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Expanding /boot/efi Partition on Ubuntu 20.04

Ubuntu 15

In this article, we will delve into the process of expanding the /boot/efi partition on Ubuntu 20.04. This can be a necessary step when you’re running out of space in your EFI system partition. However, it’s important to note that filling up the EFI system partition is not a regular occurrence and may indicate a potential issue, such as a UEFI malware infection via Windows. Therefore, it’s recommended to investigate the cause of the filling up of the EFI system partition to ensure the health and security of your system.

Quick Answer

To expand the /boot/efi partition on Ubuntu 20.04, you will need to boot from a Live USB, open GParted, shrink the extended partition, and then expand the EFI system partition to utilize the unallocated space. Applying the changes will allow you to successfully expand the /boot/efi partition.

Pre-requisites

Before we begin, you need to have a Live USB with Ubuntu 20.04. This will allow you to boot your computer in the Try Ubuntu mode, without making any changes to your system.

Step 1: Boot from Live USB

Restart your computer and boot from the Live USB. You can usually do this by pressing a specific key (often F12, F10, or ESC) during the startup process to access the boot menu, and then selecting the USB drive.

Step 2: Open GParted

Once you’re in the Try Ubuntu mode, open GParted. This is a partition editor tool that allows you to view, create, resize, move, and delete partitions. You can find it by searching for “GParted” in the Ubuntu Dash.

Step 3: Locate the Extended Partition

In GParted, you will see a list of all the partitions on your system. Look for the extended partition, which is usually labeled as /dev/nvme0n1p2. Right-click on it and select “Resize/Move” from the context menu.

Step 4: Shrink the Extended Partition

In the Resize/Move dialog, shrink the extended partition to match the size of the logical partition /dev/nvme0n1p5 (the Ubuntu system partition). This will create unallocated space between /dev/nvme0n1p1 (the EFI system partition) and /dev/nvme0n1p2.

Step 5: Expand the EFI System Partition

Next, right-click on the /dev/nvme0n1p1 partition (the EFI system partition) and select “Resize/Move”. In the Resize/Move dialog, expand the /dev/nvme0n1p1 partition to utilize the unallocated space.

Step 6: Apply the Changes

Finally, click “Apply” to apply the changes. GParted will then resize the partitions as you have specified.

Conclusion

By following these steps, you should be able to expand the /boot/efi partition on Ubuntu 20.04. This process can be a bit technical, but with careful attention to each step, you should be able to successfully complete it. However, as mentioned earlier, it’s important to investigate why your EFI system partition is filling up, to ensure the health and security of your system. If you’re unsure, consider seeking help from a professional or a trusted community, such as the Ubuntu Forums or Ask Ubuntu.

Remember, always backup your data before making any changes to your system’s partitions.

Why would I need to expand the /boot/efi partition on Ubuntu 20.04?

You may need to expand the /boot/efi partition if you are running out of space in your EFI system partition. This can happen if you have multiple operating systems installed or if you have a large number of EFI boot files.

What is the EFI system partition?

The EFI system partition is a small partition on your hard drive that stores boot files for the UEFI firmware. It is required for the system to boot properly.

How do I know if my EFI system partition is filling up?

You can check the available space on your EFI system partition by opening a terminal and running the command df -h /boot/efi. If the available space is low or close to 100%, it means your partition is filling up.

Can I expand the /boot/efi partition without a Live USB?

No, you need a Live USB with Ubuntu 20.04 to expand the /boot/efi partition. The Live USB allows you to boot into a separate environment and make changes to your system’s partitions without affecting your installed operating system.

What happens if I don’t investigate the cause of my EFI system partition filling up?

If you don’t investigate the cause of your EFI system partition filling up, it could indicate a potential issue, such as a UEFI malware infection or misconfiguration. It’s important to investigate to ensure the health and security of your system.

Are there any risks involved in expanding the /boot/efi partition?

Expanding the /boot/efi partition carries some risks, as it involves modifying the partition table and resizing partitions. It’s important to backup your data before proceeding and carefully follow the steps provided to minimize the risk of data loss.

Where can I seek help if I encounter issues during the partition expansion process?

If you encounter issues during the partition expansion process, you can seek help from the Ubuntu Forums or Ask Ubuntu community. There are knowledgeable users and experts who can provide guidance and solutions to your specific problems.

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