I've got a virtual Ubuntu 18.04 server which is running low on disk space. As this is a virtual server I increased the hard disk size in vSphere. I can see the free space in cfdisk but am unsure how to expand the filesystem partition to take advantage of the new space. I can see there is a resize option for the partition but I'm unclear on whether or not that will also format the partitions and lose my data... Bit of a linux n00b, any help would be greatly appreciated.

cfdisk output:

Device         Start        End       Sectors    Size  Type

/dev/sda1       2048       4095          2048      1M  BIOS boot
/dev/sda2       4096   41940991      41936896     20G  Linux filesystem
Free space  41940992  104857566      62916575     30G  



For the n00b: Connect with X forwarding enabled (ssh -X yourserver), install gparted and use the user-friendly GUI to resize /dev/sda2.

A more advanced user would probably fire up parted /dev/sda, then enter resizepart 2. The end of the partition will automatically be selected to match the end of the disk. This will only resize the partition, though. The file-system can be resized to span the whole partition with the appropriate tool, like resize2fs /dev/sda2 for ext2/3/4.


As an additional note: In this case (free space after the end of the partition which will be resized) it should be possible to resize the partition by:

growpart /dev/sda 2

You can install growpart by installing the package: cloud-guest-utils.

Just as a note: There is always a risk of losing data when performing this kind of operations on disks/partitions.

  • Good point. Yet I want to add that data-loss during online growing is so very unlikely, I consider it safe. – Hermann Feb 1 '20 at 15:44

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