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We have a 'baremetal' VPS hosted server with our provider. Everything on this 'instance' is in one main root / parition.

If I don't have access to this system, how can I convert this to an ext4 file system?

is this even possible?

This is running Ubuntu 10.04 kernel version 2.6.36 .

thanks.

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Which VPS technology? What is the filesystem now? –  Michael Hampton Sep 18 '12 at 18:03
    
Xen 3.4 - running EXT3 –  Tom G11 Sep 18 '12 at 18:29
    
It would be best if your provider gave you remote console access; Xen is perfectly capable of this. Anyway, @JeffFerland's instructions below are probably best for you. Take a backup before starting! –  Michael Hampton Sep 18 '12 at 18:32
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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted
  1. Bring the system down to single user mode. This works best if you have a remote console connection available (VNC or ssh wired to a virtual serial console). If you don't, you'll need to fiddle a bit taking all the services offline except SSH.

  2. Edit your /etc/fstab to show your root partition as type ext4.

  3. Remount your root partition as read only.

  4. Follow these conversion instructions.

  5. Reboot.

I'd try it on a VM first beforehand... and before that I'd take a deep look at why you're making that conversion and whether it's really worthwhile.

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no console access - But apparently the host can do it themselves if I give them the instructions. The reason for upgrading is we have some very large InnoDB tables 30+gb) with lots of read/writes - we are noticing fairly large IO - there is no swapping happening. EXT4 has some performance increases. –  Tom G11 Sep 18 '12 at 18:30
    
First I will check mysql config to search some performance issue. –  B14D3 May 2 '13 at 7:08
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while it is possible, it is quite risky. you should back up the data before rebooting. it is easy to forget something and the system might drop to a maintenance mode. so i would not recommend it unless you have have out of band access to your server. take a look at this:

https://ext4.wiki.kernel.org/index.php/Ext4_Howto#Converting_an_ext3_filesystem_to_ext4

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