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Recreate data file systems with restvg

Recreate data file systems with restvg

If you’re restoring an AIX system, you need to think about both the root volume group (rootvg) and other data volume groups. You can recover the rootvg using the mksysb backup. The mksysb restoration process rebuilds the rootvg logical volumes and file systems, and then starts restoring files. For other volume groups, before you can start restoring the data files, you need to set up the logical volumes and file systems. Each logical volume has its specific name and size, as well as other characteristics. Each file system has its own attributes: file system block size, inline or external journaled file system (JFS) logs, mount options and so on. Recreating them all, one by one, can be time consuming and error prone. You'd much rather rebuild them with a single command, wouldn't you?

AIX provides an easy way to recover the volume group structure for non-rootvg volume groups. You can use the restvg command to read configuration files and recreate the logical volumes and file systems with all of their characteristics. The mkvgdata command creates the configuration files. This gets a snapshot of logical volume and file system structures and stores them in text files in /tmp. You can include these configuration files as part of your system-recovery process for the data volume group logical volumes and file systems. Once the file systems have been mounted on the target host, you can start restoring data using your regular backup utility.


The syntax for mkvgdata is very simple. To capture the information about logical volumes and file systems for a data volume group, enter mkvgdata followed by the name of the volume group. You can use the –X flag to expand /tmp, if it’s needed for workspace.

mkvgdata -X datavg

Anthony English is an AIX specialist based in Sydney, Australia.

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