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I have an Ext3 filesystem sitting on an LVM volume group. The partition was formatted before online resizing was enabled by default.

Is it possible to turn this feature on after the fact, like journaling, or does it have to be present from the beginning?

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If you are referring to the resize_inode feature, then yes, you can resize a system created without this flag. What this flag does, is to allocate much more space for file system inodes (that can't be change post filesystem creation). I don't remember the specific limits of growing a filesystem, but I think it was 1024 the original size for FS with resize_inode and few dozen for FS without it.

Basically, online resizing of ext filesystems is dependent on the kernel, the amount of resizing possible, on available inodes.

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So the resize_inode flag is what enables online resizing, and this can't be enabled after the fact. – Adam Lassek Sep 29 '10 at 23:52
No, it allows to do big resizes, you can always resize an ext filesystem, but you are much more likely to hit inode limits without this flag. Though you can still only grow the FS without unmounting. – Hubert Kario Sep 30 '10 at 0:03
In that case you're answering a question I didn't ask. – Adam Lassek Sep 30 '10 at 0:11
The only situation in which you can't resize (at all) an ext filesystem is when it's mounted and the kernel doesn't have support for online resize or when the tools you use are outdated. If your kernel doesn't support online resizing then you will have to upgrade the kernel. You can't create an ext filesystem that will not be resizable, but you also can't create a filesystem that you can grow indefinitely, like I said, the number of available inodes is static and can't be changed by resizing or flags to <code>tune2fs</code>. – Hubert Kario Sep 30 '10 at 8:24
Okay, so this is a Kernel/toolset limitation and not the filesystem itself? That's what I wanted to know, thanks. – Adam Lassek Oct 6 '10 at 19:39

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