Extend the root LVM with a live system

Linux has made great strides in recent years.  One of the main pains was when the root volume needs to be extended because so many steps are needed in order to make it work properly and the system is off-line during the entire time.  Not any longer.  With ext3, it is not only possible to extend the volume live, it is easy, but typical GUI’s, like system-config-lvm under Fedora, won’t let you.

This is not the recommended procedure, but it is safe to run.  If something gets hosed, you are on your own.  You have been warned.

The commands are:

  • Run pvdisplay to determine the number of Free extents that are available.
  • Run lvextend -l <extents> /dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00 to extend the volume.
  • And, finally, run resize2fs /dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00 to resize the ext3 filesystem out over the new space.  This will take a very long time to complete, depending on, of course, the size of the old filesystem and the size of the newly available space.
lvextend -L +10G /dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00

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