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Thread: The dangers of using btrfs and snapper

  1. #21
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    Default Re: The dangers of using btrfs and snapper

    Quote Originally Posted by OrsoBruno View Post
    My understanding is that SUSE invested heavily in BTRFS since that probably makes sense in a corporate environment, so they are not likely to give up the BTRFS default in their SLE systems.
    Since we openSUSE users are sort of Guinea Pigs for SLE, maybe the BTRFS default is the price we must pay for the benefit of having a rock-solid distribution (at least when installed properly).
    Long story short, I think that changing the default to EXT4 is a good idea with a low likelihood of being accepted.
    Maybe we have better chances asking to tune the default along the lines Malcolm is suggesting, say snapshots off by default, lower number of snapshots configured and the like, so that the average install does not freeze for hours...
    My reasoning here is this: If you're an inexperienced user who's going for openSUSE because it's a quality and user-friendly distro, you're going to use the defaults when you don't know otherwise as you trust the installer knows what's best. If you're an advanced user or corporation, and thus need features like snapshotting explicitly, you're expected to be technically experienced enough to know what btrfs is and how to tick the "snapshots" checkbox. Defaulting to the safer ext4 thus makes most sense to me.

    I assume SLE (IIRC the more formal and commercial version of SUSE for enterprises) has its own installer with different settings. For it snapshots as a default make more sense. Though at the same time they don't, as seeing how unstable both btrfs and snapper are I assume it's a matter of time until some company is going to eventually sue the SUSE team for losing their data due to an accident similar to mine.

    I know btrfs has been in development for many years, which is one reason why I trusted that nothing could go wrong. I was surprised too, but only 3 days of using it proved me that it's both too performance costly and can easily become corrupted.

    Quote Originally Posted by OrsoBruno View Post
    Well, to be honest installing Leap and then dist-upgrading to TW with snapshots on _is_ something special, or at least not something every newcomer is expected to do...
    I'm sure the same behavior exists with both Leap and Tumbleweed. Leap 15 is the latest version which I believe is only a few months behind TW. Thus I don't think a lot of things have changed and the upgrade wasn't that heavy.
    openSUSE Tumbleweed x64, KDE Framework 5

  2. #22
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    Default Re: The dangers of using btrfs and snapper

    Quote Originally Posted by MirceaKitsune View Post
    My reasoning here is this: If you're an inexperienced user who's going for openSUSE because it's a quality and user-friendly distro, you're going to use the defaults when you don't know otherwise as you trust the installer knows what's best. If you're an advanced user or corporation, and thus need features like snapshotting explicitly, you're expected to be technically experienced enough to know what btrfs is and how to tick the "snapshots" checkbox. Defaulting to the safer ext4 thus makes most sense to me.

    I assume SLE (IIRC the more formal and commercial version of SUSE for enterprises) has its own installer with different settings. For it snapshots as a default make more sense. Though at the same time they don't, as seeing how unstable both btrfs and snapper are I assume it's a matter of time until some company is going to eventually sue the SUSE team for losing their data due to an accident similar to mine.

    I know btrfs has been in development for many years, which is one reason why I trusted that nothing could go wrong. I was surprised too, but only 3 days of using it proved me that it's both too performance costly and can easily become corrupted.



    I'm sure the same behavior exists with both Leap and Tumbleweed. Leap 15 is the latest version which I believe is only a few months behind TW. Thus I don't think a lot of things have changed and the upgrade wasn't that heavy.
    Hi
    Just to be clear, your issue is with snapper, not the btrfs filesystem, your upgrade method seems to me to be an edge case, I've been running btrfs for many years now and the only real problems I had with it's introduction was the number of snapshots kept, which was an easy fix by changing the configuration file.

    I'll be upgrading my SLED 12 SP3 system soon, which will be it's third SP migration, this system has a 60GB OCZ SSD, I don't expect any issues...
    Cheers Malcolm °¿° SUSE Knowledge Partner (Linux Counter #276890)
    SUSE SLE, openSUSE Leap/Tumbleweed (x86_64) | GNOME DE
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  3. #23
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    Default Re: The dangers of using btrfs and snapper

    Quote Originally Posted by malcolmlewis View Post
    Hi
    Just to be clear, your issue is with snapper, not the btrfs filesystem, your upgrade method seems to me to be an edge case, I've been running btrfs for many years now and the only real problems I had with it's introduction was the number of snapshots kept, which was an easy fix by changing the configuration file.

    I'll be upgrading my SLED 12 SP3 system soon, which will be it's third SP migration, this system has a 60GB OCZ SSD, I don't expect any issues...
    From what I could tell, snapper was responsible for the high resource usage, however btrfs breakage is what caused the machine to stop booting entirely. Sadly that blurry photo is all I could capture of the errors before I had to reinstall, so it's not easy to analyze exactly what was blocking it after things broke.
    openSUSE Tumbleweed x64, KDE Framework 5

  4. #24
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    Default Re: The dangers of using btrfs and snapper

    Personally I have had no issues with either btrfs or snapper after I increased the size of the btrfs partition from the recommended size to 224 GB on my intel ssd. It has been a while but I believe the install went with a 40GB partion, which was too small for snapshots.

    Over the years (my first hard drive was a 20 MB Seagate added to an PC XT compatible circa 1989) I have experieced failure to boot after a hard reset only once and that was on a Windows machine (Vista or 7). But if you have to do a hard reset you should delay doing it as long as unreasonably possible and cross your fingers. The weakness is not the disk format type, it is interrupting the writing of data to the disk at an unfortunate time.

    Using different flavours of Linux over the last 15+ years I have been burned several times after updates that had me looking for boot disks and google to recover without reinstalling, and not always successfully. With Tumbleweed I have also had a few of those situations, but so far btrfs and snapper have always saved the day.

    This is rather long winded but I wanted to explain why I disagree wth the title of this topic, particularly with Tumbleweed which can experience as many as 5 updates a week.

  5. #25
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    Default Re: The dangers of using btrfs and snapper

    I don't think much more can be added here without repeating eachother, so I'll close the thread.
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