In Linux, when you format a drive, then you don’t get 100% space, instead of that 5% space is already¬†reserved¬†for privileged processes by default. The main reason why this is done, is that in case your filesystem gets full, still the system processes continue to work properly. So, it’s not always so good idea to mess up with this space.

But still, if you have 500GB Partition, then it’s not really needed to waste 25GB just for this. In those scenarios, you can pull out this space out of the reserved section and use for your own purposes.

So, to achieve this, we will use the same command which anyone can use to make any changes to filesystem, tune2fs. Now to reduce the reserved percentage from 5% to 2%, we will use command like this:

 # tune2fs -m 2 /dev/sda6

You can replace /dev/sda1 with the filesystem whose space you would like to use. Don’t run this command while the filesystem is already mount. First un-mount the filesystem and the run this command. To check whether it worked, mount the filesystem, and use df command like this:

# df -h /dev/sda6

It should show you the increase in the usable space in the filesystem.

Note – This command works only on ext* filesystems, like ext2/ext3/ext4.
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