Adding Disk Space to an elementary OS VM

Increase the size of your root partition on an elementary OS VM

I do most of my elementary OS development work within a virtual machine. I’m also not very good at giving myself sufficient disk space, so I have often found myself needing to expand the root partition of my VM.

This post is mostly a reminder to my future self how to do this!

Note: These same steps will work for Ubuntu or any other Ubuntu-based platform!

  1. Update the virtual disk

    This is the easy part - shut down the VM and expand the disk size in the virtual machine settings. Easy peasy.

  2. Install GParted

    If not already installed, grab GParted.

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     $ sudo apt install gparted
    
  3. Expand the partition

    Open GParted and you should notice a block of free space at the end of the visualization. Right-click on the partition to expand (in my case /dev/sda2) and select Resize/Move. Next, drag the little slider all the way over to the right and click Resize. Finally hit the little green checkmark to apply the changes.

  4. Expand the logical volume

    Pop open Terminal and double-check the name of the filesystem for the root (/) partition (In my case it’s /dev/mapper/data-root).

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     $ sudo df -k
     Filesystem            1K-blocks     Used Available Use% Mounted on
     udev                    3994004        0   3994004   0% /dev
     tmpfs                    810476     2124    808352   1% /run
     /dev/mapper/data-root  47133460 40273592   4435856  91% /
     ...
    

    Then we’re going to use lvextend to expand the logical volume. Be sure to use the correct value for the amount of added space!

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     $ sudo lvextend -L +25G /dev/mapper/data-root
       Size of logical volume data/root changed from 45.92 GiB (11756 extents) to 70.92 GiB (18156 extents).
       Logical volume data/root successfully resized.
    
  5. Expand the filesystem

    With the newly added space in the logical volume, it’s time to extend it with resize2fs:

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     $ sudo resize2fs /dev/mapper/data-root
     resize2fs 1.45.5 (07-Jan-2020)
     Filesystem at /dev/mapper/data-root is mounted on /; on-line resizing required
     old_desc_blocks = 6, new_desc_blocks = 9
     The filesystem on /dev/mapper/data-root is now 18591744 (4k) blocks long.
    

    And verify the change:

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     $ sudo df -k
     Filesystem            1K-blocks     Used Available Use% Mounted on
     udev                    3994004        0   3994004   0% /dev
     tmpfs                    810476     2124    808352   1% /run
     /dev/mapper/data-root  72936504 40273472  29193748  58% /
     ...
    
  6. Fill up the disk and repeat!


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