Resizing the filesystem of your Oracle VM template

To be quick on some testing you download one of the handy Oracle VM templates.
But after using the template for a while you notice the root filesystem of the VM got full, what do you do ?
Since this question came along for a couple of times now, one way to handle this is described below.
First, find out what the current size of the root filesystem is:

[root@vsupp1 ~]# df -m
Filesystem 1M-blocks Used Available Use% Mounted on
3844 2885 761 80% /
/dev/hda1 99 12 82 13% /boot
tmpfs 502 0 502 0% /dev/shm

So, we add a second 'disk' to the VM. In this case it is discovered as /dev/hdb. In order to use it, we put a partition on it with the label of LVM (logical volume manager):

[root@vsupp1 ~]# fdisk /dev/hdb
Device contains neither a valid DOS partition table, nor Sun, SGI or OSF disklabel
Building a new DOS disklabel. Changes will remain in memory only,
until you decide to write them. After that, of course, the previous
content won't be recoverable.

Warning: invalid flag 0x0000 of partition table 4 will be corrected by w(rite)

Command (m for help): p

Disk /dev/hdb: 4194 MB, 4194304000 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 509 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System

Command (m for help): n
Command action
e extended
p primary partition (1-4)
Partition number (1-4): 1
First cylinder (1-509, default 1):
Using default value 1
Last cylinder or +size or +sizeM or +sizeK (1-509, default 509):
Using default value 509

Command (m for help): t
Selected partition 1
Hex code (type L to list codes): 8e
Changed system type of partition 1 to 8e (Linux LVM)

Command (m for help): w
The partition table has been altered!

Calling ioctl() to re-read partition table.
Syncing disks.

Now the partition is on it, we create a physical volume on top of it:

[root@vsupp1 ~]# pvcreate /dev/hdb1
Physical volume "/dev/hdb1" successfully created

Now, let's take a look the current volume groups we use:

[root@vsupp1 ~]# vgdisplay
--- Volume group ---
VG Name VolGroup00
System ID
Format lvm2
Metadata Areas 1
Metadata Sequence No 3
VG Access read/write
VG Status resizable
Cur LV 2
Open LV 2
Max PV 0
Cur PV 1
Act PV 1
VG Size 5.88 GB
PE Size 32.00 MB
Total PE 188
Alloc PE / Size 188 / 5.88 GB
Free PE / Size 0 / 0
VG UUID o0hAPH-zDE1-dmlH-Ol3e-01yf-Y9fX-grxs1G

So, let's extend this volume group with the new physical volume:

[root@vsupp1 ~]# vgextend VolGroup00 /dev/hdb1
Volume group "VolGroup00" successfully extended

Let's find out if the VG size changed:

[root@vsupp1 ~]# vgdisplay
--- Volume group ---
VG Name VolGroup00
System ID
Format lvm2
Metadata Areas 2
Metadata Sequence No 4
VG Access read/write
VG Status resizable
Cur LV 2
Open LV 2
Max PV 0
Cur PV 2
Act PV 2
VG Size 9.75 GB
PE Size 32.00 MB
Total PE 312
Alloc PE / Size 188 / 5.88 GB
Free PE / Size 124 / 3.88 GB
VG UUID o0hAPH-zDE1-dmlH-Ol3e-01yf-Y9fX-grxs1G

The VG size changed, now let's take a look at the Logical Volume (LV) size:

[root@vsupp1 ~]# lvdisplay
--- Logical volume ---
LV Name /dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00
VG Name VolGroup00
LV UUID DAbIh5-2rnI-Scah-xhcI-BM9a-lGIL-drQQXl
LV Write Access read/write
LV Status available
# open 1
LV Size 3.88 GB
Current LE 124
Segments 1
Allocation inherit
Read ahead sectors 0
Block device 253:0

--- Logical volume ---
LV Name /dev/VolGroup00/LogVol01
VG Name VolGroup00
LV UUID 04Is4L-1miY-0t5W-3Fth-3EuT-eF5M-eE4DU4
LV Write Access read/write
LV Status available
# open 1
LV Size 2.00 GB
Current LE 64
Segments 1
Allocation inherit
Read ahead sectors 0
Block device 253:1

So the LV (VolGroup00/LogVol00) we use is 3.88 GB. Here is the resize:

[root@vsupp1 ~]# lvextend -L 7.6G /dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00
Rounding up size to full physical extent 7.62 GB
Extending logical volume LogVol00 to 7.62 GB
Logical volume LogVol00 successfully resized

Cool, the LV is extended. Now the thing left to extend is the filesystem.
With Oracle Enterprise Linux we can do this online as we go:

[root@vsupp1 ~]# resize2fs /dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00 7G
resize2fs 1.39 (29-May-2006)
Filesystem at /dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00 is mounted on /; on-line resizing required
Performing an on-line resize of /dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00 to 1835008 (4k) blocks.
The filesystem on /dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00 is now 1835008 blocks long.

