Provided by: ext2resize_1.1.19-3_i386
ext2prepare - ext2 filesystem resizing preparation tool
ext2prepare [-d] [-f] [-q] [-v] [-V] device size[b|K|M|G|T]]
The ext2prepare command modifies an unmounted ext2 filesystem on device
so that ext2online(8) program can later resize the mounted filesystem
to be at least as large as size although the actual maximum size will
be some larger multiple of various filesystem parameters. While
ext2prepare must be run on an unmounted filesystem, device does not
have to currently be as large as size. This allows one to later
increase the size of device and do the resize while the filesystem is
If the size parameter does not have a modifier, it will be taken to be
in ext2 filesystem blocks (which can be 1k, 2k, or 4k - use
dumpe2fs(8) to find out more information about the current filesystem).
The modifiers b, K, M, G, or T mean the size parameter is given in
512-byte blocks, kilo-, mega-, giga-, or terabytes respectively.
The ext2prepare program does not change the size of the actual device.
If you wish to enlarge a filesystem, you must make sure you expand the
underlying device first. This can be done online for Logical Volumes
by using lvextend(8) from the LVM package, or possibly via md or RAID
facilities in the hardware if you are not using partitions. It is not
possible to do this by using the fdisk(8) family of tools to extend a
partition while it is mounted (at least the author has not been able to
successfully do this).
Because of the original design of the ext2 filesystem did not have
online resizing in mind, there are certain limitations to the amount of
resizing that can be done while the filesystem is mounted, if you
haven’t done any preparation for the resize. The default block size
for ext2 was 1k blocks until v1.15 of e2fsprogs (1999), where it
changed to 4k blocks for filesystems larger than 512MB.
With no filesystem preparation, it is always possible to resize to the
next 256MB boundary for 1k filesystems, the next 2GB boundary for for
2k filesystems, and the next 16GB boundary for 4k filesystems. By
using ext2prepare on an unmounted filesystem, it is possible for
ext2online(8) to increase the size of a mounted ext2 filesystem to at
least the given size by reserving blocks for group descriptors within
the ext2 filesystem structure. ext2prepare does this by moving
metadata blocks while the filesystem is unmounted, and then allocating
the freed blocks to a reserved inode so that ext2online(8) can later
use these blocks to safely enlarge the filesystem while the filesystem
is in use.
Turn on debugging messages.
Force preparation without first checking the filesystem state.
Do not print anything but error messages.
Turn on normal verbose status messages.
Print the version number and exit.
0 Resizing successful
1 Error in options or command-line parameters.
2 Error while preparing filesystem.
The following example shows how to test ext2prepare with a spare
partition. First a filesystem of 32MB is created on the device. The
filesystem is then prepared to grow to a maximum size of 10GB, mounted,
and the size is verified. The filesystem is then extended to fill the
device (the default action when no size is given), and the new size is
mke2fs /dev/vg0/lvtest 32768
ext2prepare /dev/vg0/lvtest 10G
mount -o debug,check=strict /dev/vg0/lvtest /mnt/test
ext2online -d -v /dev/vg0/lvtest
By using the debug and check=strict options to mount, as well as the -d
and -v options to ext2prepare, we will see the user-space status
messages, and the kernel messages will be logged by syslog.
Note that resizing a mounted filesystem is inherently dangerous and may
corrupt filesystems, although no errors resulting in data loss have
ever been reported to the author. In theory online resizing should
work fine with arbitrarily large filesystems, but it has not yet been
tested by the author on a filesystem larger than 11GB. Use with
caution. Backups are always a good idea, because your disk may fail at
any time, you delete files by accident, or your computer is struck by a
The ext2prepare program was written by Andreas Dilger
<firstname.lastname@example.org> using the ext2 resizing tools developed by
Lennert Buytenhek <email@example.com>. The ext2online kernel patches are
available as part of the GNU ext2resize package at
Because ext2prepare uses a reserved inode to store blocks needed for a
future resize (so that they can’t be accidentally used by another
program), e2fsck(8) needs to be slightly modified to understand this
new reserved inode. If an unmodified e2fsck(8) is run on a filesystem
that has been changed with ext2prepare, it will complain about the
reserved inode and free all of the blocks associated with this inode.
If this happens, it will not be possible to resize the filesystem past
the default limits given previously. However, the filesystem itself is
not affected in any way by these events. The ext2resize programs do
not work on big-endian machines (Alpha, SPARC, PPC, etc).
ext2prepare is (C) Copyright 1999, 2000, 2001 by Andreas Dilger and may
be distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License.
dumpe2fs(8) ext2online(8) ext2resize(8) e2fsck(8) lvextend(8)