18.4. Resizing and Growing Disks

Originally contributed by Allan Jude.

A disk's capacity can increase without any changes to the data already present. This happens commonly with virtual machines, when the virtual disk turns out to be too small and is enlarged. Sometimes a disk image is written to a USB memory stick, but does not use the full capacity. Here we describe how to resize or grow disk contents to take advantage of increased capacity.

Determine the device name of the disk to be resized by inspecting /var/run/dmesg.boot. In this example, there is only one SATA disk in the system, so the drive will appear as ada0.

List the partitions on the disk to see the current configuration:

# gpart show ada0
=>      34  83886013  ada0  GPT  (48G) [CORRUPT]
        34       128     1  freebsd-boot  (64k)
       162  79691648     2  freebsd-ufs  (38G)
  79691810   4194236     3  freebsd-swap  (2G)
  83886046         1        - free -  (512B)

Note:

If the disk was formatted with the GPT partitioning scheme, it may show as corrupted because the GPT backup partition table is no longer at the end of the drive. Fix the backup partition table with gpart:

# gpart recover ada0
ada0 recovered

Now the additional space on the disk is available for use by a new partition, or an existing partition can be expanded:

# gpart show ada0
=>       34  102399933  ada0  GPT  (48G)
         34        128     1  freebsd-boot  (64k)
        162   79691648     2  freebsd-ufs  (38G)
   79691810    4194236     3  freebsd-swap  (2G)
   83886046   18513921        - free -  (8.8G)

Partitions can only be resized into contiguous free space. Here, the last partition on the disk is the swap partition, but the second partition is the one that needs to be resized. Swap partitions only contain temporary data, so it can safely be unmounted, deleted, and then recreated after resizing other partitions.

# swapoff /dev/ada0p3
# gpart delete -i 3 ada0
ada0p3 deleted
# gpart show ada0
=>       34  102399933  ada0  GPT  (48G)
         34        128     1  freebsd-boot  (64k)
        162   79691648     2  freebsd-ufs  (38G)
   79691810   22708157        - free -  (10G)

Warning:

There is risk of data loss when modifying the partition table of a mounted file system. It is best to perform the following steps on an unmounted file system while running from a live CD-ROM or USB device. However, if absolutely necessary, a mounted file system can be resized after disabling GEOM safety features:

# sysctl kern.geom.debugflags=16

Resize the partition, leaving room to recreate a swap partition of the desired size. This only modifies the size of the partition. The file system in the partition will be expanded in a separate step.

# gpart resize -i 2 -a 4k -s 47G ada0
ada0p2 resized
# gpart show ada0
=>       34  102399933  ada0  GPT  (48G)
         34        128     1  freebsd-boot  (64k)
        162   98566144     2  freebsd-ufs  (47G)
   98566306    3833661        - free -  (1.8G)

Recreate the swap partition:

# gpart add -t freebsd-swap -a 4k ada0
ada0p3 added
# gpart show ada0
=>       34  102399933  ada0  GPT  (48G)
         34        128     1  freebsd-boot  (64k)
        162   98566144     2  freebsd-ufs  (47G)
   98566306    3833661     3  freebsd-swap  (1.8G)
# swapon /dev/ada0p3

Grow the UFS file system to use the new capacity of the resized partition:

Note:

Growing a live UFS file system is only possible in FreeBSD 10.0-RELEASE and later. For earlier versions, the file system must not be mounted.

# growfs /dev/ada0p2
Device is mounted read-write; resizing will result in temporary write suspension for /.
It's strongly recommended to make a backup before growing the file system.
OK to grow file system on /dev/ada0p2, mounted on /, from 38GB to 47GB? [Yes/No] Yes
super-block backups (for fsck -b #) at:
 80781312, 82063552, 83345792, 84628032, 85910272, 87192512, 88474752,
 89756992, 91039232, 92321472, 93603712, 94885952, 96168192, 97450432

Both the partition and the file system on it have now been resized to use the newly-available disk space.

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