Getting Maximum Space for Linux Partition

We all know how to format a Linux partition:

mkfs.ext3 /dev/hda

This formats the partition with ext3 file system. However no one knows how to extract maximum space out of this partition, especially if it’s a large partition?

How to maximize available space in a partition

Just use the magical option -m. If the file system becomes filled and there is no more space to write, it is basically unusable because the operating system is constantly writing to disk. By default, five percent of the partition is reserved for use by the root. This allows root to conduct administrative activities on the partition and perhaps move some data off. Firstly, this is most critical when the partition contains / or home directories. For pure data partitions, this is just lost space. Five percent of a 300Gb partition is 15 Gb. Especially in the case of large partitions, it is safe to set the reserved space to the minimum, which is one percent.

mkfs.ext3 -m 1 /dev/sda2

Above command creates a file system with only 1% of its space reserved for the root user.

Note: You can use tune2fs -m later to adjust the reserved blocks after data is loaded on the partition.

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