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A suite of tools for manipulating the metadata of the dm-thin, dm-cache and dm-era device-mapper targets.


We are in the process of switching these tools over from C++ to Rust. The performance of many of the tools has increased (particularly thin_check). The best way to install Rust is via the rustup command.


To build the tools

cargo build --release

Don't forget the --release flag, it makes a big difference to performance.

This will build a binary called ./target/release/pdata_tools. This binary takes sub commands, eg,

./target/release/pdata_tools thin_check ...

will run thin_check.

If you want the optional development tools:

cargo build --release --features=devtools

There is experimental support for io uring that can be enabled:

cargo build --release --features=io_uring

With current kernels there are issues using the io_uring feature with spindle devices that have small queue_depth (eg, 32).


There isn't an install script yet.

cargo install --path .

The above will install for you, but you wont get the man pages, and you wont get symlinks from the usual command names to pdata_tools (eg, thin_check -> pdata_tools).

Quick examples

These tools introduce an xml format for the metadata. This is useful for making backups, or allowing scripting languages to generate or manipulate metadata. A Ruby library for this available; thinp_xml.

To convert the binary metadata format that the kernel uses to this xml format use thin_dump.

thin_dump --format xml /dev/mapper/my_thinp_metadata

To convert xml back to the binary form use thin_restore.

thin_restore -i my_xml -o /dev/mapper/my_thinp_metadata

You should periodically check the health of your metadata, much as you fsck a filesystem. Your volume manager (eg, LVM2) should be doing this for you behind the scenes.

thin_check /dev/mapper/my_thinp_metadata

Checking all the mappings can take some time, you can omit this part of the check if you wish.

thin_check --skip-mappings /dev/mapper/my_thinp_metadata

If your metadata has become corrupt for some reason (device failure, user error, kernel bug), thin_check will tell you what the effects of the corruption are (eg, which thin devices are effected, which mappings).

There are two ways to repair metadata. The simplest is via the thin_repair tool.

thin_repair -i /dev/mapper/broken_metadata_dev -o /dev/mapper/new_metadata_dev

This is a non-destructive operation that writes corrected metadata to a new metadata device.

Alternatively you can go via the xml format (perhaps you want to inspect the repaired metadata before restoring).

thin_dump --repair /dev/mapper/my_metadata > repaired.xml
thin_restore -i repaired.xml -o /dev/mapper/my_metadata

Dump Metadata

To dump the metadata of a live thin pool, you must first create a snapshot of the metadata:

$ dmsetup message vg001-mythinpool-tpool 0 reserve_metadata_snap

Extract the metadata:

$ sudo bin/thin_dump -m /dev/mapper/vg001-mythinpool_tmeta
<superblock uuid="" time="1" transaction="2" data_block_size="128"nr_data_blocks="0">
    <device dev_id="1" mapped_blocks="1" transaction="0" creation_time="0" snap_time="1">
        <single_mapping origin_block="0" data_block="0" time="0"/>
    <device dev_id="2" mapped_blocks="1" transaction="1" creation_time="1" snap_time="1">
        <single_mapping origin_block="0" data_block="0" time="0"/>

Finally, release the root:

$ dmsetup message vg001-mythinpool-tpool 0 release_metadata_snap