How to expand a system disk for a VMware virtual machine running a Linux OS hosted by a VMware Server

To increase a virtual machines system disk running a Linux OS is a two step process.

Firstly we need to expand the disk and then we need to increase the partition size inside the host.

Expand the disk

Turn off the virtual machine that you wish to administer.

Open a command prompt and change directory to C:’Program Files’VMWare’VMWare Server or C:’Program Files’VMware’VMware Workstation depending upon what product you are running.

Run this command to expand the virtual disk: vmware-vdiskmanager -x 20GB "My harddisk.vmdk"

In my case I would like to increase the disk to 20GB so substitute your value. Include the full file location for the vmdk file and use quotes if there are spaces in the folder and/or filename


The disk expansion should complete successfully


Increase the partition size

Download the GParted Live LiveCD available here

Gnome Partition Editor is a small bootable livecd that we can use to boot your VMware virtual machine so that we can adjust the partition size using the Gparted utility

In VMware server, edit your machine settings and configure the CD-ROM to use the Gparted .iso file and ensure that it is also ‘connected at power on’

Power your virtual machine on. You may find that you also need to enter the virtual machines BIOS settings to change the boot order so that the CD-ROM drive is first on the list. To do this press F2 when you power on the virtual machine and select the ‘Boot’ option. – and + will change the items boot order sequence


The iso image should now boot and the Gnome Partition Editor menu screen appears. Select the Gparted Live (Default settings) option


When the ‘Package configuration’ screen appears select the ‘Don’t touch keymap’ option


Select your language from the list when prompted


Select the mode. Default is 0 ‘Continue to start X to use Gparted automatically’


Once it completes the boot process the livecd GUI is loaded


Select your partition and click on the resize/move button. As you can see the partition I want to resize is LVM2 and not supported by Gparted!


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