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VirtualBox and Resizing an LVM root partition

New projects to work on!  That means configuring my virtual machines to fit more stuff.  I never seem to think ahead about how much space I need.  I work on a laptop with an SSD, so storage is a premium...

Sure, I could just create a new VM, but all those hours of customizing the environment, tweaking firewall and security settings, installing and building custom packages.  No way I want to do that again from scratch.

It shouldn't be too hard to extend my linux partition to make more room, right ? :eek a lot more involved than I thought.


Here is a collection of steps and sites I needed to make it all happen.

First resource:  http://derekmolloy.ie/resize-a-virtualbox-disk

This blog post is 90% of the process.

Warning: READ THROUGH BEFORE DOING.  It is really easy to screw everything up.

Here are some quick recaps:


  1. Backup your existing VDI (disk image).  Don't be a fool, just do it.
  2. Download the gparted liveCD ISO image here:  
  3. The easy part is the virtual box command to resize the virtual disk:
    • VBoxmanage modifyhd MyLinux.vdi --resize 100000
    • (this updates the VDI file to allow its size to be 100GB)
  4. Now you boot your linux VM with the gparted liveCD ISO you downloaded above and follow the instructions on Derek's blog post to update your primary LVM partition to use the available free space.  Not hard.
  5. Here is where it gets tricky, now open up this blog post: 
  6. Follow the directions starting with "Resizing the LVM stack":
    • Basically you will use the pvresize, lvextend and then resize2fs to get Linux to use that extra space you added.
    • You can read it on vBonHomme as good as here, so I'll give credit where credit is due.  Look up the exact commands their blog post.

Heckler:  Dude, why don't you just merge all this stuff into your blog so its all in one place! I am whining because I have to click on more than one link!

Response: Dude, I'm busy. Many tasks to complete.  This helped me, so I aggregate for you.  Maybe when I have time, I will <dramatic interruption ...> HAHA. Yeah right, I never have time to go back and re-write stuff. Yeah, you will just have to go to the links.

Hope this was helpful, and I hope my sarcastic style puts a smile on some people's faces.

Follow and heckle me on Twitter at @aschwabe


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