I have a 4 TB drive and I am missing some space.

It has one partition of 7814035086 sectors:

$ sudo gdisk -l /dev/sdc
GPT fdisk (gdisk) version 1.0.1

Partition table scan:
  MBR: protective
  BSD: not present
  APM: not present
  GPT: present

Found valid GPT with protective MBR; using GPT.
Disk /dev/sdc: 7814037168 sectors, 3.6 TiB
Logical sector size: 512 bytes
Disk identifier (GUID): AD8CFC18-1D06-5631-8127-13DCC57E1921
Partition table holds up to 128 entries
First usable sector is 34, last usable sector is 7814037134
Partitions will be aligned on 2048-sector boundaries
Total free space is 2014 sectors (1007.0 KiB)

Number  Start (sector)    End (sector)  Size       Code  Name
   1            2048      7814037134   3.6 TiB     8300  Linux filesystem

That partition is encrypted:

$ sudo cryptsetup status /dev/dm-0
/dev/dm-0 is active and is in use.
  type:    LUKS1
  cipher:  aes-xts-plain64
  keysize: 512 bits
  device:  /dev/sdc1
  offset:  4096 sectors
  size:    7814030991 sectors
  mode:    read/write

It has a size of only 7814030991 caused by the offset. That's ok (only 4096 sectors difference). But now let's check size of the filesystem:

$ df
/dev/dm-0           3845576524  3844314380   1245760  100% /media/bak-5

The encrypted device has a size of "7814030991 sectors * 512 byte / 1024 = 3907015495 1K-Blocks". However, the filesystem has a size of only 3845576524 1K-Blocks. That's a difference of 58,59 GiB.

I know that ext4 reserves 5% for root by default, but I already disabled that:

$ sudo tune2fs -l /dev/dm-0 | grep Reserved
Reserved block count:     0
Reserved GDT blocks:      791
Reserved blocks uid:      0 (user root)
Reserved blocks gid:      0 (group root)

How can I use that "missing" 58 GiB?

PS: It's a rarely used backup drive so don't worry about disabling the 5% reserved area :)


It is less than 2% of the total space, and it is used by filesystem metadata, such as block allocation bitmaps and inode tables. You can get a little space back out of the inode tables by reformatting ( which will of course, destroy all data currently there ) the volume and using the -T largefile or -T largefile4 options to mke2fs. This will reduce the maximum number of files that can be stored on the volume and get some of that 2% back.

  • Another option is to use a different filesystem, though I don't know what the overhead for the common ones are off the top of my head.
    – derobert
    Nov 7 '18 at 17:05

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