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Extend CentOS 6/7 Disks in VMWare

Updated: Dec 31, 2021


Humboldt Penguins of the Ballestas Islands; photo by Ryan Murphy.

I’ve always felt there weren’t enough straight forward guides on how to do this. This is an example of how to (relatively) quickly resize & extend a disk on CentOS 6/7. This is used when increasing the size of a disk in a virtual machine, in this example I’ll use VMWare.


Important

  • Make sure you have a good backup of your data

  • This guide assumes you’re using CentOS 6.x or CentOS 7.x

  • This guide assumes you’re using vCenter 5+, although the process in CentOS should still stay the same in other environments


1) Power off the VM


2) Add disk space directly on the VM.

  • VM Properties -> Hard Disk -> Disk Provisioning -> Provisioned Size


3) Download and mount the gParted ISO (Available Here)

  • Ensure the VM is set to boot to BIOS, so you can configure the boot order, CD/DVD should be first. (VM Properties -> Options -> Boot Options -> Boot to BIOS)

  • You can mount the ISO from a datastore, or use the console by clicking the CD/Wrench Icon and selecting “Connect to ISO on Local Disk…”


4) Boot into gParted and resize the volume. You can select the default values for all prompts.

  • Click the disk, select resize

  • Change the ‘New Size’ to be the new size of the disk, click resize.

  • Click the disk, click apply/apply. (Note: If there are errors in gParted you should always read/investigate)

  • When complete, right click the previously locked drive(s) and click “Activate” then close.

  • Edit VM settings to boot into BIOS on next reboot

  • Shutdown the machine and boot back into BIOS, you’ll want to ensure the Hard Disk is first in the boot order


5) Boot into CentOS


6) It’s recommended you create a snapshot at this point, as if things go wrong it will be hard to recover.


7) If there’s a volume group, you may need to remove any missing volume group references.

  • Check volume groups

sudo vgs
  • Remove all missing physical volumes from the volume group

sudo vgreduce --removemissing

8) Find the physical volume you want to resize

sudo pvdisplay

9) Resize (expand) your physical volume.

sudo lvm pvresize -v PHYSICAL_VOLUME

10) Find the logical volume you want to expand

sudo df -h

11) Resize your logical volume and expand the file system to fit.

  • For CentOS 7 and below

sudo lvextend -l +100%FREE LOGICAL_VOLUME
sudo resize2fs FILESYSTEM
  • CentOS 7+ uses the XFS filesystem, therefore you should use xfsprogs

sudo yum –y install xfsprogs.x86_64
sudo xfs_growfs FILESYSTEM

12) Use df -h and fdisk -l to check disk usage and verify everything looks good

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