:
lvconvert -m2 --type raid1 vg0/OS

Then I restarted to find myself at the 'grub rescue>' prompt.

The initial problem was seen on an Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (aka trusty) system, but I reproduced it on a VM with Debian Jessie.

I downloaded the Super Grub2 Disk and tried to boot the VM. After choosing the option to load the LVM and RAID support, I was able to boot my previous system.

I tried several times to reinstall GRUB, thinking that was the issue, but I always got this  kind of error:

/usr/sbin/grub-probe: error: disk `lvmid/QtJiw0-wsDf-A2zh-2v2y-7JVA-NhPQ-TfjQlN/phCDlj-1XAM-VZnl-RzRy-g3kf-eeUB-dBcgmb' not found.

In the end, after digging for more than 4 hours for answers,  I decided I might be able to revert the config to linear configuration, from the (initramfs) prompt.

Initally the LV was inactive, so I activated it:

lvchange -a y /dev/vg0/OS

Then restored the LV to linear:

lvconvert -m0 vg0/OS

Then tried to reboot without reinstalling GRUB, just for kicks, which succeded.

In order to confirm this was the issue, I redid the whole thing, and indeed, with a raid1 root, I always got the error lvmid error.

I'll have to check on Monday at work if I can revert it the same way the Ubuntu 14.04 system, but I suspect I will have no issues.

Is it true root on lvm-raid1 is nto supported?


Marius Gedminas said...

I moved my root partition to an LVM RAID1 volume on Ubuntu 14.04, but I had to move /boot onto a separate (non-LVM, just a plain mdadm raid1 /dev/mdX) partition before I could successfully run GRUB2's grub-install without errors.

eddyp said...

@Marius: Thanks for the feedback. I wonder if things changed in Ubuntu 16.04 or Debian Sid.