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I want to partition a new server the same way an existing server is, and if the current is using LVM to use it on the new server, etc. How can I see exactly what's setup on the current server, so when I go to partition it during the RHEL install on the new server, i can match it to the current one?
fdisk -l to see the partitions and, if you do have an LVM partition, read the pvdisplay and lvdisplay man pages. That only leaves you needing to know the file system types which df -T will give for all mounted file systems.
df -h is easier to read, but basically those results are saying you've got one disk /dev/sda, divided into 2 partitions sda1, sda2.
sda1 = boot partition and quite small
sda2 = everything else and its an LVM
Disk /dev/sda: 146.5 GB, 146557370368 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 17817 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 1 13 104391 83 Linux
/dev/sda2 14 17817 143010630 8e Linux LVM
This output raises a question. It says the disk is 146.5 GB and the cylinder information says it is all used. The 512 in "Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes" vaguely implies the block size is 512 bytes but the block information says the blocks are actually 1024 bytes. Why the different block sizes? I vaguely recall that default block sizes were 512 (on the small side for today's HDD capacities). When did it change -- or did various distros change the default at different times?
So I should just accept the installers defaults when I load the server then?
Maybe. When you started the thread you wrote "I want to partition a new server the same way an existing server is, and if the current is using LVM to use it on the new server, etc.". If the existing server was set up using the installer's defaults and if the installer's defaults haven't changed then the answer to your question is "yes" -- but those are big "if"s. Maybe somebody familiar with your distro can answer them. What is your distro?
This could start a long LVM discussion but ... the existing partition setup isn't very clever. Arguably there's little point in having / in LVM because:
ext3 cannot be resized while the file system is mounted
the partition / is in a) cannot be extended and b) cannot be snapshotted (great for backups, especially verification) because it is already using all the available space.
If you are interested in this, search LQ; there have been quite a few debates about the usefulness of LVM. It's a great tool but has pros and cons that make it a good choice in some circumstances and a poor one in others.
If the current system works ok, I'd prob just go with that.
Later on, when you become more expert you can consider fine tuning it. Not a trivial task, but do-able.
See those links of mine; the RHEL Admin covers LVM in some detail. The other link is just for an alternate/background view.
Just keep an eye on the logs and disk space regularly. As a rule, the default settings of the logrotate service keep your logs under ctrl, and are easy to tune.
Here's another good link http://linux.die.net/man/, see http://linux.die.net/man/8/logrotate