Expand a live ext4 filesystem

14 September 2016

So maybe you let your OS installer configure your partitions for you because you’re lazy like me. And maybe you realized it created a 16 GB swap partition on your tiny SSD. And maybe you wanted / to use that 16 GB.

Luckily, Linux is awesome.

[email protected]:~# lsblk
NAME   MAJ:MIN RM   SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT
sda      8:0    0 111.8G  0 disk
├─sda1   8:1    0   512M  0 part /boot/efi
├─sda2   8:2    0  97.3G  0 part /
└─sda3   8:3    0  15.9G  0 part [SWAP]

/dev/sda2 is the partition we want to extend. We’ll use gdisk.

First, list the partitions to be sure we’re starting in the right place. Make a note of the start sector for the partition you want to extend, as we’ll be deleting it and creating a new one in it’s place.

[email protected]:~# gdisk /dev/sda
Command (? for help): p

Number  Start (sector)    End (sector)  Size       Code  Name
   1            2048         1050623   512.0 MiB   EF00  EFI System Partition
   2         1050624       190093083    97.3 GiB   8300  Linux filesystem
   3       190093084       234441614    15.9 GiB   8200  Linux swap

Next we’ll delete the swap and root partitions.

Command (? for help): d
Partition number (1-3): 3
Command (? for help): d
Partition number (1-2): 2

Create a new partition. Use the start sector from old partition as the first sector on the new one, leaving the default values for the last sector and partition type.

Command (? for help): n
Partition number (2-128, default 2): 2
First sector (34-234441614, default = 1050624) or {+-}size{KMGTP}: 1050624
Last sector (1050624-234441614, default = 234441614) or {+-}size{KMGTP}:
Current type is 'Linux filesystem'
Hex code or GUID (L to show codes, Enter = 8300):

Print the new partition table to make sure everything looks right.

Command (? for help): p

Number  Start (sector)    End (sector)  Size       Code  Name
   1            2048         1050623   512.0 MiB   EF00  EFI System Partition
   2         1050624       234441614   111.3 GiB   8300  Linux filesystem

If it’s all good, write the new partition table to disk!

Command (? for help): w

Final checks complete. About to write GPT data. THIS WILL OVERWRITE EXISTING
PARTITIONS!!

Do you want to proceed? (Y/N): y

Your new partition table is written, but the system won’t recognize it everywhere yet. We’ll partprobe to fix this.

partprobe

Now your new partition table should be live.

[email protected]:~# lsblk
NAME   MAJ:MIN RM   SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT
sda      8:0    0 111.8G  0 disk
├─sda1   8:1    0   512M  0 part /boot/efi
└─sda2   8:2    0 111.3G  0 part /

Finally, we’ll resize the filesystem to fill the new partition.

resize2fs /dev/sda2