How To Adjust The Size Of The Root Partition On Live Arch Linux

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Today, I was testing the latest Arch Linux live ISO in VirtualBox. Before installing Arch Linux on disk, I booted into the live system and wanted to try some applications to see how it performs in Arch Linux. As expected, everything worked fine out of the box. I started to install some more applications as well. After few minutes, I got the following error:

error: partition / too full: 63256 blocks needed, 61450 blocks free
error: not enough free disk space
error: failed to commit transaction (not enough free disk space) 
Errors occurred: no packages were upgraded.

As you see in the above output, It is very obvious that there is not much space left in the root partition. I have only assigned 512MB to my Arch Linux VM, so I increased the RAM size to 2 GB. I thought it would solve the problem. However, the system is still crashed when trying to install applications and displayed the same error message. I ran “df -h” command to check the size of the filesystems. The output showed my root filesystem has only 256MB. So, I realized I need to adjust the size of the root partition on my live Arch Linux system. I headed to Arch Wiki hoping to find a suitable workaround. Fortunately, I found it after couple searches.

Adjust The Size Of The Root Partition On Live Arch Linux

When you boot the Arch Linux livecd, press e or hit tab key to edit the kernel parameters. Go to the end of the line that says “…. linux=… initrd=….” something like that and append cow_spacesize=1G at the end to get 1GB size root partition or whatever space left from RAM.

Arch linux boot menu

Then, press ENTER to continue booting into live system. Check if the root partition’s size is modified or not using “df -h” command.

Arch linux free space

As you see in the above screenshot, I have adjusted the size of the root partition. I can now able to install and test more applications under my Arch Linux live system.

In case you forgot to add the “cow_spacesize=1G” line in the boot menu, you can still adjust the root partition size after booting into your live system by running the following command:

mount -o remount,size=1G /run/archiso/cowspace

For those wondering, Cow is Copy on Write. It uses memory for extra space.

And, that’s all for now folks. Hope this helps. We will be posting more useful guides in the days to come. Stay tuned.


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