How to resize a linux filesytem without Data Loss

Today i’m going to show you how to resize a filesystem without data loss.This can be quite useful, if you do not use the LVM technology.

Note:- Before doing this in live enviornment, kindly test it in your testbox
Here i’m using my susebox .
Tools Used :- fdisk, umount, fsck, tune2fs, e2fsck, resize2fs.

I’m going to resize the /dev/sdb1 in this tutorial. ( if your partition is named diferently, kindly replace it)























In the above screenshot, you can able to see the harddisk size, mount point etc.

So /dev/sdb harddisk is of 16GB size

/dev/sdb1 is 8.7 GB . and it’s mounted to /testdir directory.

To extend the size of /dev/sdb1 , the filesystem should be unmounted. Here /dev/sdb1 is mounted on /testdir, run the umount command to unmount the same.








Now run fsck -n /dev/sdb1 for checking the filesystem.






Then we need to remove the journal from the filesystem , this will bring ext2 filesystem to /dev/sdb1






Now run e2fsck to check the filesystem,









Now we can resize the filesystem using resize2fs tool.

Resize2fs can resize ext2 file systems, but not ext3 file systems, that’s why we changed /dev/sdb1 to ext2 by removing journel from it.

8.7GB is the size of /dev/sdb1 (check the above df -h screenshot). Now we are going to extend  the /dev/sdb1 from 8.7 GB to 15 GB .

Note :- In case of shrinking data , don’t make it smaller than 1.9GB (space used as per df-kh output), you will lose data!


So we are going to run resize2fs /dev/sdb1 15000M







Kindly note the number of blocks (384000) and their size (4k). We need it later..

Now we are going to delete the partition /dev/sdb1 using fdisk tool

” Dont worry about your data 🙂 ”








Next we will create a new /dev/sdb1 partition. It was a primary partition earlier, so  choose p again, and again it is our partition no. 1:








Then comes the important part,

Size of the partition:-

The  First Cylinder is not an issue , it’s default (1). But in the case of  Last Cylinder , we don’t have the value , So we can specify the size in kilobyes (K) .

We can calculate the size like this ,

Last Cylinder Size = The amount of blocks from the resize2fs output *  the size of block

// amount of blocks = 384000 .

// Size of block = 4k

Last Cylinder Size =    384000 * 4k =  1536000K

Apply this with +1536000K and write the partition using ‘w’

dddddThen run fsck -n /dev/sdb1.


Then  create the journal on our new /dev/sdb1, thus turning it into an ext3 partition again:








Check the size of filesystem,






Check with df -h and you are good to mount the filesystem.








Hope this helped.


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