Resize Root Partition of VirtualBox VM Snapshot

Last Updated:

You are running a virtual machine on a VirtualBox with multiple snapshots and you want to resize the root partition of the specific partition without losing data? Well, this guide on how to resize root partition of VirtualBox VM snapshot using the Gparted Live CD.

Resize Root Partition of VirtualBox VM Snapshot

Download Gparted Live CD ISO

GParted is a free partition manager that enables you to resize, copy, and move partitions without data loss. It is however a good practise have a backup just in case things go south. Navigate to the Gparted Downloads page and download it. You can simply use wget.


Poweroff the Virtual Machine

To resize a root partition of a Virtual Machine containing the snapshot whose root partition you want to resize, you need to power that VM off. Well, you can power off the VM from the VirtualBox interface or simply use the vboxmanage command as shown below;

vboxmanage controlvm VM_NAME poweroff

Replace VM_NAME with the name of the virtual machine in question.

Find the Name of the Snapshot

Open the Virtual Media Manager and find the name of the virtual machine snapshot whose root partition is to be resized.

name of the snapshot

Resize Root Partition of VirtualBox VM Snapshot

Once you have identified the name of the virtual machine snapshot to resize, proceed to resize the disk. Snapshots are located on the snapshots folder.

vboxmanage modifymedium disk VirtualBox\ VMs/debian9/Snapshots/{ff94f0a8-9695-4c6f-b3a9-39baba8e5566}.vdi --resize 30720

The original disk size is 12GB and we have resized it to 30GB

Attach GParted Live CD ISO

Next, attach the GParted Live CD iso to your vm with a snapshot to be resized.

Attach Gparted Live CD iso

Once you have attached the iso, set the boot order such that optical disk comes first.

resize root partition wih gparted live cd on virtualbox

start your virtual machine.

When the virtual machine starts, let it boot with GParted Live default settings.

Boot GParted Live CD on VirtualBox

Select your keymap, your preferred language and continue to startx to use Gparted automatically.

Gparted on VirtualBox

As you can see, the unallocated space is 18GB.

To resize the root partition to unallocated space, we are going to first delete the extended and swap partition. Hence, right click and delete it.

Delete Extended Partition on Gparted

Next, right click on the root partition, in this case, it is /dev/sda and select resize and set the new partition size.

resize root partition of VirtualBox VM snapshot using the Gparted Live CD

Click resize to extend the partition size. After that, click the tick to save the changes.

resize root partition of VirtualBox VM snapshot

You should now have resized your disk.

Poweroff the virtual machine and detach the Gparted Live CD iso and boot your system.

When the system boots, you can check the disk size by running the df -h command.

df -h /dev/sda1
Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda1        30G  1.9G   27G   7% /

There you go. That is it on how to resize root partition of VirtualBox VM snapshot using the Gparted Live CD.

You can check our other articles by following the links below;

Install VirtualBox Guest Additions on Debian 10 Buster

Install Debian 10 Buster on VirtualBox

Install and Configure Endian Firewall on VirtualBox

Install Fedora 30 Workstation on VirtualBox


We're passionate about sharing our knowledge and experiences with you through our blog. If you appreciate our efforts, consider buying us a virtual coffee. Your support keeps us motivated and enables us to continually improve, ensuring that we can provide you with the best content possible. Thank you for being a coffee-fueled champion of our work!

Photo of author
I am the Co-founder of, Linux and the whole FOSS enthusiast, Linux System Admin and a Blue Teamer who loves to share technological tips and hacks with others as a way of sharing knowledge as: "In vain have you acquired knowledge if you have not imparted it to others".

Leave a Comment