How to Remove Volume Groups and Physical Volumes on LVM

In Linux, Logical Volume Management (LVM) is a crucial concept that involves three logical layers: Physical volumes (PV), Volume groups (VG), and Logical volumes (LV). In certain situations, existing Physical Volumes or Volume Groups needs to be removed.

For example, you may need to remove Physical Volumes or Volume Groups during storage reorganization to better suit current needs, or when repurposing or replacing a storage device. Similarly, freeing up resources for other uses may necessitate the removal of no longer needed Volume Groups, and system decommissioning often involves the removal of all Physical Volumes and Volume Groups.

With the right skills and knowledge, these tasks can be accomplished easily.

This tutorial focuses on the removal of Volume Groups and Physical Volumes within the LVM framework. It’s important to note that this tutorial assumes that no Logical Volumes have been created.

Let’s get started!

Removing Volume Group and Physical Volume on LVM

Step 1: Display the Physical Volumes and Volume Group

To begin, you need to display the physical volumes and Volume Group. This can be done using the pvdisplay command. Here’s an example of how to use it:

[root@centos63 ~]# pvdisplay
  --- Physical volume ---
  PV Name               /dev/sdb1
  VG Name               vg_data
  PV Size               4.99 GiB / not usable 2.41 MiB
  Allocatable           yes
  PE Size               4.00 MiB
  Total PE              1278
  Free PE               1278
  Allocated PE          0
  PV UUID               qTmTeq-8qoL-xxEk-Dj5V-zOjl-vEag-P6Jl7L

Step 2: Remove the Volume Group

Next, you need to remove the Volume Group. This can be done using the vgremove command. Here’s an example of how to use it:

[root@centos63 ~]# vgremove vg_data
  Volume group "vg_data" successfully removed

Step 3: Remove Physical Volume

Finally, you need to remove the Physical Volume. This can be done using the pvremove command. Here’s an example of how to use it:

[root@centos63 ~]# pvremove /dev/sdb1
  Labels on physical volume "/dev/sdb1" successfully wiped

Additional Note

For instructions on how to remove a Logical Volume on CentOS/RHEL, you can refer to our guide on How to Remove a Logical Volume on CentOS 6.3/RHEL6.

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Commands Mentioned

  • pvdisplay – Displays the physical volumes and Volume Group
  • vgremove – Removes the Volume Group
  • pvremove – Removes the Physical Volume


Managing LVM involves understanding and manipulating its three logical layers: Physical Volumes, Volume Groups, and Logical Volumes.

This guide has provided a step-by-step process for removing Volume Groups and Physical Volumes, a task that may be necessary in various administrative scenarios. By following these steps, you can successfully manage your LVM and optimize your Linux system’s storage.

Remember, the key to successful system administration is continuous learning and adaptation. Stay updated with the latest trends and best practices in the field to ensure optimal performance and security for your systems.

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  1. What is the role of a Physical Volume in LVM?

    In Logical Volume Management (LVM), a Physical Volume (PV) refers to a storage device or a partition on a storage device that is utilized for data storage. It forms the first layer in the LVM hierarchy and is used to constitute Volume Groups.

  2. Can you explain what a Volume Group in LVM is?

    A Volume Group (VG) in LVM is essentially a pool of storage that is formed by combining one or more Physical Volumes. Volume Groups function as a unified storage pool from which Logical Volumes can be allocated.

  3. Why might one need to remove a Physical Volume or Volume Group?

    There could be several reasons to remove a Physical Volume or Volume Group. For instance, if you are reorganizing your storage, if you need to free up a device for use outside the LVM, or if a device is being retired or replaced, you might need to perform this operation.

  4. What is the function of the pvdisplay command?

    The pvdisplay command in Linux is utilized to display the attributes of a Physical Volume in the LVM. This includes details such as the name of the Physical Volume, the Volume Group it is part of, its size, and more.

  5. What does the vgremove command accomplish?

    The vgremove command in Linux is used to eliminate a Volume Group from the LVM. It deletes the Volume Group and liberates the Physical Volumes that were a part of it.


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