Red Hat Bugzilla – Bug 140992
Installer doesn't check for lvm signature on drive without partition table
Last modified: 2008-06-16 21:09:53 EDT
Description of problem:
Maybe it's wrong to call this a bug, but it may cause data loss if
someone doesn't know what he's doing.
When using a lvm setup with multiple drives that are only being used
with lvm, you don't need to set up partitions on that drives. This
works fine with lvm, but when anaconda starts diskdruid while
installing/upgrading a fedora core installation, diskdruid offers to
write a partition table to that disks. I did not test what happens to
that disks if someone actually writes a partition table to a lvm used
disk, but it may cause data corruption or even loss of data.
Steps to Reproduce:
1. set up lvm without using partition tables on a harddrive.
2. install/upgrade fc on a system that contains one or more lvm used
Actual Results: The installer offered to initialize the lvm hds ad
write a partition table on it without recognizing the lvm data on the
Expected Results: Anaconda/Diskdruid should probably check for lvm
signatures on drives that seem to have no partition table and skip the
partition table init on such drives.
As there's a warning when "initializing" a disk without a partition
table on it, most people should be warned anyway. I also assume that
lvm users know about their hd setup, so it may be not a big problem at
We don't really support LVM on the bare disk without a partition table
for reasons like this.
Adding to a list to look into for FC4
*** Bug 154564 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
FC4 still has this behavior. Furthermore, as my /home is really on 2 LVM-only
(no partition table) drives, anaconda refuses upgrade from FC3 to FC4, as it
says it can't mount /home. My only choice was "OK" to reboot at that point, I
couldn't get to a shell to fix it manually.
It did find and start my / file system which is on a partition+LVM (default FC3
Fedora Core 3 is now maintained by the Fedora Legacy project for security
updates only. If this problem is a security issue, please reopen and
reassign to the Fedora Legacy product. If it is not a security issue and
hasn't been resolved in the current FC5 updates or in the FC6 test
release, reopen and change the version to match.
Created attachment 134665 [details]
Gzipped anaconda dump file (anacdump.txt.gz)
Ok, I don't understand Jeremy's comment #1, since making a drive a physical LVM
volume is perfectly legitimate and works great until you try to load or upgrade
FC (and maybe RHEL, too: didn't try that).
Using the FC5 DVD, I can neither upgrade nor install without destroying the PV
on /dev/hdg (on an IDE expansion card). The upgrade or install fails even if I
don't want to do anything at all to that drive. (That is, I can't upgrade the
root partition on /dev/hda.)
After clicking "Upgrading an existing installation" or "Install Fedora Core", I
get "Warning: The partition table of device hdg was unreadable. To create new
partitions it must be initialized, causing the loss of ALL DATA on this
drive....Would you like to initialize this drive, erasing ALL DATA?"
If I say No, anaconda crashes. (I'm not going to say Yes, I can't afford to
wipe that disk.)
"An unhandled exceptions has occurred. This is most likely a bug..." (No
The attachment is what I get on a floppy when I dump the anaconda state.
I worked around this by unplugging the drive cable and upgrading root on
/dev/hda. If I'd needed to upgrade on /dev/hdg I'd have been completely out of
This is still a problem in F7. Anaconda doesn't crash when you choose to not
wipe out your physical volumes but you can't continue with the installation if
you say "No".
I have my /home spread across 3 drives. Two of which have no partitions. I was
assuming that I'd be able to leave /home alone and install just the OS from scratch.
My gut tells me that the drives won't be touched unless I try to lay partitions
on them but the volume that they belong to is 1.1T and I only have space to
backup the critical files so I'm not going to risk it right now. I have another
400G drive coming in about a week. I may backup the rest of /home to the new
drive and try again later.
It would be nice if the installer would recognize these drives correctly or, if
the installer isn't really going to wipe them out, maybe that warning message
could be changed to explain what it's really going to do?
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