Growing an EBS Volume

One of the great uses of EBS volumes is there persistence, however, there often comes a time when the data outgrows the original size of the volume. It is a fairly easy matter to remedy this, however, there does tend to be a moment of downtime.

While many filesystems do have a method for ‘growing’, my filesystem preference has been, of late, XFS.

The basic procedure to grow an EBS volume with an XFS filesystem, would be as follows:

  • (Freeze the filesystem with xfs_freeze if needed, or stop the instance, or detach the volume)
  • Take a snapshot of the volume (you can use the AWS console)
  • Create a new volume from the snapshot, specifying a larger size
  • Attach the new volume to an instance
  • (For consistency, you should unmount the volume, run xfs_check, and remount the volume)
  • Run xfs_growfs -d MOUNTPOINT

The df command is quite handy during this, both to see the total space (i.e. before and after you grow the volume) (use df -h) and for finding the type of filesystem you are using (use df -T)

By cyberx86

Just a random guy who dabbles with assorted technologies yet works in a completely unrelated field.


    1. Very true, if one wanted to make an XFS volume smaller, they would have to dump the data, remake the filesystem (mkfs), and restore the data – or, I suppose, create a new volume, and copy all the data over. Other file systems (ext3/4) are likely easier to shrink.

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