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on a physical disk (or it can be also LUN), let's say /dev/sda you create one or more partitions which will be than labeled as: /dev/sda1, /dev/sda2 ... etc.
using oracleasm tool, you create asm disks on a partitions not on the physical disk itself ... i.e. you will use partition /dev/sda1, /dev/sda2 to create asm disk.
Thanks for the responses. From what I understand, ASMLib requires that the candidate disks to be partitioned before they can be accessed.
# oracleasm createdisk VOL1 /dev/sdb
Device "/dev/sdb" is not a partition
But looking at your post, I noticed that I simply used a wrong command syntax and need to specify the label first, not the device.
# oracleasm createdisk VOL1 /dev/sdb1
Writing disk header: done
Instantiating disk: done
Silly me ;-) Although I think specifying the device first was more intuitive, but the resulting error message should have rather said "no such device VOL1..."
It's a little more than intuitive. Below is the entry straight out of the man pages.
oracleasm-createdisk - Mark a disk for the Oracle ASM Library
oracleasm createdisk [-l <manager>] [-v] <device> <label>
oracleasm createdisk -h
oracleasm createdisk -V