I want to downsize my Linode, but Cloud Manager won't let me. How can I make this happen?

Linode Staff

I'm trying to shrink my Linode plan, but I'm getting this error message:

"Linode has allocated more disk than the new service plan allows. Delete or resize disks smaller."

I want to use a smaller plan to reduce my bill as soon as possible! How am I able to shrink my Linode plan?

1 Reply

There is no need to worry -- you are perfectly capable of shrinking your Linode plan, although you will first need to reduce the size of its disk(s) manually to fit within your new plan. I'm here to help you out with this process with some background knowledge along with the downsizing procedure itself.

Disk allocation vs. disk usage

It is important to know that there is a difference between disk allocation and disk usage. You may reference this Community page for more information about this distinction:

Reducing the size of your disk

To protect against data loss, our systems will not allow you to shrink your disk to a smaller size than its current disk usage. Despite this safeguard, it is not a bad idea to manually verify your Linode's disk usage before reducing its size to fit your target plan.

To do so, log into your Linode through SSH or Lish, then run the df -h command. Here is an example from one of my own 4 GB Linodes:

$ df -h
Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
udev            1.9G     0  1.9G   0% /dev
tmpfs           395M  6.3M  389M   2% /run
/dev/sda         79G  6.0G   69G   8% /
tmpfs           2.0G     0  2.0G   0% /dev/shm
tmpfs           5.0M     0  5.0M   0% /run/lock
tmpfs           2.0G     0  2.0G   0% /sys/fs/cgroup
tmpfs           395M     0  395M   0% /run/user/1000

As shown above, my Linode's main disk is /dev/sda since it mounted on /, the root directory in Unix-like systems such as Linux.

To determine whether your Linode's disk usage will fit in your target plan, compare the value in the Used column of its df -h output against your target plan's "Storage" listing on our plan pricing page.

In this example, my Linode's disk is using just 6.0G of its space, making it possible to shrink it all the way down to our smallest Nanode plan and its 25 GB SSD space if I so desired.

Should you find that your disk is using more space than the SSD allotment of your target plan, you may use the information from this page to free up enough of this space to perform the plan size reduction:

Once you verify your Linode's current disk usage, you may proceed to shrink its disk(s), then the Linode plan itself.

Shrinking your Linode's disk

After confirming that your Linode's current disk usage is less than your target plan's SSD storage allotment, you may now proceed to reduce the size of your Linode's disk within your target plan's specifications.

To do so, you must first power off your Linode, after which you may then resize your Linode's disk with the assistance of this guide:

Our Pricing page lists our plan's sizes in GB (gigabytes), while our disk resize utility uses MB (megabytes). To convert from GB to MB, multiply the GB value by 1024. To convert from MB to GB, simply do the reverse and divide the MB value by 1024.

It is important to ensure that the sum of your Linode's disks are equal to or less than your target Linode plan's SSD space. Reducing the size of just your Linode's main disk will not suffice to fit with your target plan's SSD specification.

Reducing the size of your Linode plan

Once you shrink your Linode's disk to fit within your target Linode plan's SSD allotment, you should not experience any further troubles resizing your Linode's disk using these instructions:

If you still see the error message indicated in the original question, it means that your Linode's disk allocation still exceeds the SSD space of your target plan. Accordingly, you will need to perform additional disk space reductions to fit within your target plan. In particular, it is worth ensuring that your conversions between GB and MB are accurate.

Conclusion

It definitely takes some extra effort to downsize a Linode plan if its total disk allocation exceeds your target Linode's plan. While we allow automatically expanding the size of your disks when upsizing your Linode plan, we do not support automatically shrinking a Linode's disks to fit within a smaller plan due to the risk of data loss.

Due to this arrangement, you may want to start out with a smaller Linode plan, then work your way up if you need additional computing resources. Instead of going through the above procedure, another option worth considering is to create a Linode Image from your Linode, use it to deploy a smaller Linode than your existing plan, then remove the larger Linode from your account.

Should you have any further questions or comments about this process, please don't hesitate to submit a reply!

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