In Extending a Mounted Ext4 File System on LVM in Linux, we introduced how to extend a mounted ext4 filesystem on LVM Logical volume by adding a new physical volume. It is also common to shrink an ext4 file system as to spare some disk space. In this post, I will discuss how to shrink an ext file system on a LVM logical volume (LV).
After the file system and LV is shrunk, the disk space is returned to the volume group (VG) and you can allocate the disk space in the VG to other LVs. On the other hand, you may also delete a PV to remove a hard drive from the Linux box or shrink the underlining partition to spare some raw disk space. We will also introduce these 2 following actions.
The example we used for introduction here is that /dev/sdb is a hard drive with a partition /dev/sdb1 as a PV of VG vg, vg contains a LV named lv_data, and an ext4 file system on lv_data is created and mounted to /mnt/data.
First step: backup your data ∞
Backup your data in /mnt/data first! Shrinking file systems and partitions are danger operations. Backup your data before any following operations.
Unmount the ext4 file system ∞
Different from extending the file system, it is better to umount the file system first before shrinking it:
# umount /mnt/data
Extending a file system will give it more spare space where there is no data stored since the space is new. However, for shrinking a file system, the to be deleted space from the file system may have data stored there and it is more complex. To avoid possible data loss, please unmount the file system first.
Shrink the ext4 file system and the LVM LV ∞
The suggested way to shrink the ext4 file system and the LVM LV is to use the
# lvresize --resizefs --size SIZE /dev/vg/vg_data
Here, SIZE is your intended new size for the LV and file system, such as 200G.
lvresize also resize underlying filesystem together with the logical volume. It is better than
lvresize since it is not unlikely for an admin to accidently use inconsistent parameter for
It will prints information like (may be different according to the versions of the tools on you system):
fsck from util-linux 2.21.2 /dev/mapper/vg_linux-lv_home: 15741/54419456 files (0.1% non-contiguous), 4781794/217677824 blocks resize2fs 1.42.3 (14-May-2012) Resizing the filesystem on /dev/mapper/vg_linux-lv_home to 26214400 (4k) blocks. Reducing logical volume lv_home to 100.00 GiB Logical volume lv_home successfully resized
Please note that this command may take much time for moving data to spare disk space. Only do this when you have sufficient time allowing the file system being kept unmounted.
After this command executes successfully, you can remount the file system again and check the file system size by
Next steps ∞
After the file system and LV is shrunk, the disk space is returned to the VG vg and you can allocate the space to other LVs. Here, we introduce 2 other possible following steps depending on your purpose of shrinking the file system and LV. You may check them only if you need them.
1. Removing the hard drive ∞
You may want to remove the /dev/sdb from the box. Make sure you shrink the file system to small enough in the above
lvresize command so that the spare space in the vg is larger than /dev/sdb1’s capacity.
To remove the hard drive, detailed tutorial can be found in How to delete a disk from a LVM group while keeping the data. Here, we only list the commands:
# pvmove /dev/sdb1 # vgreduce vg /dev/sdb1 # pvremove /dev/sdb1
Then, if there is no other partitions on /dev/sdb, you are free to remove the hard drive for /dev/sdb. Finding the physical hard drive for a device like /dev/sdb in Linux may be tricky (/dev/sdb is not always the 2nd disk on your box!), my suggested method is introduced in How to Find Out Failed Disks’ SATA Ports in Linux.
2. Shrinking the partitions ∞
You may not want to remove /dev/sdb but to shrink /dev/sdb1 and spare some raw disk space for creating other partitions on /dev/sdb.
To achieve this, you need 2 steps: shrink the PV /dev/sdb1 and shrink the disk partition /dev/sdb1.
Shrink the PV ∞
Now, you need
# pvresize --setphysicalvolumesize SIZE /dev/sdb1
Here, ensure that the PV size SIZE is appropriate for your intended new partition size of /dev/sdb1.
Shrink the partition ∞
Here, I suggest
parted for resizing partition instead of the old method of shrinking partition using
resizepart subcommand in
parted can move the END position of a partition:
2.4.10 resizepart ----------------- -- Command: resizepart NUMBER END Moves the END position of partition NUMBER. Note that this does not modify any filesystem present in the partition. If you wish to do this, you will need to use external tools, such as 'resize2fs'. When growing a partition you will want to grow the filesystem afterwards, but when shrinking, you need to shrink the filesystem before the partition.
An example of using the
resizepart command in
parted is as follows:
# parted /dev/sdb GNU Parted 3.2 Using /dev/sdb Welcome to GNU Parted! Type 'help' to view a list of commands. (parted) print Model: ATA ST31000528AS (scsi) Disk /dev/sdb: 1000GB Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B Partition Table: msdos Disk Flags: Number Start End Size Type File system Flags 1 32.3kB 700GB 700GB primary (parted) resizepart Partition number? 1 End? [700GB]? 650GB Warning: Shrinking a partition can cause data loss, are you sure you want to continue? Yes/No? No (parted) resizepart Partition number? 1 End? [650GB]? 680GB (parted) quit Information: You may need to update /etc/fstab.
Note that in this example, we select “No” for the warning parted printed out for safety and use a larger size instead.
parted, if you prefer a GUI program, the GPartd is a very handy tool for shrinking partitions.