The Device Mapper is a kernel driver that provides a generic framework for volume management. It provides a generic way of creating mapped devices, which may be used as logical volumes. It does not specifically know about volume groups or metadata formats.
The Device Mapper provides the foundation for a number of higher-level technologies. In addition to LVM, device-mapper multipath and the
dmraid command use the Device Mapper.
The user interface to the Device Mapper is the
ioctl system call.
LVM logical volumes are activated using the Device Mapper. Each logical volume is translated into a mapped device, Each segment translates into a line in the mapping table that describes the device. The Device Mapper provides linear mapping, striped mapping, and error mapping, amongst others. Two disks can be concatenated into one logical volume with a pair of linear mappings, one for each disk.
dmsetup command is a command line wrapper for communication with the Device Mapper. It provides complete access to the
ioctl commands through the
libdevmapper command. For general system information about LVM devices, you may find the
dmsetup info command to be useful.
For information about the options and capabilities of the
dmsetup command, see the
dmsetup(8) man page.