Hi, I'm running OpenWrt in a x86_64 VM, using the ext4 combined image but I like the concept of the squashfs image, with a read-only core and the user modifications in the overlay.
The problem is that the images provided have so few free space and I wonder what's the recommended way to give the image more free space. Maybe I should compile my own images?
If I resize the image with losetup, fdisk and so on, and then want to update to a newer release, should I resize the image first or can sysupgrade it directly?
Are you talking about the overlay being too small? What size are we talking about? The overlay in the combined-squashfs image is F2FS. My overlay is 250 MB and my root (SquashFS, the actual 'firmware') is 8 MB. Granted, I have modified those values and I roll my own.
As for your question, did you try sysupgrading? If you have backed up your settings, there's nothing lost in performing an upgrade (and answering your own question in the process). Especially a VM seems 'expendable' no? Keep a copy, try sysupgrade, if its gets trashed you know it doesn't work the way you'd like it to?
I've found the CONFIG_TARGET_IMAGES_PAD option that grows the filesystem to fit all space in the image, and the sysupgrade method respects the size.
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Rebuilding OpenWrt just to increase the overlay isn't necessary, all you need to do is enlarging the underlying (virtual) drive, OpenWrt will uses the additional space on its own and resize the overlay accordingly:
zcat openwrt-x86-64-combined-ext4.img.gz | dd bs=500M count=1 conv=sync of=virtual-machine.img
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