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Renaming the Volume Group Containing /

Almost every server I work with is a virtual machine; accordingly I like to do one small install with all the packages that I always want [like pam-nss-ldapd, snmp-utils, dstat, etc...] but don't install by default. Then I make sure VMware tools is installed and operational. From that point forward I can just clone that one VM and add to it when I want a new instance of something.

The only downside to this is that all the machines end up with the same volume group name: typically __VolGroup0)) or some such thing. That's ugly and limits the ability to move volume groups around - these are virtual disks after all. Renaming a volume group is straight forward:

vgrename /dev/VolGroup0  /dev/Carazon

Text 1: Rename the volume group VolGroup0 to be named Carazon.

Hold it! Now the machine won't boot anymore! You get the pleasure of rebooting into "Kernel Panic: blah blah blah". If you rename the volume group containing the root file-system and swap space you also have to update that name in two places -

  • In /etc/fstab. This one is obvious and I usually remember.
  • In /etc/grub.conf. Otherwise the kernel tries to mount the root file-system using the old volume group name.

Done this so many times... always forget.

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