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I am trying to extend the disk on a Ubuntu server running as a vmware esxi guest. I have extended the disk in the settings of the guest in esx. How do I go about extending the disk to allow more free space for the os/user data? I have been searching for the answer on this and have read many posts, but none seem to address my actual needs. I am pretty new to linux/ubuntu but am catching on, so please dont beat me up too badly here. Thanks.

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I don't know about vmware specifically, but the general technique probably is the same as when you get a new, bigger hard disk and transfer your old disk's image to it. What you need to do is "grow" the partition and the filesystem to fill up the new, larger physical (or in your case, virtual, but it's still the same from Ubuntu's point of view).

The bad news is that in order to resize the filesystem, it cannot be mounted; meaning it cannot resize "itself". The good news is that it's easy to do with a Ubuntu desktop ISO. Just set vmware up so that it boots from a recent Ubuntu desktop ISO image. When it prompts you, ask to "try Ubuntu". When it boots up, look for "gparted", which is a graphical partition manager. You can ask it to enlarge the partition to fit all available device space.

See here for a nice tutorial with lots of detail:

http://www.howtogeek.com/114503/how-to-resize-your-ubuntu-partitions/

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Thanks for the link. I had already tried that one. When I extend my disk, it shows up in gparted as /dev/sda2 with a file system of extended. Under that are file systems of unallocated and linux-swap. When I highlight /dev/sda and then click on resize/move, I am only shown the space on /dev/sda which is already 100% used. –  Scott Nov 27 '12 at 13:09
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