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I am trying to copy an LVM logical volume with an ext3 filesystem from one system to a file on another system that I will be able to mount as a loopback device. I have tried the following command to copy the volume:

dd if=/dev/VolGroup01/example-volume bs=1M | ssh target-system dd of=/backup/example-volume-image bs=1M

This gives me a file with the same size as the logical volume however when I try to mount it I get:

[root@target-system backup]# mount -o loop example-volume-image /mnt
mount: you must specify the filesystem type
[root@target-system backup]# mount -o loop -t ext3 dev2-endeca1-rootfs /mnt
mount: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on /dev/loop0,
       missing codepage or other error
       In some cases useful info is found in syslog - try
       dmesg | tail  or so

Am I not copying the volume correctly or is it just possibly corrupt?

share|improve this question
What is the filesystem type of the original volume? – Michael Hampton Aug 9 '12 at 20:17
Sorry, it's ext3 – Dave Forgac Aug 9 '12 at 20:18
Is there anything related to the failed mount operation in dmesg output? – Alex Aug 9 '12 at 20:34
Nothing in dmesg but there is this in /var/log/messages: Aug 9 16:38:18 target-system kernel: hfs: unable to find HFS+ superblock. Going to try creating the snapshot per answer below. – Dave Forgac Aug 9 '12 at 20:42
So it turned out that the volume I was trying to copy was an old Xen disk image, not just a normally formatted partition. I was able to mount it using losetup as described here:… – Dave Forgac Aug 10 '12 at 20:08
up vote 4 down vote accepted

If it is a running lvm, you should create a snapshot of it, and then back up the snapshot. Otherwise your command looks fine. It is better if you unmount the lvm before doing the copying.

Then, force a filesystem check on the resulting loop file before attempting to mount.

share|improve this answer
It turned out that my issue was due to the LV being a Xen disk image however this would be the preferred method of copying an LV to a disk image file. – Dave Forgac Aug 10 '12 at 20:09

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