GVINUM(8) MidnightBSD System Manager’s Manual GVINUM(8)


gvinum — Logical Volume Manager control program


gvinum [command] [−options]

[−f] plex

Check the parity blocks of a RAID-5 plex. The parity check will start at the beginning of the plex if the −f flag is specified, or otherwise at the location of the parity check pointer, the first location at which plex’s parity is incorrect. All subdisks in the plex must be up for a parity check.

create [description-file]

Create a volume as described in description-file. If no description-file provided, opens an editor and provides the current gvinum configuration for editing.


Provides a synopsis of gvinum commands and arguments.

l | list [−r] [−v] [−V] [volume | plex | subdisk]

ld [−r] [−v] [−V] [drive ...]

ls [−r] [−v] [−V] [subdisk ...]

lp [−r] [−v] [−V] [plex ...]

lv [−r] [−v] [−V] [volume ...]

List information about the relevant object(s). The −r flag provides recursive display, showing each object’s subordinate objects in proper relation. The −v and −V flags provide progressively more detailed output.

move | mv −f drive subdisk [...]

Move the subdisk(s) to the specified drive. The −f flag is required, as all data on the indicated subdisk(s) will be destroyed as part of the move. This can currently only be done when the subdisk is not being accessed.

If the subdisk(s) form part of a RAID-5 plex, the disk(s) will need to be set to the ’up’ state and the plex will require a rebuildparity command; if the subdisk(s) form part of a plex that is mirrored with other plexes, the plex will require restarting and will sync once restarted. Moving more than one subdisk in a RAID-5 plex or subdisks from both sides of a mirrored plex volume will destroy data. Note that parity rebuilds and syncing must be started manually after a move.


Write a copy of the current configuration to standard output.


Exit gvinum when running in interactive mode. Normally this would be done by entering the EOF character.

rename [−r] drive | subdisk | plex | volume newname

Change the name of the specified object. The −r flag will recursively rename subordinate objects.

Note that device nodes will not be renamed until gvinum is restarted.

rebuildparity [−f] plex

Rebuild the parity blocks of a RAID-5 plex. The parity rebuild will start at the beginning of the plex if the −f flag is specified, or otherwise at the location of the parity check pointer. All subdisks in the plex must be up for a parity check.

rm [−r] volume | plex | subdisk

Remove an object and, if −r is specified, its subordinate objects.


Save gvinum configuration to disk after configuration failures.

setstate [−f] state volume | plex | subdisk | drive

Set state without influencing other objects, for diagnostic purposes only. The −f flag forces state changes regardless of whether they are legal.


Read configuration from all vinum drives.

start [−S size] volume | plex | subdisk

Allow the system to access the objects. The −S flag is currently ignored.


The gvinum utility communicates with the kernel component of the GVinum logical volume manager. It is designed either for interactive use, when started without command line arguments, or to execute a single command if the command is supplied on the command line. In interactive mode, gvinum maintains a command line history.


gvinum commands may be followed by an option.


The −f (‘‘force’’) option overrides safety checks. It should be used with extreme caution. This option is required in order to use the move command.


The −r (‘‘recursive’’) option applies the command recursively to subordinate objects. For example, in conjunction with the lv command, the −r option will also show information about the plexes and subdisks belonging to the volume. It is also used by the rename command to indicate that subordinate objects such as subdisks should be renamed to match the object(s) specified and by the rm command to delete plexes belonging to a volume and so on.


The −v (‘‘verbose’’) option provides more detailed output.


The −V (‘‘very verbose’’) option provides even more detailed output than −v.


directory with device nodes for gvinum objects


directory containing device nodes for gvinum plexes


directory containing device nodes for gvinum subdisks


The name of the editor to use for editing configuration files, by default vi.


geom(4), geom(8)


Lukas Ertl 〈le@freebsd.org〉
Chris Jones 〈soc-cjones@freebsd.org〉


The gvinum utility first appeared in FreeBSD 5.3. The vinum utility, on which gvinum is based, was written by Greg Lehey.

gvinum was written by Lukas Ertl. The move and rename commands and documentation were added by Chris Jones through the 2005 Google Summer of Code program.


gvinum(8) does not rename devices in /dev/gvinum until reloaded.

The −S initsize flag to start is ignored.

The stop command does not work.

Moving subdisks that are not part of a mirrored or RAID-5 volume will destroy data. It is perhaps a bug to permit this.

Plexes in which subdisks have been moved do not automatically sync or rebuild parity. This may leave data unprotected and is perhaps unwise.

gvinum(8) does not yet fully implement all functions found in vinum(4). Specifically, the following commands from vinum(4) are not supported:

attach plex volume [rename]

attach subdisk plex [offset] [rename]

Attach a plex to a volume, or a subdisk to a plex.

concat [−f] [−n name] [−v] drives

Create a concatenated volume from the specified drives.


Cause the volume manager to enter the kernel debugger.

debug flags

Set debugging flags.

detach [−f] [plex | subdisk]

Detach a plex or subdisk from the volume or plex to which it is attached.

dumpconfig [drive ...]

List the configuration information stored on the specified drives, or all drives in the system if no drive names are specified.

info [−v] [−V]

List information about volume manager state.

label volume

Create a volume label.

mirror [−f] [−n name] [−s] [−v] drives

Create a mirrored volume from the specified drives.


Reset the complete gvinum configuration.

resetstats [−r] [volume | plex | subdisk]

Reset statistics counters for the specified objects, or for all objects if none are specified.

setdaemon [value]

Set daemon configuration.

stop [−f] [volume | plex | subdisk]

Terminate access to the objects, or stop gvinum if no parameters are specified.

stripe [−f] [−n name] [−v] drives

Create a striped volume from the specified drives.

MidnightBSD 0.3 September 1, 2005 MidnightBSD 0.3