Volume Expansion

Volumes are expanded in two stages. First, Longhorn resizes the block device, then it expands the filesystem.

Since v1.4.0, Longhorn supports online expansion. Most of the time Longhorn can directly expand an attached volumes without limitations, no matter if the volume is being R/W or rebuilding.

If the volume was not expanded though the CSI interface (e.g. for Kubernetes older than v1.16), the capacity of the corresponding PVC and PV won’t change.


  • For offline expansion, the Longhorn version must be v0.8.0 or higher.
  • For online expansion, the Longhorn version must be v1.4.0 or higher.

Expand a Longhorn volume

There are two ways to expand a Longhorn volume: with a PersistentVolumeClaim (PVC) and with the Longhorn UI.


This method is applied only if:

  • The PVC is dynamically provisioned by the Kubernetes with Longhorn StorageClass.
  • The field allowVolumeExpansion should be true in the related StorageClass.

This method is recommended if it’s applicable, because the PVC and PV will be updated automatically and everything is kept consistent after expansion.

Usage: Find the corresponding PVC for Longhorn volume, then modify the requested spec.resources.requests.storage of the PVC:

apiVersion: v1
kind: PersistentVolumeClaim
    kubectl.kubernetes.io/last-applied-configuration: |
    pv.kubernetes.io/bind-completed: "yes"
    pv.kubernetes.io/bound-by-controller: "yes"
    volume.beta.kubernetes.io/storage-provisioner: driver.longhorn.io
  creationTimestamp: "2019-12-21T01:36:16Z"
  - kubernetes.io/pvc-protection
  name: longhorn-simple-pvc
  namespace: default
  resourceVersion: "162431"
  selfLink: /api/v1/namespaces/default/persistentvolumeclaims/longhorn-simple-pvc
  uid: 0467ae73-22a5-4eba-803e-464cc0b9d975
  - ReadWriteOnce
      storage: 1Gi
  storageClassName: longhorn
  volumeMode: Filesystem
  volumeName: pvc-0467ae73-22a5-4eba-803e-464cc0b9d975
  - ReadWriteOnce
    storage: 1Gi
  phase: Bound

Via Longhorn UI

Usage: On the volume page of Longhorn UI, click Expand for the volume.

Filesystem expansion

Longhorn will try to expand the file system only if:

  • The expanded size should be greater than the current size.
  • There is a Linux filesystem in the Longhorn volume.
  • The filesystem used in the Longhorn volume is one of the following:
    • ext4
    • xfs
  • The expanded size must be less than the maximum file size allowed by the file system (for example, 16TiB for ext4).
  • The Longhorn volume is using the block device frontend.

Corner cases

Handling Volume Revert

If a volume is reverted to a snapshot with smaller size, the frontend of the volume is still holding the expanded size. But the filesystem size will be the same as that of the reverted snapshot. In this case, you will need to handle the filesystem manually:

  1. Attach the volume to a random node.

  2. Log in to the corresponding node, and expand the filesystem.

    If the filesystem is ext4, the volume might need to be mounted and umounted once before resizing the filesystem manually. Otherwise, executing resize2fs might result in an error:

    resize2fs: Superblock checksum does not match superblock while trying to open ......
    Couldn't find valid filesystem superblock.

    Follow the steps below to resize the filesystem:

    mount /dev/longhorn/<volume name> <arbitrary mount directory>
    umount /dev/longhorn/<volume name>
    mount /dev/longhorn/<volume name> <arbitrary mount directory>
    resize2fs /dev/longhorn/<volume name>
    umount /dev/longhorn/<volume name>
  3. If the filesystem is xfs, you can directly mount, then expand the filesystem.

    mount /dev/longhorn/<volume name> <arbitrary mount directory>
    xfs_growfs <the mount directory>
    umount /dev/longhorn/<volume name>

Encrypted volume

Due to the upstream limitation, Longhorn cannot handle online expansion for encrypted volumes automatically unless you enable the feature gate CSINodeExpandSecret.

If you cannot enable it but still prefer to do online expansion, you can:

  1. Login the node host the encrypted volume is attached to.
  2. Execute cryptsetup resize <volume name>. The passphrase this command requires is the field CRYPTO_KEY_VALUE of the corresponding secret.
  3. Expand the filesystem.

RWX volume

Currently, Longhorn is unable to expand the filesystem (NFS) for RWX volumes. - If you decide to expand a RWX volume manually, you can:

  1. Expand the block device of the RWX volume via PVC or UI.
  2. Figure out the share manager pod of the RWX volume then execute the filesystem expansion command. The share manager pod is typically named as share-manager-<volume name>.
    kubectl -n longhorn-system exec -it <the share manager pod> -- resize2fs /dev/longhorn/<volume name>

© 2019-2024 Longhorn Authors | Documentation Distributed under CC-BY-4.0

© 2024 The Linux Foundation. All rights reserved. The Linux Foundation has registered trademarks and uses trademarks. For a list of trademarks of The Linux Foundation, please see our Trademark Usage page.