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I created a thinly provisioned CentOS VM on an ESXi instance. To use nice numbers, let's say I configured a max disk space of 500 GB. After installing the OS and booting, when I open File Manager and navigate to computer, it shows that ~20 GB are used and ~30 GB are left (50 GB total). So far so good - I expect the size to grow as that gap closes.

But I need to install software that requires 40 GB of free space. When I run the installer, it sees that only 30 GB are available and exits. This raises several questions for me:

  1. Why did VMware decide to initialize the VM with 50 GB when the max was 500 GB?
  2. Could I have customized the initial size to allow enough space to install the software?
  3. How can I force the disk to grow to make room for the software I'm trying to install?
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  • In ESXi you can use either Thin Provisioned or Thick Provisioned drives. I assume, you have created 50GB Thick Provisioned drive, which CentOS VM can see. You should be able to extend it in the Edit VM menu. Max Size shown in this menu is maximum available size on your Datastore. Might be helpful: vmwareblog.org/…
    – Stuka
    Jan 17, 2021 at 20:19
  • Thanks for the suggestion. I created a 500 GB Thin Provisioned drive. The VM's settings show this. However, the volume available in CentOS is 50 GB.
    – Jake Reece
    Jan 18, 2021 at 1:08

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I found the answer. When installing the OS, you must select Installation Destination > Storage Configuration > Custom, and then you can set the partitions however you'd like.

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On this next screen, you can click Done to accept the defaults, then go back and change them.

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If you don't have the luxury of installing the OS from scratch and must modify partitions, I found this answer helpful: How to shrink /home and add more space on CentOS7

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