And see, the filesystem is resized online.

[root@vsupp1 ~]# df -m
Filesystem 1M-blocks Used Available Use% Mounted on
6944 2886 3700 44% /
/dev/hda1 99 12 82 13% /boot
tmpfs 502 0 502 0% /dev/shm

Rene Kundersma
Oracle Expert Services, The Netherlands


Rene, Is it possible to add storage to your DomU without restarting DomU? e.g: I provision 100G of storage to my vmserver (Dom0) and I want to add that 100G to my DomU. I COULD stop the DomU, change vm.cfg and add the new disk and restart but how do I do if I want to do this without restarting DomU? Is that even possible? regards /Peter

Posted by Peter on January 09, 2009 at 05:17 PM PST #

Yes, Peter quite recently I learned this is possible ! I like the question. We could use one of the xm commands options to do this online I remember. I will try to find out what the exact statement(s) are and put an example on our blog asap. Thanks Rene

Posted by Rene Kundersma on January 09, 2009 at 05:51 PM PST #

René, I found the following solution ( where you don't have to add a new disk image file, but increase the size of the already existing disk image file. Haven't tried it personally, but maybe it's worth to give it a try. Regards, Rob

Posted by Rob den Braber on January 12, 2009 at 04:56 AM PST #

I tried the image expansion method and it didn't work. Reading other posts I think Rene's method is the best way for Oracle VM when using the templates. I'm no expert here, but my guess is it has to do with the LVM management of the templates.

Posted by Keith Rust on February 09, 2010 at 01:11 PM PST #

Rene, I have used this technique many times with great success. Thank you! Now I have a question... I have been increasing the root filesystem on a particular vm guest to accomodate database logging as we have encountered some issues with Oracle WMS. I am now up to 70 GB where 20 GB was plenty before. Once the issues are resolved, database logging is switched off and the space is freed up, is it possible to reduce the root filesystem back to 20 GB? I don't want to waste the 50 GB...

Posted by Dave Gillies on September 06, 2010 at 05:43 AM PDT #

Hi Rene Kundersma
I had followed your doc for extending root mount point with LVM.but when i extend with lvextend -L 10G /dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00
Couldn't find device with uuid 'VsgpZb-BiYi-IVBa-ggUg-7J10-1TiA-YlMqxf'.
Cannot change VG VolGroup00 while PVs are missing.
Consider vgreduce --removemissing.
it says this error message.could you please suggest me a solution please.


Posted by guest on September 21, 2012 at 05:36 AM PDT #


The error message says PV's under the LV are missing.
So I would check the status of the LV first and fix if required.

Are you sure your LV is really LogVol00 ? (you may have another name)

Please see the lvm howto.


Posted by Rene on September 24, 2012 at 03:59 AM PDT #

Hi,Can you please let me know how to move / file system (root) to lvm after creating lvm. By default our vm template is not creating lvm's

Posted by guest on August 06, 2013 at 06:56 PM PDT #


Provided your system supports usage of lvm, things could be done by creating a new physical volume, creating a volume group on it and creating an logical volume in it.

Then mount that lvm and tar (or copy) over the entire contents of '/'.

When that is done you need to make sure your fstab is updated. You may want to use a label to mount the lvm.

After this re-install the grub bootloader.

Make sure you put /boot not on LVM

It maybe quicker to just grab a new template (based on lvm) and copy over your applications and use that.



Posted by guest on August 07, 2013 at 08:00 AM PDT #

Hi, we are creating vm's on exalogic x3-2 eighth rack through oracle ops center, the default template which comes with it creates boot, / and tmpfs on physical disk and we would like to move / to lvm, is it supported and how can we do it?

Posted by Prasad N on August 07, 2013 at 07:22 PM PDT #

Hi Prasad,

Please see my earlier reply - with high level instructions:

Add a new disk, make it lvm, transfer the files, update configuration (/etc/fstab and grub) (there maybe more)

You need to double check if you are able to use lvm for /boot at all these days - until now I have only seen /boot as a regular partition.

I cannot answer if this is supported from an Exalogic perspective and I don't have the time to help you with more details other than the highlevel steps. This blog entry is from 2009 btw.


Posted by Rene on August 08, 2013 at 02:35 AM PDT #

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Blog of Rene Kundersma, Principal Member of Technical Staff at Oracle Development USA. I am designing and evaluating solutions and best practices around database MAA focused on Exadata. This involves HA, backup/recovery, migration and database consolidation and upgrades on Exadata. Opinions are my own and not necessarily those of Oracle Corporation. See


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