Expanding A VMWare Client Disk

I’ve become a big fan of vmware, but if you undersize a virtual disk and need to expand it on Linux, brace yourself for about an hours worth of work (at minimum.)

Here’s the process I eventually followed (this seems way too hard/complicated)

  • BACKUP up your virtual machine!!!
  • expand the virtual disk:
    vmware-vdiskmanager -x 16GB myDisk.vmdk

for instance this will size myDisk to 16GB (this size isn’t additive it’s an absolute size)

  • Now you must boot your virtual machine into DOS or some OS that will recognize your disk, I went the BartPE route and added the vmware scsi driver so it would recognize the
    scsi disk. I couldn’t find the actual scsi driver on the web fotunately I had a copy of the VMWare Converter which
    contains a copy of the drivers. You can follow the instructions at this site but the driver that is offered is incomplete.
  • Once you’ve booted BartPE start diskpart and issue the following commands:

    • diskpart> list disk
    • diskpart> list volume
    • diskpart> select volumen=n
    • diskpart> extend
    • diskpart> exit
  • Reboot the virtual machine, restarting Fedora (or your brand of Linux)
  • Start the Linux Volume Manager (lvm)

    • Find the physical volume with lvm> pvscan
    • Resize the physical volume lvm> pvresize /dev/sda?
    • Resize the logical volume lvm>  lvresize -L 14G /dev/VolGroup01/LogVol00
    • lvm> exit
  • Finally resize your filesystem with (on Fedora, other brands of linux may have a different command):

root# resize2fs /dev/mapper/VolGroup00-LogVol00

  • Sheesh, that was a lot of work, the procedure for windows seems slightly easier, but I couldn’t find all this information
    easily in one place for Fedora/Linux, good luck.


  1. Ninja says:

    Thanks for this post! We use VMware a lot at work.  Try VirtualBox – it’s free.  I only just downloaded it so cannot comment on it yet.

  2. Bob says:

    hey great advice, worked a treat much apreciated !

    The only difference was i used the command

    vmware-vdiskmanager-x [Expansion Amount]GB [drive name].vmdk

    to make the drive larger,  but as i had a default fedora config with the mount / being the whole drive your advice worked to resize the entire volume which from the config-system-lvm interface i couldn’t get to work as it wanted to unmount the root volume

    so thanks again, that’s saved me a heap of work!


  3. Bob says:

    sorry my bad .. i mean I used gparted [yum install gparted] instead of diskpart

    I ran this inside the actual fedora vm rather than a seperate machine, i had issues with it seeing the drive as corupted when i opened it in another vm.. it opened fine in its own machine.  it is an expanding disk though.. anyway thanks for the great help 🙂

Leave a Reply