[kwlug-disc] Safely append unused space to an ext3 partition

Khalid Baheyeldin kb at 2bits.com
Tue Jul 20 23:01:47 EDT 2010

On the new server that I had, there are 12GB that are unassigned for some
Perhaps this is due to even number boundaries, or something.

The current state is like this (from parted)

Disk /dev/sda: 1000GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: msdos

Number  Start   End     Size    Type      File system  Flags
 1      32.3kB  988GB   988GB   primary   ext3         boot
 2      988GB   1000GB  12.1GB  extended
 5      988GB   1000GB  12.1GB  logical   linux-swap

In fdisk, it is like so:

Disk /dev/sda: 1000.2 GB, 1000204886016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 121601 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xsomething

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *           1      120134   964976323+  83  Linux
/dev/sda2          120135      121601    11783677+   5  Extended
/dev/sda5          120135      121601    11783646   82  Linux swap / Solaris

I don't want to repartition the disk and spend several hours backing up and
restoring the file system (which is only 100GB, but still ...)

So the question is: is there a way to somehow append the 12GB that are
assigned to /dev/sda1, and end up with only 2 partitions (1 and 5)?

If this can be done at the partition level, would ext3 need to know about
extra space, or will it use it without issues?

Thanks in advance.
Khalid M. Baheyeldin
2bits.com, Inc.
Drupal optimization, development, customization and consulting.
Simplicity is prerequisite for reliability. --  Edsger W.Dijkstra
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. --   Leonardo da Vinci
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