How to Add a New Disk Larger Than 2TB to An Existing Linux

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Lakshmi Dhandapani

I work on various platforms including IBM-AIX, Solaris, HP-UX, and storage technologies ONTAP and OneFS and have hands on experience on Oracle Database.

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15 Responses

  1. Abhishek Padghan says:

    After creating partition by using parted tool and after formatting by mkfs.ext4 do I have to update the kernel table by parted or partx ?

  2. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Or, you know, use the GUI GParted that is likely available in your distro’s repositories. :-) (Or the live CD version…) Although it’s good to know how to do it from the command line, not everything has to be done from the command line.

    • Lakshmi Dhandapani says:

      Thanks for the comments . Ya for Linux distros..We have GUI option…We can use either CLI or GUI based on our comfort level.

  3. Bruce Ferrell says:

    Yeah, you can make it ext2/3/4, but I wouldn’t. Or more correctly, I did and found out the hard way about checking large ext filesystems. Fortunately, gparted let me shuffle the disk around and remake it with a filesystem friendlier to very large partitions.

    • Lakshmi Dhandapani says:

      @Bruce.. Appreciate your point.

    • luvr says:

      You’re right about ext2 and ext3, but I’m using exclusively ext4 these days, even for large filesystems, and checking these is no problem whatsoever, in my experience.

  4. Abominog says:

    It should be pointed out that if your planning to put the entire disk into one Volume Group, there technically isn’t a reason to partition the disk. A raw, unpartitioned device, can be added to a VG.

  5. luvr says:

    “By default RHEL/CentOS have Kernel with GPT support, but for Debian/Ubuntu you need to recompile the kernel after changing the config.”

    That will certainly have been true years ago, but it is no longer correct. I have both Ubuntu (first 14.04, now 16.04) and Debian (first 8, now 9 testing), plus Slackware (first 14.1, os 14.2) on my laptop with one 1-TB harddisk that I partitioned using the GPT scheme, and none of these systems has ever had any troubles with GPT.

    In fact, the only minor issue that I encountered was with the LILO bootloader under Slackware 14.1, because it didn’t support being installed onto the boot sector of a GPT partition. Even that got resolved with Slackware 14.2.

    • Lakshmi Dhandapani says:


      Thanks for the comments…As you said this stands true for older versions…New versions come with GPT support…Keep posting your comments

  6. Iulian Murgulet says:

    Hello, one important observation – NEVER/EVER format anything using something like “mkfs.ext4 /dev/xvdd1“.

    The same thing for mounting.

    Use instead of /dev/disk/xvdd1 this /dev/disk/by-id/scsi-SATA_HGST_HDN724040A_PK2238P4XGDZ4A-part1, because:

    -if your HDD/partition if fail, you it is very simple to identify the HDD(in my example, HGST is the manufacturer, HDN724040A is the model of HDD, PK2238P4XGDZ4A is the SerialNumber printed on the HDD label, and part1 is the partition number)

    • if you change the HDD controller, sda, could be sdb, so you will have problems
    • if you have several HDD who are identical (manufacturer, capacity, model) it is very easy to make mistakes
    • if you move the HDDs in another system, you can have probblems (sda -> sdb)

    Anything like this are history if you start to use /dev/disk/by-id. You could see what it is in your system with:

    # ls -l /dev/disk/by-id/
  7. Alexey An says:

    Thank you for your article. AFAIK, we can use percent % instead of GB in mkpart command to define a maximum storage size.

    In some cases using % easier than to remember what size of your HDD is. Especially, if it is necessary to install a several HDD’s of various size each one on several servers.

  8. anish says:

    Nice post… Like the hands on approach in the article without delving into too much theory…

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