I installed Ubuntu Server 18.04 with the LVM option and left the default partition setup. Now my main drive only has 4GB in a 1TB hard drive. How can I fix this without starting from scratch?

Results of df -h :

Filesystem                         Size    Used Available Use% Mounted on
udev                                16G       0       16G   0% /dev
tmpfs                               32G    1.7M       32G   1% /run
/dev/mapper/ubuntu--vg-ubuntu--lv  3.9G    3.6G       92M  98% /    
tmpfs                               16G       0       16G   0% /dev/shm
tmpfs                              5.0M       0      5.0M   0% /run/lock
tmpfs                               16G       0       16G   0% /sys/fs/cgroup
/dev/loop0                          87M     87M         0 100% /snap/core/4917
/dev/loop1                         3.2M    3.2M         0 100% /snap/stress-ng/471
/dev/loop2                          90M     90M         0 100% /snap/core/6130
/dev/sda2                          976M    143M      766M  16% /boot
tmpfs                              3.2G       0      3.2G   0% /run/user/1000
  • 1
    It happens to me too, by using the "ubuntu-18.04.3-live-server-amd64.iso" instead of dedicated server iso.
    – stwienert
    Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 12:58
  • exactly the same for me!
    – imbr
    Commented Nov 2, 2021 at 12:33
  • 3
    ubuntu 22.04 is out and this is still not fixed...
    – Hakaishin
    Commented May 19, 2022 at 16:06
  • This actually a major issue if you don't pay attention enough.. Commented Mar 29, 2023 at 21:55

4 Answers 4


Had the exact same problem with a fresh install of Ubuntu Server 18.04.1.

What I had to do was:

# We need to resize the logical volume to use all the existing and free space of the volume group
$ lvm
lvm> lvextend -l +100%FREE /dev/ubuntu-vg/ubuntu-lv
lvm> exit

# And then, we need to resize the file system to use the new available space in the logical volume
$ resize2fs /dev/ubuntu-vg/ubuntu-lv
resize2fs 1.44.1 (24-Mar-2018)
Filesystem at /dev/ubuntu-vg/ubuntu-lv is mounted on /; on-line resizing required
old_desc_blocks = 1, new_desc_blocks = 58
The filesystem on /dev/ubuntu-vg/ubuntu-lv is now 120784896 (4k) blocks long.

# Finally, you can check that you now have available space:
$ df -h
Filesystem                         Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
udev                               3.9G     0  3.9G   0% /dev
tmpfs                              786M  1.2M  785M   1% /run
/dev/mapper/ubuntu--vg-ubuntu--lv  454G  3.8G  432G   1% /

If you didn't customize the LVM settings, the names for the volume group and logical volume should be the same as mine (ubuntu-vg and ubuntu-lv respectively).

If your partition is completely full, you could get a no space left error when trying to resize the logical volume like:

lvm> lvextend -l +100%FREE /dev/ubuntu-vg/ubuntu-lv
  /etc/lvm/archive/.lvm_computer: write error failed: No space left on device

The easiest way to fix this is by removing apt cache (it will get regenerated next time you do apt update), which should give you more than enough space to complete the operation:

$ rm -rf /var/cache/apt/*
  • 37
    I would count this as major bug - but apparently the folks at Canonical don't since a fresh installation of an Ubuntu Server 18.04.2 installation has exactly the same "behavior".
    – Jey DWork
    Commented Jul 9, 2019 at 16:19
  • 14
    Are you serious? How is this expected behavior? I landed here after just installing a fresh 18.04.2 and wondering why / is only 4Gigs.
    – Plazgoth
    Commented Jul 10, 2019 at 4:47
  • 10
    I continue to visit this answer and will continue to do so as long as LVM doesn't allocate all of available disk space on a disk
    – jspinella
    Commented Sep 8, 2019 at 2:56
  • 6
    I've been coming back to this answer for years now. Still an issue with 18.04.4 server. Thank you!
    – jspinella
    Commented Apr 4, 2020 at 20:07
  • 14
    Well, it is still a bug in Ubuntu Server 20.04 and I keep still coming back to this answer. Thank you for this info. Commented May 26, 2020 at 21:12

This is still relevant today. Ubuntu 22.04.

Example of fix:

example of fix

It's absolutely ridiculous that this isn't the default behavior. Of course I want my 2TB drive

Commands below for copying and pasting without the failed commands. :)

ssh user@ipaddress
cd ~

(Note the drive: /dev/mapper/ubuntu--vg-ubuntu--lv)

Escalate privilages into lvm:

sudo lvm

Run LV Extend:

lvextend -l +100%FREE /dev/ubuntu-vg/ubuntu-lv

Now exit:


Then resize:

sudo resize2fs /dev/ubuntu-vg/ubuntu-lv

New found free space visualized:

df -h
  • This answer would be much improved if you would write it up without the failed commands, not to mention that a picture is impossible to copy and paste CLI fragments from. Just a thought.
    – Elder Geek
    Commented Nov 20, 2023 at 21:44
  • 1
    Fair enough, I'm new around here so...thanks. Also added the commands.
    – defcon
    Commented Nov 21, 2023 at 2:17
  • Thank you for improving the site!
    – Elder Geek
    Commented Nov 27, 2023 at 0:14

Expected behavior on an LVM install is indeed the smaller partitions. The system creates minimal space waste on physical partition creation expecting you to customize and expand the LVM as needed, since the added partitions aren't necessary to the operating systems function, and users having additional storage space, quotas, and expansion is the point of having an on-the-fly expandable LV and VG

What it should do, however, is explain that better on install


It appears that you need to extend your Logical Volume.

It can be a bit tricky but if you understand that there are 3 parts, it'll be much easier.

  • Physical Volume (PV) => The physical space on a drive.

  • Volume Group (VG) => An abstracted amount of drive space that can be split between multiple drives/devices.

  • Logical Volume (LV) => The space that ubuntu "sees"

You'll need to extend your VG all the way across your 1TB Drive (or extend however much you want), then extend the Logical Volume group to take up that space.

Technet has a nice writeup that (if you follow carefully) you'll be able to follow and extend your drive.

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