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penyuan 06-28-2012 05:14 PM

Shrink VirtualBox Linux guest VDI?
 
Hello,

I have Fedora 17 and Scientific Linux 6.2 guest systems running under VirtualBox 4.1.18.

I read here that there is a way to shrink a guest machine's VDI hard disk image. However, its Linux guest instructions say that the method only works for ext3 filesystems. The article was written in 2009, probably why a method for ext4 was not mentioned. My virtual machines use ext4.

Is there a way to effectively shrink my Linux guest VDI in VirtualBox, perhaps similar to the method described in the linked article?

Thanks!

syg00 06-28-2012 07:34 PM

It states it doesn't work for ext4, so it was at least considered - maybe even tested.

Perhaps try just creating an empty (as in /dev/zero) file of sufficient size using "dd" then delete it. Then try the compact.

penyuan 06-29-2012 08:46 AM

OK, I think I will try your suggestion and just take advantage of /dev/zero. However, the RHEL documentation (I presume it will work for Scientific Linux 6.2, and more or less for Fedora 17??) said there are three "recovery modes": rescue, single-user, and emergency.

Do you know which one is more appropriate for this attempt? I guess probably not single-user mode, because the documentation said "it does not give you the option to mount the file systems as read-only or not mount them at all" (from here). What about the other two?

Thanks!

syg00 07-04-2012 12:38 AM

Sorry, this thread got "lost" in my mail.
I don't understand your question. Log into the relevant guest, create a "big" zero-fill file, then delete it. Do it from a "normal" user should suffice I would think.
Shut the guest down, and try the compact run on the inactive guest.

penyuan 07-04-2012 10:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by syg00 (Post 4718769)
Sorry, this thread got "lost" in my mail.
I don't understand your question. Log into the relevant guest, create a "big" zero-fill file, then delete it. Do it from a "normal" user should suffice I would think.
Shut the guest down, and try the compact run on the inactive guest.

Sorry about the confusion, what I meant was that the original instructions I saw (in the linked blog post from my original post), it said I should zero-fill my virtual hard disk inside the guest Linux system's recovery mode (instead of logged in as normal user).
Therefore I was wondering *which* recovery mode I should boot the guest system into, because RHEL/Fedora has *three* different recovery modes...


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