68569: How to enlarge the root file system of a Virtual Appliance

Last update: 26-04-2021

When troubleshooting issues with a Virtual Appliance , it is sometimes necessary to enlarge the root file system in order for the (potentially large) debug logs to fit. 

The most commong types of logs / items which can grow large are:

  • Memory dumps of processes of the agent (e.g. mms, service_process, aakore …)
  • VDDK/VIX_LIB debug logs
  • Verbose scheduler logs
  • Detailed logs produced by some custom binaries or libraries provided by R&D
  • on rare occasions, mms and pcs logs too can grow large.

Preparation

  1. Download Gparted (x64) from https://gparted.org/download.php
  2. On the hypervisor side, edit the VM's properties: enlarge the 8GB VMDK to e.g. 32GB (or the recommended value).
  3. Attach the GParted ISO to the VM as its virtual CD-ROM: Edit VM > Add other device > select CD/DVD. Make sure it will be connected on next boot and the boot order is to boot from CD-ROM first.
  4. In VM options > Boot options, make sure Firmware type is BIOS, and enable "The next time the virtual machine boots, force entry into the BIOS setup screen."
  5. When the VM boots into BIOS configuration screen, go to the Boot tab, and reorder the boot devices using the +- keys to have CD-ROM on top, and HDD after it.

  6. Press F10 to trigger the Save Dialog and confirm changes.
  7. Boot GParted. The VM reboots and loads the GParted tool (once the bootloader screen of GParted appears, press Enter to boot the default mode of the tool).
  8. Select the default option "Don't touch keymap" when prompted (just press Enter).
  9. Select the default language option ([33], US English) by pressing Enter.
  10. Select the default graphics boot mode ([0) by pressing Enter.
  11. Gparted loads after a minute or two.
  12. In Gparted GUI, in the top-right corner, select the larger/enlarged virtual HDD: /dev/sdb from the drop-down menu.
  13. Click on the /dev/sdb1 partition to select it, then right-click it to invoke the context menu. Select the RESIZE option.

  14. Set the partition size to fill the whole disk by either using the slider or by editing the numerical size parameters in the text boxes below. Click Resize/Move to apply changes.
  15. Check that the partition now fills the whole disk in the graphical size depiction screen.
  16. Click Apply all operations on the main screen of Gparted.
  17. Confirm changes in the dialog window.
  18. Verify that the resizing process completed successfully.

  19. Click GParted > Quit at the top menu bar of the screen to exit GParted.
  20. The following screen appears:
  21. Power off the VM. Detach the GParted ISO from the virtual CD/DVD device.
  22. When the VM starts, it will check its file system and will then boot using the full size of its enlarged disk. You can verify that the root file system now occupies the whole partition and that it is of the desired size by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Shift + F2 when the VA’s GUI loads, to enter the  CLI shell, and then in the shell type:
    lsblk  <hit Enter>
    df –h  <hit Enter>
  23. You can return to the GUI of the VA by pressing Alt + F1.