RHEL 7.0 GUI installer - howto create custom disk partitions, PVs, VGs and LVs creation ?

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Hi,
i'm looking at the installation screen (GUI) of the RHEL 7.0 install and i'm dumbstruck how to create custom layout for the server installation.
How do i create there partiotions, tag them as PV (physical volumes), assign PV to VG (volume groups), custom name them and finally create LVs (logical volumes) with FS (filesystems).

I can't find any customization options like that in need (as said above) in the GUI installer, even after choosing "custom partitions creations" option.

This is really stupid GUI. The Gui installer gets more stupid with every higher release number!

Now, please someone tell me, that it's me who is dumbtool and that i'm missing big red button somewhere in the install process, that will enable me to do all the real sysadmin job like i said in the title.

Thank you

Responses

Ok,
so as i really did not find a way howto do the custom partition layout in the GUI installer, i had to find workaround:

As it was KVM machine -> Send key: ctrl+alt+f2 (switch to console) and configure custom layout at your wisht (fdisk, pvcreate, vgcreate, lvcreate ..)

Reboot installer, let it rescan disk - it will find 'unknown' disk setup and continue form there.

IMHO, this is big letdown. Is this really 'enterprise' level unix installer? Reminds me of windows workstation installation.
Whoever designed it did a poor job, sorry to say so.

Hi Karel,

I was able to configure LVM (PVs, VGs, and LVs) fine using the RHEL 7.0 GUI installer.

There may not be as many options as the command-line, but still.

I took screenshots.
http://imgur.com/a/1VVff

Let me know if the screenshots help.
-Mike

Hi Mike,
Thanks a lot for your efforsts, really appreciate that! I'll have to give it try, i overlooked the button for altering the VG name.
Even though, it still looks doubtfull and confusing, if you need to create more VGs.

E.g. the RHEL 6 installer at least followed logical steps needed for FS creation: partition, PV-tagging, VG creation, LV creation inside VG and finally FS choice.

In RHEL7.0 it directly jump 'over' and ask you for the mountpoint. This is very confusing and going against my sense of logic.

Well, this is just me, maybe for someone else, it's for better, but IMHO, generally it is for worse.
Is RH trying to attract Desktop users with easy install? Please comon!

Anyway, Mike, thanks again, for very helpful post.

Hi Karel,

I'm working on a second video that will go into more detail with disks in Anaconda.

I cannot see any way to define LVM Object tags in Anaconda and I may be missing something fundamental, but I cannot see how to add those in the RHEL 6 Anaconda GUI either.

I've uploaded a screencast that shows me running through the steps to create a second VG for /home using multiple disks and adding FS Labels.

I'm awaiting feedback from other teams, but if we were able to specify LVM Object tags in RHEL 6, I will file a regression, if not, an RFE.

There is no voiceover on the video, as it was a first run. I'll let you know when it is published (I'm looking to expand the disks in use with some iscsi as well)

best regards,
Mark

No problem.

I think the concept is "let the user define the partitions he needs, then configure LVM automatically to meet his partitioning needs." Someone from the Anaconda team would have to confirm this though.

Mike,

While I am not part of the Anaconda design team, I believe this to be correct.

Mark

Thanks guys for help and explanation!
i understand that the RH is trying to simplify things, but this is too much.
At business (or enterprise level) we can not let the installer do anything like 'automatic' LVM configuration that meet the user partition needs.
Sysadmin needs to have totall controll over the process.

The more i play with this 'custom' partitioning GUI the more i'm depressed.

Why?
- it is not intuitive
- it is not simplicized compared to rhel6 installer partitioning, but on the contrary
- it does not allow me to creat more that 1 VG (at least i did not find a way how to do it) and this is big letdown

In the end my big question remains: how to create more than just one VG and assign properly LVs to (as i see fit) to let say 3 VGs ?

Hi Karel,

did you watch the screencast I posted at http://people.redhat.com/~mflitter/r7install/? I create more than one VG in that.

Mark

Mark, thanks!
very nice video explaining everything in regards to installer partitioning.
Hope the video gets promoted to official RH help install tutorials, i'm sure others would find it as helpful as i did.
cheers!

Anyway,
after i got all partitioning done through GUI installer, i just wander why the installer is following this "Top to Bottom' logic, aka create mountpoint with FS first and then try to adjust Volume Group(s) to it as second step.

While in reality, it is the contrary (HDD->partition->PV->VG->LV-FS)

Still not making sense to me, but anyway. RH7 looks as a great product again (like predecessors) and i'm not gonna get distracted by this inconvenience.
I also understand some other ppl might like it (but i don't).

Thanks all for helping :]

Hello Karel,

have you checked the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Installation Guide? It might help you with the new partitioning interface. Note that the linked section details partitioning on AMD64/Intel 64 (x86_64) systems - but it's pretty much the same on all architectures.

I'm not sure what exactly your preferred options are, but the general workflow is as follows:

  1. Select a storage device in the Installation Destination screen.
  2. Select the "I will configure partitioning" checkbox.
  3. Select Done in the top left corner. This will take you to the Manual Partitioning screen.
  4. Your selected disk's current layout (if the drive is not empty) is displayed in the column on the left side of the screen. If you want to make space available, select an existing partition or mount point, and click the "-" button (bottom left) to remove it.
  5. To add a new mount point, make sure there is at least some free space available on the disk. Then, click the "+" button (bottom left).
    1. Specify which mount point you want to create, and the desired size. (See 6.10.4.5. Recommended Partitioning Scheme in the Installation Guide for guidelines.).
    2. The mount point is created with the mount point and size you specified, and appears in the list of partitions on the left hand side. To configure additional options, select it in this list. A set of controls will be displayed, allowing you to change the partition's mount point, size, name, label, capacity, encryption options, volume group, etc. Select the options you want to use.
  6. Repeat the above step for every mount point you want to create.

