Installer issues with LVM

Hi,
about two months ago I installed my first Manjaro ever (Qonos 21.2rc KDE Plasma). Installation was a little bit of a PITA since manual partitioning and creating LVM related things, crashed the installer. Encrypting volumes was involved too. I didn’t have much time back then to investigate problems with the installer. I just created all the LVM stuff myself and kind of tricked to installer to just use what I created using LVM commands.

Long story short: I’d like to help, investigate what exactly goes wrong. I just got a new computer and again I am choosing to install Manjaro on there. This is an opportunity to look at things closely. Getting an LVM based installation at least in my opinion is critical, I guess most people coming from an sysadmin/devops background will agree. :wink:

Anyway, before I start my installation journey, please point me in the right direction on the devs forums and provide me with basic debug methodologies during the installation process.

Thanks!

Well - isn’t that your lucky day - I don’t agree - at least not for a consumer based system. Adding LVM is creating a layer of instablility which should be avoided at the consumer level.

I don’t agree with the instability opinion of yours. Never experienced that with LVM. Not sure what you are trying to say.

I am not saying that LVM is made for every Linux beginner, nor do I say that it should be a default in the installer. I just would like to improve things that the installer is offering to do. If it’s offering it, it should work. Don’t you agree?

Another option would be to remove LVM suppoprt entirely from the installer. Is that what you are trying to suggest here? It would be a shame if it would be removed in my opinion.

Anyway, back to why I am here: I’d like to debug the installer, see why it’s crashing on certain operations. A start would be to know where I could find logs it’s writing during the install process.

Another beginner question: Is this the installer I was using? GitHub - calamares/calamares: Distribution-independent installer framework

I have used LVM in the past when installing both Manjaro Gnome and MATE. I had to resort to Manjaro Architect to get it done. But I have not done a new install since 2018, so I have no info on the current state of the installers.

That aside, I find using LVM makes disk management far easier, and I am just a humble home user.

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OK I just started to install Manjaro (https://download.manjaro.org/kde/21.2rc1/manjaro-kde-21.2rc1-211211-linux515.iso) on my new machine.

Experiencing the first crash as follows:

  • Basis: One harddisk /dev/nvme… already housing several partitions from other UEFI systems.
  • Creating a partition /dev/nvme0n1p6 and marking it as LVM PV.
  • Creating a volume group using the just created PV.
  • Installer crashes
  • fdisk -l and parted -l- tell me that nothing has been created so far. Partition table seems to be at its original state.

Is there a log to be found in the live system I have running at the moment? Any hints where to look appreciated. Sure I will find it at some point, but any hints where documentations is to be found would be super helpful! Thanks to you all in advance!

@bearcat thanks for your answer! Appreciated! I am new to Manjaro/Arch world. I just read about Architecht being an alternative installer. The current installer offers a “manual paritioning” option where partitions of a lot of kinds can be created. Next to the “create partition” button there is a “create logical volume” button as well, so it seems that it is supposed to work with LVM. The interface is actually nice and looks straight forward, even for a novice Linux user that wants to adjust partitioning a little it seems to be very well designed IMHO. Nice! I’ll try to send a screenshot on my next attempt, so it’s superclear on what action it happens.

Now we need to find out why it’s crashing on a new VG :slight_smile:

Alright, here’s some pics on what’s happening

Creating lvm2 pv partition goes well:

Clicking on “New Volume Group” button is showing this:

Putting in VG name and enabling the checkbox to use the PV:

Installer crashes when hitting OK button. Not sure if this is the right logfile but at least the “START CALAMARES…” message appeard when I launched the installer. Unfortuantely it doesn’t log anything:

Wild guess: Is it possible to launch the installer in some more verbose mode, so it does log things?

