Kind of hating cloud servers right now

How in the world am I supposed to create LVM (Logical Volume Management) disk layouts on a cloud VM with a single big disk? Before I start piling in data, I want to put /var/mail on it’s own partition.

Maybe it’s just that Google is stupid, and the answer is plain as day if I could find it.

Linode is annoying, because the pages I found said (in essence) “Don’t use LVM, use our attached disks at an additional $2 per disk per month.” Well, I could add a disk and then use LVM to configure it. But that means that I’m going to have a 25 GB /boot partiition and then hardly anything else over on the new disk. What it won’t do is keep the system from going comatose if some process starts spamming a log file and fills the disk. That’s stupid. And I’d be paying $2 a month, forever, for the stupidity.

I want to install LVM so that I have the option of adding another disk later, and it would be super easy. I’ve done LVM at work for years now, and it’s great. But at work, I get to install the machine from a boot ISO, and I get to go through every step of the install. Linode creates new virtual machines from images, where the disk is pre-configured. I don’t get to say I want /home on a separate volume (for example).

Every search I’ve done about LVM has two assumptions behind it: 1) there is a newly added virgin disk, or 2) during install, choose to partition the disk the way you want.

Nothing appears to address the situation where I’ve got a 25 GB disk with 20 GB free, and I’d like to move /home and /var and /tmp to /dev/sda1 /dev/sda2 /dev/sda3

I need to do pvcreate, but it errs out because I don’t have a newly added virgin disk.

I doubt this problem is particular to Linode; I suspect Rackspace and Vultr have the same problem – the preconfigured image is what you get; go kick rocks if you want something else.

It is frustrating, becasue I cannot be the first person on the planet to have thought of this or asked this question. But if the answer is obvious, I’m not finding it with Google search.