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Commands Reference, Volume 3

importvg Command


Imports a new volume group definition from a set of physical volumes.


importvg [ -V MajorNumber ] [ -y VolumeGroup ] [ -f ] [ -c ] [ -x ] | [ -L VolumeGroup ] [ -n ] [ -F ] [ -R ]PhysicalVolume


Attention: When you issue the importvg command to a previously defined volume group, the QUORUM and AUTO ON values will be reset to volume group default values. You should verify the parameters of the newly imported volume group with the lsvg command and change any values with the chvg command.

The importvg command makes the previously exported volume group known to the system. The PhysicalVolume parameter specifies only one physical volume to identify the volume group; any remaining physical volumes (those belonging to the same volume group) are found by the importvg command and included in the import. An imported volume group is automatically varied unless the volume group is Concurrent Capable. You must use the varyonvg command to activate Concurrent Capable volume groups before you access them.

When a volume group with file systems is imported, the /etc/filesystems file is updated with values for the new logical volumes and mount points. After importing the volume group and activating it with the varyonvg command, you must run the fsck command before the file systems can be mounted. However, the mount point information would be missing from the LVCB (logical volume control block) if it is longer than 128 characters. In this case, the importvg command will not be able to update the /etc/filesystems file with the stanza for the newly imported logical volume. You should manually edit the /etc/filesystems file to add a new stanza for this logical volume.

The importvg command changes the name of a logical volume if the name already exists in the system. It prints a message and the new name to standard error, and updates the /etc/filesystems file to include the new logical volume name.

  1. To use this command, you must either have root user authority or be a member of the system group.
  2. AIX Version 4 changed the behavior of importvg so that as part of the importvg process, the volume group is automatically varied on by the system after it is imported. However, if the volume group is Concurrent Capable then the importvg command prompts you to varyonvg the imported volume group manually.
  3. A volume group with a mirrored striped logical volume cannot be back ported into a version older than AIX 4.3.3.

You can use the Volumes application in Web-based System Manager (wsm) to change volume characteristics. You could also use the System Management Interface Tool (SMIT) smit importvg fast path to run this command.


-c This flag is ignored. On AIX 5.2 and higher only Enhanced Concurrent Capable volume groups will be created.
-f Forces the volume group to be varied online.
-LVolumeGroup Takes a volume group and learns about possible changes performed to that volume group. Any new logical volumes created as a result of this command emulate the ownership, group identification, and permissions of the /dev special file for the volume group listed in the -y flag. The -L flag performs the functional equivalent of the -F and -n flags during execution.


  1. The volume group must not be in an active state on the system executing the -L flag.
  2. The volume group's disks must be unlocked on all systems that have the volume group varied on and operational. Volume groups and their disks may be unlocked, remain active and used via the varyonvg -b -u command.
  3. The physical volume name provided must be of a good and known state, the disk named may not be in the missing or removed state.
  4. If an active node has both added AND deleted logical volumes on the volume group, the -L flag may produce inconsistent results. The -L flag should be used after each addition or deletion, rather than being deferred until after a sequence of changes.
  5. If a logical volume name clash is detected, the command will fail. Unlike the basic importvg actions, clashing logical volume names will not be renamed.
-F Provides a fast version of importvg that checks the Volume Group Descriptor Areas of only the disks that are members of the same volume group. As a result, if a user exercises this flag, they must ensure that all physical volumes in the volume group are in a good and known state. If this flag is used on a volume group where a disk may be in missing or removed state, the command may fail or the results may be inconsistent.
-n Causes the volume not to be varied at the completion of the volume group import into the system.
-R Restores the ownership, group ID, and permissions of the logical volume special device files. These values will be restored only if they were set using U, G and P flags of mklv and chlv commands. This flag is applicable only for big vg format volume groups only.
-V MajorNumber Specifies the major number of the imported volume group.
-x This flag is ignored. On AIX 5.2 and higher only Enhanced Concurrent Capable volume groups will be created.

Attention: This entry must be added after the entry used to initiate srcmstr.
-y VolumeGroup Specifies the name to use for the new volume group. If this flag is not used, the system automatically generates a new name.

The volume group name can only contain the following characters: "A" through "Z," "a" through "z," "0" through "9," or "_" (the underscore), "-" (the minus sign), or "." (the period). All other characters are considered invalid.


  1. To import the volume group bkvg from physical volume hdisk07, enter:
    importvg -y bkvg hdisk07

    The volume group bkvg is made known to the system.

  2. To use the -L on a multi-tailed system:

    Node A has the volume group datavg varied on.
    Node B is aware of datavg, but it is not varied on.
    Node A: varyonvg -b -u datavg
    Node B: importvg -L datavg hdisk07
    Node A: varyonvg datavg


/usr/sbin Directory where the importvg command resides.
/tmp Directory where the temporary files are stored while the command is running.

Related Information

The exportvg command, varyonvg command.

The Logical Volume Storage Overview in AIX 5L Version 5.2 System Management Concepts: Operating System and Devices explains the Logical Volume Manager, physical volumes, logical volumes, volume groups, organization, ensuring data integrity, and allocation characteristics.

For information on installing the Web-based System Manager, see Chapter 2: Installation and System Requirements in AIX 5L Version 5.2 Web-based System Manager Administration Guide.

The System Management Interface Tool in AIX 5L Version 5.2 System Management Concepts: Operating System and Devices explains the structure, main menus, and tasks that are done with SMIT.

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