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I need to access ext3 partitions over an LVM logical volume in a SATA HD connected through USB2 to my iMac with OS X 10.6 .

Is it possible to see LVM volumes from OS X? How?

Disk Utility says that the attached device is unknown and propose to initialize it.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

Yes, they can. see this article… Mac OS X Lion Adds CoreStorage, a Volume Manager (Finally!)

What is a volume manager? Volume managers add flexibility to operating system allocation of storage, acting as a virtualization layer between disks and file systems. This is important, since modern computer systems need to maintain a consistent filesystem image even as storage devices change. Volume managers like Symantec’s Veritas Volume Manager and the OSF LVM allow many operating systems this sort of flexible storage management. But Apple never had a volume manager of their own until the introduction of CoreStorage in Mac OS X “Lion”. Read more at Volume Management: Virtualizing Host Storage.

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+1 for the update ... BTW Core Storage is quite a young tool for now, as a proof you can take the high number of undocumented commands it has ... Nevertheless it is working for the scope of this topic :) – drAlberT Jul 4 '12 at 9:02
I thought the question was asking how to access Linux lvm volumes from OS X. There are 2 other answers that do address this. – RichVel Oct 31 '12 at 16:07

OS X Cannot read an LVM Volume, and there are no 3rd party drivers at the moment (or that I'm aware of) to do so. The easiest solution would be to boot off a linux live cd (Ubuntu etc) on your imac, mount the drive, and copy the data elsewhere.

You could also maybe try installing a Linux virtual machine using one of many 3rd party products (VMware Fusion, Parallels, Virtual Box), and mount the volume in there.

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I already have tried to transfer all data I need using a REHL5 over Vmware Fusion. But, since I need to transfer over 50Gb of data, I repeatedly have gone against a total machine hang, it seems that massive I/0 is not supported very well in OS X/Fusion/USB. – drAlberT Sep 20 '09 at 12:46

I had the same problem... to address this issue I created a Mac OS X kernel extension which maps simple Linux LVM layouts to logical partitions in Mac OS X:

It's available under an open source license (LGPLv2.1). It's not a complete volume manager, obviously, so only single-disk LVM layouts can be expected to work, and only non-snapshot volumes, etc. but should be good enough for most automatically created LVM layouts for the boot drive.

You still have to find a way to mount the ext3 volume though... fuse-ext2 should do the trick.

Edit: More info, including a binary, is available on my blog.

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very good work :) – drAlberT Apr 16 '14 at 16:21

The diskutil cs list command is what you're looking for. Try that at the terminal. Then type diskutil cs for a short list of CoreStorage commands you can use. I wrote more about it on my blog here:.

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I used parallels 4.0 running rhel 5.5 and was able to mount the linux lvm using the standard mount commands for lvm (e.g. mount /dev/VolGroup/LogVol00 /mnt/usb ). also, these may be of use to you as well:


lvdisplay /dev/VolGroup

vgchange -ay

I needed to mark the volume as available as lvdisplay was showing it as NOT available.

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