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Trying to upgrade from F15 to F17. I need to find a way to increase /boot size without destroying data. Details:

I tried upgrading using preupgrade process and via booting from Net iso on USB and both lead to the same thing: and 'Error' message in the first package (filesystem) transaction indicating the installer needs (about) 1GB more on /

Cannot proceed with the install.

I also tried the trick of reducing the avail space in /boot to < 100M to trigger a network load of the installer image... but that leads to a series of mirror http/404 messages and no progress.

I'd like to not have to nuke everything, yet again, just to do an upgrade. I would have thought that, by now, this issue would have drawn a more elegant solution than continually trying to guess how big /boot will have to be for the next upgrade. (unsnark)

I have 4GB freespace on /dev/sdb but it is not contiguous with sdb1 (/boot): the process of shrinking the LVM volume released space at the end and not the beginning of sdb:

> df -kl | grep boot: 
/dev/sdb1 3064704 300520 2764184 10% /boot

(note that what is now in /boot is irrelevant since 1G > 300 MB: I have to increase the volume size)


/dev/sdb1   *        2048     6146047     3072000   83  Linux
/dev/sdb2         6146048   612354047   303104000   8e  Linux LVM


                       Pri/Log   Free Space                           1.05*
   sdb1        Boot        Primary   ext4                              3145.73*
   sdb2                    Primary   LVM2_member                     310378.50*
                           Pri/Log   Free Space                        4474.28*


After attempting to use gparted, watching it crash in horror, and eventually yanking and replacing the drive, I created a 15 GB boot partition (FCS!), reinstalling F15 and all my files. Then preupgrade to F17 succeeded. I accepted the preferred answer assuming that it would have worked had it not destroyed my harddrive ;)

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Use gparted to move sdb2 toward the end of the disk, so that the free space is before it. Then you can resize sdb1.

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I'll accept this as the answer but I failed to complete an attempt at this since gparted crashed while I was editing and rendered my hd unstable enough to completely fail to be recognized as a boot device. So My head has been down for a few days trying to restore everything from backups. – Rondo Sep 14 '12 at 2:53

Are you sure you even need a separate boot partition? It used to be necessary (or at least very convenient) but grub is pretty good at booting from LVM and raid and most common linux filesystems these days.

if you don't need a separate /boot, you could move it to a subdirectory on /.

For example:

cp -af /boot /boot.new
umount /boot
mv /boot.new /boot

Then edit /etc/fstab and comment out /boot entry

You will also need to re-install grub on /dev/sdb as the files in /boot have been moved: grub-install /dev/sdb.

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Yes. I am not familiar with all the issues, but my system is about 5 years old. I understand some newer systems do not require boot partitions. – Rondo Sep 14 '12 at 2:51

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