Based on kernel version 3.9. Page generated on 2013-05-02 22:56 EST.
1 dm-zero 2 ======= 3 4 Device-Mapper's "zero" target provides a block-device that always returns 5 zero'd data on reads and silently drops writes. This is similar behavior to 6 /dev/zero, but as a block-device instead of a character-device. 7 8 Dm-zero has no target-specific parameters. 9 10 One very interesting use of dm-zero is for creating "sparse" devices in 11 conjunction with dm-snapshot. A sparse device reports a device-size larger 12 than the amount of actual storage space available for that device. A user can 13 write data anywhere within the sparse device and read it back like a normal 14 device. Reads to previously unwritten areas will return a zero'd buffer. When 15 enough data has been written to fill up the actual storage space, the sparse 16 device is deactivated. This can be very useful for testing device and 17 filesystem limitations. 18 19 To create a sparse device, start by creating a dm-zero device that's the 20 desired size of the sparse device. For this example, we'll assume a 10TB 21 sparse device. 22 23 TEN_TERABYTES=`expr 10 \* 1024 \* 1024 \* 1024 \* 2` # 10 TB in sectors 24 echo "0 $TEN_TERABYTES zero" | dmsetup create zero1 25 26 Then create a snapshot of the zero device, using any available block-device as 27 the COW device. The size of the COW device will determine the amount of real 28 space available to the sparse device. For this example, we'll assume /dev/sdb1 29 is an available 10GB partition. 30 31 echo "0 $TEN_TERABYTES snapshot /dev/mapper/zero1 /dev/sdb1 p 128" | \ 32 dmsetup create sparse1 33 34 This will create a 10TB sparse device called /dev/mapper/sparse1 that has 35 10GB of actual storage space available. If more than 10GB of data is written 36 to this device, it will start returning I/O errors.