Ah just found it, launching it with --debug seems to spit out a lot of stuff on the console already:

/usr/bin/calamares_polkit %f --debug

This is being logged when I press OK button in “Create Volume Group” dialog:

21:22:01 [2]: QXcbConnection: XCB error: 3 (BadWindow), sequence: 12309, resource id: 14750625, major code: 40 (TranslateCoords), minor code: 0
/usr/bin/calamares_polkit: line 3: 12450 Segmentation fault      sudo -E /usr/bin/calamares "$@"

Should I open a bug report somewhere about it? How to proceed when finding issues like this in Manjaro? Is posting in the dev section of the forums still the prefererred way as posted here: Where do I report bugs - #5 by codesardine

I seem to be not allowed to create a new thread in the corresponding section “Calamares”: Calamares - Manjaro Linux Forum

Any hints on how to proceed?

Manjaro uses Calamares as the default GUI installer. It is an Open Source project, used by different distributions.

If you believe you found a bug, create a bug report with this project.

The Manjaro forum is not the optimal place for for bug reports, not even for Manjaro specific projects.

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I was merely commenting on the statement regarding the importance of LVM - your exact words being that LVM is a critical component. What I am saying is that LVM adds an unnecessary layer of complexity to the consumer layer and troubleshooting issues with disk failures or filesystem corruption on LVM volumes is a pain.

Of course you can do any installation your require suffice you have the technical knowledge to achieve the desired end result.

It is wellknown in the community that Calamares is not handling LVM very well.

All issues and reports regarding the Calamares installer itself should go upstream to the Calamares developers.

As you require LVM - consider the possible use of the Architect installer script to do the basic installation - then you can add the necessary environment on top of this.

The architect installer script uses a special branch of the gitlab iso-profiles repo which is fetched using git - the files are then used to install the packages which makes up minimal installation of various Manjaro desktops.

If you want to make changes to package selection - this can be done as well.

@linux-aarhus, please think this way: you want to have an encrypted safe hard disk, so you created a huge encrypted partition for root and tiny for EFI. It seems like a good solution until you fill up your /home with junk and crash the entire system.

So now you want (1) separate partitions for system root / and /home, but (2) you want to have a single point of encryption - you need one encrypted partitions with two volumes inside. Only LVM can do that, and it was around long enough to be pretty stable. This is what the end-user needs - safe, protected, and mistake-resistant operating system.

I agree with @jojo LVM is critical feature of the installer.

Hi, thanks a lot for getting back to me!

I was merely commenting on the statement regarding the importance of LVM - your exact words being that LVM is a critical component. What I am saying is that LVM adds an unnecessary layer of complexity to the consumer layer and troubleshooting issues with disk failures or filesystem corruption on LVM volumes is a pain.

I can very well live with your now rephrased statement: "unnecessary layer of complexity for the average consumer level user! Not so super important! Fine! But your original statement was:

Well - isn’t that your lucky day - I don’t agree - at least not for a consumer based system. Adding LVM is creating a layer of instablility which should be avoided at the consumer level.

“layer of instability”, I found in several ways inappropriate because first of all it is not true for LVM, as it’s a stable thing running on millions of highly available server and desktop systems for decades already. And I also found it inappropriate because it could give the wrong impression to a novice Linux user of what LVM is.

It is wellknown in the community that Calamares is not handling LVM very well.

That’s sad to hear. I didn’t know that. In that case what would be best solution in your opinion? Patch it out entirely? Or fix it? I am up for the latter but it seems you would be for the former? Are you involved with Manjaro? You might wanna suggest putting a warning into the Manjaro Calamares build that LVM is not supported/doesn’t work well/Architect should be used, otherwise it’s very misleading to anyone who is trying to use the feature ( I am aware of that this might sound easy but might be more difficult in the end. I’ve never worked with a LInux distribution directly and probably have no idea! I am working in tiny open source projects only, with just a handful of people, I am sure that’s a different thing, so no offence!)

I do agree with you general opinion that Linux/Manjaro should be more accessible to novice users and thus things should be kept as simple as possible (I read several posts of yours on this forum and I hope I got this right! :-)) And it’s a good thing! But: The just a little more advanced user shouldn’t be drawn away from a distro with being presented an “advanced option” but in the end it does not work and asking for help on a forum brings out something like: “It is not supposed to be working, because it’s not for novice users”. I don’t want to be offending but this is the impression I got from your first reply and also from the things you are saying in your last reply.

