Get More Space Out of Your ext3 Partition

I have just discovered that ext3 defaults to reserving 5% of its partition exclusively for root, as a precaution measure that your system does not get FUBAR when you use it for your root partition. I have a 230GB external USB disk that I use for all my big storage requirements, downloaded stuff, backups etc. Due to this reservation I had 11.5GB of unusable disk space, thankfully this is easy to fix:

Replace sdf1 with your partition name. You don’t even have to unmount your disk. Voilรก, 11.5 GB more space for free ๐Ÿ™‚ Here is the output of df -h as proof:

Before:

After:

If you like this, you might also be interested in How to change Ubuntu forced fsck.

Update: The free space limitation is also used to prevent fragmentation. So if you set the limit to zero and operate on a very full harddisk for a while, your filesystem might slow down.

10 Comments on "Get More Space Out of Your ext3 Partition"

Notify of
avatar

anon
Guest
anon
8 years 5 months ago

this is awesome!! i was wondering why the data on my 500 gig drive wouldnt fit back on the same drive once it was changed from ntfs to ext3. mystery solved.. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thomas Einwaller
Guest
8 years 5 months ago

Nice tip! I got some partitions where I could use that too …

trackback
8 years 5 months ago

Story added…

Your story has been submitted to fsdaily.com! Come and promote your article by voting for it here on FSDaily! Let your readers know they can vote for your story too….

trackback

[…] First I create the physical volume on the partition sdg1, create a new volume group ext_vg that contains this physical volumen, and create a new logical volume of size 450GB within thie volume group. Finally create the filesystem (disabled reservation space, see Get More Space Out of Your ext3 Partition). […]

Nemilar
Guest
8 years 4 months ago

Very awesome find! I can’t believe I never knew about this. In my particular case, I just reduced the reserved blocks to 3% (-m 3), which gives me a few extra gigs.

Thanks for the post!

MistaED
Guest
MistaED
8 years 4 months ago

Yeah I wouldn’t recommend doing this at all. That reserved space is to reduce disk file fragmentation so if you fill it up then your filesystem will be very fragmented if it is always full. Please update your blog saying this so not everyone makes it 0% ๐Ÿ™‚

Martin Ankerl
Guest
8 years 4 months ago

Hi MistaED, I have updated the blog with a little warning

yang
Guest
yang
8 years 4 months ago

Where do I paste ‘tune2fs -m 0 /dev/sdf1’? Or what do I do with it, my computer only holds 18.35 gigs X_x so yea..

Martin Ankerl
Guest
8 years 4 months ago

yang, open e.g. gnome-terminal. But please read something about how the command line works before just copy & pasting commands, this can be dangerous when you do not know what you are doing…
Here is a link: http://www.freesoftwaremagazine.com/articles/command_line_intro

Kunal Gautam
Guest
7 years 7 months ago

Stumbled and Faved in my Bookmark . It really helped . Thanks for sharing

wpDiscuz