Also: If you want to understand how the partitioning behaves in the new installer, it might help you if you let it create a layout automatically first. Follow steps 1-3 in the above procedure, and when you get to the Manual Partitioning screen, click the "Click here to create them automatically" link in the left hand column displaying the current disk layout.

You might need to clear some space on the device first to do this. It is fine to delete all existing partitions on the drive - the installer will not write any changes to the disk until you are done. After you familiarize yourself with how the system works, you can revert all changes you made using the "Rescan disks" button (bottom left, the one with the arrow on it).

Hi Petre,
thanks for pointing out the installation guide. I thought that after 17yrs working with linux and being rhce since rhel4, i wont need need the INstallation guide, in order to be able to work out partition scheme during install of the rhel7.

Nevertheless, after you suggested it in your post, i read it and now i'm able to do:
- create customized LVs (custom names, size etc)
- create FS upon those LVs (ext4, xfs etc)
- i can customize the 1 'preexisting' VG - meaning change it's name from 'rhel' VG to my own deviced name, can resize it, so it does not take whole disk etc

what i'm not able to do:
- create 2nd, 3rd..etc VG and assign to it appropriate LVs

The install guide does not mention how to do this, or i can't find it in there.
Is there a way?

Truly said, atm., much faster for me is just to switch to command line and create everything i need there.
I have to say again, that sadly, the RHEL 6 installer let me do better job in partitioning customization.

Hi,

I'm glad the link to the Installation Guide helped.

To create multiple volume groups:

  1. Create the mount points you will need. Newly created mount points are created as logical volumes as default, and a single volume group named "rhel" is also created, containing all volumes. This is what you've done so far.
  2. In the left hand menu displaying your disk's layout, select one of the mount points that you want to move to a different volume group.
  3. In the options that are displayed, open the Volume Group drop-down menu. This menu contains an entry titled Create a new volume group. Clicking it will cause the Configure volume group dialog to appear - it's the same dialog you get if you click the Modify button next to the drop-down menu, but this time you're configuring a new VG, not the existing one.
  4. Set your preferred settings for the new VG (name, size policy, RAID level...) and click Save when you're done. You will find yourself back at the Manual Partitioning screen, with the mount point assigned to the new VG, as you can see in the Volume Group drop-down.
  5. Go through all other volumes you want to assign to this new volume group, and use the Volume Group drop-down menu to change their VG to the new one.

You can repeat the same process for each additional volume group you want to create.

I don't think this is mentioned in the Installation Guide, but it really should be - it seems like an oversight. We'll fix it soon.

Thanks a lot, really appreciate helping out.

Finally got it. That drop down menu for VG finally did the trick for me.

I'm a noob when it comes to Linux things and that is why I feel safe buying subscription to RHEL rather than using Fedora or Windows for example.. I tend to learn only what I must to get my C-Programming hobby projects done so my perspective is in-line with click-n-go.
I am installing RHEL7 here and I have found that using an already partitioned drive to add a second drive to the install process of RHEL7 makes it easy to add that second drive with mount points.

I have a new SSD drive I bought to host boot, swap , / and am reusing a 1.5TB drive I partitioned before I started this RHEL7 install.
I wanted to have boot, / and swap on the SSD and to have /home on one partition on the 1.5 TB and /home/Programming (encrypted) on the other 1.5 TB partition.

With a little experimenting and a bit of research on adding mount points, reading about this install process here, changing filesystem on the 1.5TB partitions to XFS, deleting swap, / and boot then re-adding them with the sizes I wanted, because it did not allow me to change them at first, I am now ready to click Begin Installation.
That seems to have gone well.
The boot asked me to provide the password for my Programming directory so that looks good.

The SSD is really fast for boot and I expect swap space which I use a lot of will also be excellent now.

All in all this install was a success. I did do two previous installs for practice but this one seems good.

Now to figure out how to get the Cable Modem recognized. RHEL7 handles the Wireless adapter just fine on install but a "hard-line" connect to the Cable Modem is my new learning experience. I think I have a bit to learn about networking. I may even figure out how to have a home network lol :)

I fully concur with Karel Lang. The disk management portion of the install just plain sucks. To the point that it is ridiculously frustrating. I want to determine directly what my disk partitioning is. I want to determine clearly what level I am encrypting my drives - /dev/sda2 or at the LVM level.

Yes, I am sure you can do it through this new GUI after you go through ridiculous machination and play lots of tricks and stick you finger .....

That is not making it easier, clear or concise - it is stupid.

I want clear, concise full control. This install fails miserably in providing that. If I want the OS provider determining how I want my system configured, I would just install Windoz.

Karel, I know your request for your discussion here was for performing custom LVM with your own names, which works (we did this last week with a server as well, using the gui), However, if you have just ...one... web server on the same subnet as the server you wish to build, you can use a kickstart with the custom partitioning you wish for RHEL 7 with LVM. One way to start, if you have successfully made a RHEL 7 system manually with the LVM you wish, go to the /root/ partition and look for a file named "anaconda.ks" (or something like that) which is the resulting "kickstart" for your system. You'll want to uncomment (remove the pound "#" characters) from the partitioning area and try it on a web server. IMPORTANT NOTE: --- alway verify without fail that you have taken the necessary precautions to not have a SAN or NAS attached while you are loading the system, else you can wipe out your SAN/NAS/ or the luns presented, or an external RAID you care about (I know of people who have done that).

You can watch the video i put together here https://youtu.be/OYSOF5Jc3kU