I inadvertently created a situation where I deleted an LVM snapshot that was pending a merge (yes - bonehead move). Now I can neither finish the merge nor create a new snapshot on the original logical volume. When I try to create a snapshot I get the following:

root@ubuntu:~# lvcreate -s -n snap -L 15g /dev/sysvg/syslv
   Snapshots of an origin that has a merging snapshot is not supported

and in dmesg I see the following logs:

Nov 21 20:32:47 ubuntu kernel: [  721.210733] device-mapper: snapshots: Snapshot is marked invalid.
Nov 21 20:32:47 ubuntu kernel: [  721.211641] device-mapper: snapshots: Snapshot is invalid: can't merge
Nov 21 20:32:47 ubuntu kernel: [  721.233283] Buffer I/O error on device dm-4, logical block 16
Nov 21 20:32:47 ubuntu kernel: [  721.233289] Buffer I/O error on device dm-4, logical block 16

This is not surprising as I did an lvremove of the snapshot (oops). If I do an lvscan I get the following output:

root@ubuntu:~# lvscan
  ACTIVE            '/dev/uservg/userlv' [931.50 GiB] inherit
  inactive Original '/dev/sysvg/syslv' [152.77 GiB] inherit

And lvdisplay shows

root@ubuntu:/# lvdisplay /dev/sysvg/syslv 
  --- Logical volume ---
  LV Path                /dev/sysvg/syslv
  LV Name                syslv
  VG Name                sysvg
  LV UUID                stuff here
  LV Write Access        read/write
  LV Creation host, time hades, 2014-07-09 14:56:49 +0000
  LV snapshot status     source of
                         pre-x [INACTIVE]
  LV Status              available
  # open                 0
  LV Size                152.77 GiB
  Current LE             39108
  Segments               1
  Allocation             inherit
  Read ahead sectors     auto
  - currently set to     256
  Block device           252:3

So the snapshot status is INACTIVE and is trying to merge but I have no idea how to make LVM try to stop attempting the merge. I can mount and use the logical volume without apparent problem, but I really would like to be able to take a snapshot (which is why I wanted to use LVM in the first place!)

I think that I need to us a lower level tool like dmsetup to accomplish this but I am not sure how to use this tool and would prefer not to blow away root if possible (not the end of the world, but would prefer not too). With dmsetup I have the following info:

root@ubuntu:/# dmsetup status /dev/sysvg/syslv 
0 320372736 snapshot-merge Invalid


root@ubuntu:/# dmsetup info /dev/sysvg/syslv 
Name:              sysvg-syslv
State:             ACTIVE
Read Ahead:        256
Tables present:    LIVE
Open count:        0
Event number:      0
Major, minor:      252, 3
Number of targets: 1
UUID: stuff here

I have looked extensively on the intertubes and either my google kung-fu is slipping or I have reached toxic levels of caffeine (or both) and can't find much. Does anyone have any advice about how to restore LVM snapshoting for me?


root@hades:~$ uname -a
Linux hades 3.13.0-39-generic #66-Ubuntu SMP Tue Oct 28 13:30:27 UTC 2014 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

LVM info:

root@ubuntu:/# lvm version
  LVM version:     2.02.98(2) (2012-10-15)
  Library version: 1.02.77 (2012-10-15)
  Driver version:  4.27.0


  • chooks
  • gave up and got rid of LVM altogether
    – Zanna
    Mar 7 '17 at 14:26

No one, including the LVM mailing list, was able to offer even a single suggestion, so I "solved" my problem with LVM by getting rid of it. I switched to btrfs when I upgraded my root hard drives.

I thought LVM was pretty stable and maybe it is, but being able to break a key feature on casual use with no one seeming to know how to fix it really turned me off to the technology. I am sure it works great for lots of people. Not sure if btrfs is much more stable, but the impression I get is the community is much more responsive and at least I don't have to screw around with installing mdadm and rescanning physical/logical volumes if I need to boot from USB.

For the record, upgrade/migration to btrfs was super smooth and I had a mirrored raid configuration up in no time. My /home was on a separate drive so once I used aptik to reload all my software everything came back up with a few very minor hiccups (e.g. needing to downgrade a package). All in all, one of the easiest migrations I have ever done.

So sorry to end it LVM. It's not you, it's me. I know that btrfs is younger and maybe sexier and there's a chance that she will go crazy and leave me with a big hole in my data at some point. But we're happy together and that's important to me. I know that you have a ton of guys wanting you out there, so I'm sure you'll bounce back. After one or two good, meaningless fsck's you'll forget we even had a thing. Au revior, ma cherie.

  • That last paragraph is the funniest thing I have heard in a while, and that is just sad :) .
    – GCon
    Aug 9 '20 at 14:18


# vgscan
# vgchange -ay

The problem can occur when lvm2-monitor.service is disabled.

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