I hope you do agree at least with some of the points I am trying to get across the net and want to thank you for the useful things you told me in that last reply. Appreciated!

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All issues and reports regarding the Calamares installer itself should go upstream to the Calamares developers.

Thanks a lot for the hint! Appreciated! Yesterday I already found an open issue on the repo: [BUG] lvm2 pv + encryption = seg fault, core dumped · Issue #1847 · calamares/calamares · GitHub

Note that the title of the issue is not entirely correct as it turned out a little further down in the thread, the issue doesn’t seem to be only with the combination of crypt and lvm but also present with doing just regular lvm things.

Funnily enough somebody else is describing there, how he is trying to trick the installer by creating partitions and LVM stuff beforehand and then let Calamares install to that. I managed to do exactly that as I mentioned in my initial post in this thread, but yesterday couldn’t get it to work. If anyone’s interested in details, have a look at the github issue.

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The word critical - in my vocabulary - means the application is not able to carry out the intended functions.

This is hardly the case here and your statements that LVM is critical to a succesful installation is wrong.

It only reflects you own opinion and if the argument is based on I have filled my home folder with junk then it is more prudent to do some vaccuming instead of calling the lack of LVM support critical.

But you are entitled to your opinion - and you should create your installs as you please.

I have been around long enough to have tried this and that and many in things inbetween - including btrfs and LVM and encryption. The more layers you create the more difficult it is to troubleshoot and to say the least - do data rescue.

I am not saying LVM doesn’t have it’s place but when it comes to filesystems - and the shift from old greyhaired veterans to young hotheads used to have every served on a platter - you don’t need adding complexity to the Manjaro installer options like LVM - we already have btrfs and encryption.

Certain filesystems are fine fo enterprise and serverfarms requiring uptime and needs the dynamic disk space LVM provides or data security like zfs or btrfs - but for most endusers these options creates more headaches when it comes to maintenance, troubleshooting and even distrohopping.

Manjaro uses Calamares as the default GUI installer. It is an Open Source project, used by different distributions.

If you believe you found a bug, create a bug report with this project.

Thanks to you as well and thanks for the repo links. As posted just above, found an open issue and trying to contribute there.

The Manjaro forum is not the optimal place for for bug reports, not even for Manjaro specific projects.

Thanks for pointing that out. I was curious already of what would be the best place for reporting issues. Is that traced via the gitlab.manjaro.org?

@jojo could you please to post here steps which you tried “to trick the installer” or at least a link where step-by-step instructions are provided?

I’ve played around last night without any luck

The word critical - in my vocabulary - means the application is not able to carry out the intended functions.

This is hardly the case here and your statements that LVM is critical to a succesful installation is wrong.

It only reflects you own opinion and if the argument is based on I have filled my home folder with junk then it is more prudent to do some vaccuming instead of calling the lack of LVM support critical.

Even if I would remove the word “critical” from my statement I still have the feeling that you are somehow trying to ship around the actual issue here: Are you trying to say that LVM buttons being present in the installer but them not working is “OK” and supposed to be like that?

We are not “adding complexity to the installer” as you are obviously trying to point out. LVM buttons ARE present in the installer! What are they doing there then? If they are not supposed to be used why should they be there at all?

And no I didn’t say that LVM is necessary to prevent me from filling up my root disk with junk. I never said that LOL :-))

Thanks for pointing out btrfs and crypt, yes that certainly is a good and more modern option doing the same things. I might give that a try but at the moment have reasons why I am preferring LVM.

@jojo could you please to post here steps which you tried “to trick the installer” or at least a link where step-by-step instructions are provided?

I’ve played around last night without any luck

Didn’t get it to work yet! As mentioned: I did it on first Manjaro install ever but this time I am failing. Please have a look at the github issue I posted above. I will post there if I get it to work! :slight_smile:

No - it has drifted off-topic - I wouldn’t dream of shift anything - but it is known that Calamares needs some improvment with relation to LVM.

I would never recommend using LVM on a consumer system but alas - if you want to - you can do it.

You can easily install a system using the architect installer script

It is easily installed and it handles LVM well.

sudo pacman -Syy manjaro-architect

Then launch script

setup
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