Is btrfs ready for general use yet?

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Is btrfs ready for general use yet?

Postby aselker » 2018-06-11 17:28

I'm preparing to set up a new laptop with Debian Unstable. I'm deciding whether to use ext4 or btrfs.

I hear a lot of horror stories about btrfs, and have a few myself. But I also hear that it's still improving its stability. And I really like the idea of filesystem-level compression.

Is btrfs ready for general use?
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Re: Is btrfs ready for general use yet?

Postby bw123 » 2018-06-11 18:23

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Re: Is btrfs ready for general use yet?

Postby aselker » 2018-06-11 18:32

bw123 wrote:https://wiki.debian.org/Btrfs


This gives the (true and useful) information that btrfs is not completely reliable, or completely unreliable. There's still a lot of distance between those, though.

I'm asking for opinions here: does it usually work well? How much maintenance does it take? I understand that it's not totally predictable, but it would still be nice to have a rough feeling for it.
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Re: Is btrfs ready for general use yet?

Postby Wheelerof4te » 2018-06-11 18:34

bester69 is the one who is using it around here. I heard it can cause data loss, so I don't ever use it. Ext4 is time-proved and it works fine.
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Re: Is btrfs ready for general use yet?

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2018-06-11 20:05

I can only offer my own experience here[1] but we have had btrfs on the family Debian stable laptop for almost four years now with no data loss or other problems.

The filesystem allowed me to take a snapshot of jessie (instantaneously) and then boot into the snapshot and `dist-upgrade` it to stretch — I now have both the original jessie system and a stretch clone 8)

And more importantly, thanks to the copy-on-write nature of btrfs, the laptop has died[2] at least a few hundred times now (no exaggeration) with absolutely no data loss or other problems :o

I am convinced that any non-COW filesystem would have failed catastrophically a long time ago in such circumstances.

[1] Remember folks: the plural of anecdote is not evidence!

[2] The battery is fried so if the power cable becomes unplugged then the laptop loses power in about 2-3 minutes.
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Re: Is btrfs ready for general use yet?

Postby bester69 » 2018-06-11 21:29

aselker wrote:I'm preparing to set up a new laptop with Debian Unstable. I'm deciding whether to use ext4 or btrfs.

I hear a lot of horror stories about btrfs, and have a few myself. But I also hear that it's still improving its stability. And I really like the idea of filesystem-level compression.

Is btrfs ready for general use?

Ive been using it for tree years or so, and my experience is fantastic (the best thing Ive done since linux), Its perfect with snapshots, Its very easy to use and play with the "subvolumes", its as fast as ext4 and solid as a rock, it allows you COW (Copy on Writw) and, it nevers gives a fail, you can mistreat it all you can, by cutting off the light and others bad praxis, Im everiday doing rollbacks to snapshots and it's fantastic... Im very delighted with it, dont understand why RedHat droped it, fortunelly Suse will keep developing btrfs support.

You must know it's kind of a proffesional file system chosen by Suse for their Enterprise servers during long time.
Hence the statement that “SUSE is committed to btrfs as the default filesystem for SUSE Linux Enterprise, and beyond.

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/08/2 ... s_defence/

Use it, you wont regreats
Last edited by bester69 on 2018-06-11 21:46, edited 2 times in total.
bester69 wrote:There is nothing to install in linux, from time to time i go to google searching for something fresh to install in linux, but, there is nothing
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Re: Is btrfs ready for general use yet?

Postby bester69 » 2018-06-11 21:36

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:...

And more importantly, thanks to the copy-on-write nature of btrfs, the laptop has died[2] at least a few hundred times now (no exaggeration) with absolutely no data loss or other problems :o

I am convinced that any non-COW filesystem would have failed catastrophically a long time ago in such circumstances.
...


It's great COW, files nevers corrupt... Other cool thing about snapshots, is that you can make a succesfull hot backup of the system by taking a temporary snapshot and mounting it, as It supports COW; the copy sould be with totally integrity..
bester69 wrote:There is nothing to install in linux, from time to time i go to google searching for something fresh to install in linux, but, there is nothing
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Re: Is btrfs ready for general use yet?

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2018-06-12 04:56

bester69 wrote:dont understand why RedHat droped it

Because btrfs is still being developed and RHEL releases have seven years of support, by which time the btrfs version will be ancient.

This also applies to Debian stable, for new systems I now use xfs for this exact reason — the subvolumes of btrfs can be replicated with LVM and the snapshots just encourage a lazy approach to backups (IMO).

Red Hat have also switched to xfs and there are plans to add COW support to that filesystem.
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Re: Is btrfs ready for general use yet?

Postby None1975 » 2018-06-12 17:03

According Debian wiki
In my opinion, Btrfs before linux-4.4 and btrfs-progs-v4.4 is too risky to use, and 4.4 was the point where one could stop worrying "is my btrfs volume going to mysteriously blow up tomorrow, even with a simple use-case". When using DebianJessie, please use a backported kernel and btrfs-tools from Backports. DebianStretch has good btrfs support out-of-the-box. If at some point in the Stretch life-cycle you need features enabled by a newer kernel, I recommend exclusively using LTS kernels rather than tracking the latest version in backports, because tracking the linux-image backport can result in bugs such as this one which forces a reboot

Also, worth mentioning, that dpkg and thus apt is very very slow on btrfs. All kernels before linux-4.14 are affected by a bug in the SSD-specific allocator, but there is a workaround. And as usual, check this.
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Re: Is btrfs ready for general use yet?

Postby pylkko » 2018-06-14 05:57

I have also been using btrfs for maybe 3 years without any problems. The only time I had problems was when I used the experimental new quota feature and there so many of.them that they caused slow downs. But even the developers consider that a possible future feature not yet fully ready and it is not something needed by most users.
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Re: Is btrfs ready for general use yet?

Postby bester69 » 2018-06-14 06:07

I made some scripts I use everyday for manage btrfs snapshots, Use them carefully an by your own responsabillity:

BTRFS scripts I made to work with snapper
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=135738&hilit=+btrsys
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Re: Is btrfs ready for general use yet?

Postby HuangLao » 2018-06-15 19:32

I've used it on openSUSE and Mageia and did not like it on either. I will stick with venerable ext4 until it is no longer supported or btrfs trully becomes better and not butter. BTW, you can do snapshots with rsync/backintime etc... many options that do not require a different FS.

PS: RedHat ditched btrfs.... http://www.linux-magazine.com/Online/Ne ... -for-Btrfs
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/08/1 ... _from_rhel
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Re: Is btrfs ready for general use yet?

Postby bester69 » 2018-06-15 22:23

HuangLao wrote:I've used it on openSUSE and Mageia and did not like it on either. I will stick with venerable ext4 until it is no longer supported or btrfs trully becomes better and not butter. BTW, you can do snapshots with rsync/backintime etc... many options that do not require a different FS.

PS: RedHat ditched btrfs.... http://www.linux-magazine.com/Online/Ne ... -for-Btrfs
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/08/1 ... _from_rhel


There is no way back, snapshots are here to stay.. :twisted:
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Re: Is btrfs ready for general use yet?

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2018-06-16 09:18

bester69 wrote:BTRFS scripts I made to work with snapper

snapper works with ext4 (and thin-provisioned LVM volumes) as well :wink:
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