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Thread: Status of BTRFS

  1. #1
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    Default Status of BTRFS

    Hello,

    I wanted to ask the community what the current status of the BTRFS is. I used it briefly on LEAP 42.1 which ended up in disaster in combination with meltdown and spectre. I never truly gave BTRFS a fair chance before considering it as "part of the problem" in LEAP 42.1.

    I started using OpenSUSE again with LEAP 42.3 and I've been tying myself to ext4 eversince then and I still am using ext4 on my LEAP 15.1 I really do not wish to take a chance with my data. Since I am only using the distro on personal programming/work laptops with no encryptions and etc. I really do not see the point of having the extra featues that BTRFS bring to me yet.

    In addition, something that worries me is that I can see that there are still frequent complaints about BTRFS, including a post about how to fix btrfs maintenance, and system freezing. In terms of filesystem for a personal unencrypted device, how stable and mature would you say BTRFS is at the moment?

    I may give it a chance again with LEAP 15.2 but since BTRFS gives me advantage for me personally, I may wait a few more years.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Status of BTRFS

    In my opinion the end user should never ever have to think about the FS, at all - it should just work without any intervention. The fact that btrfs forces the user to do manual maintenance in any circumstance already shows it to be a failure.

    IMO: It's just plain horror. I stopped using it everywhere and only ever either use ext4 or XFS. That being said, 15.1 was a great release - works like a charm so I assume 15.2 with ext4/xfs will do exactly the same.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Status of BTRFS

    I am still using "ext4". I seem to recall that there were some "btrfs" bugs back in 42.1, which are probably solved by now.

    I am using "btrfs" in a virtual machine testing Leap 15.2 Beta. I have not had any issues. I previously did that when testing Leap 15.1 Beta. If I go by how much space is used, as shown by "df" (run just after a large update), then it is doing better now than it was with 15.1. But, for now, I'll stay with "ext4" on my real machines.
    openSUSE Leap 15.2; KDE Plasma 5.18.5;

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Status of BTRFS

    Honestly from all the posts in this very forums and the FAQ from BTRFS wiki ((https://btrfs.wiki.kernel.org/index...._filesystem.21) and (https://btrfs.wiki.kernel.org/index.php/Problem_FAQ)) don't really raise my confidence in BTRFS.

    Is there a particular reason why BTRFS is currently a default FS for Leap?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Status of BTRFS

    Quote Originally Posted by SJLPHI View Post
    Honestly from all the posts in this very forums and the FAQ from BTRFS wiki ((https://btrfs.wiki.kernel.org/index...._filesystem.21) and (https://btrfs.wiki.kernel.org/index.php/Problem_FAQ)) don't really raise my confidence in BTRFS.

    Is there a particular reason why BTRFS is currently a default FS for Leap?
    Hi
    Your choice Because the openSUSE release maintainers have selected as the default....

    My experience has been the opposite here for a number of years with all my systems running btrfs, some run snapper, some don't, mainly because have had no issues that need rolling back (even here on Tumbleweed). All data is on xfs all filesystems using the blk mq i/o scheduler.
    Cheers Malcolm °¿° SUSE Knowledge Partner (Linux Counter #276890)
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Status of BTRFS

    I've used btrfs since moving to TW in 2018. I have never had an unrecoverable issue with btrfs, but the btrfs implementation improvements in 2019 smoothed out the few issues I did have. Mind you, I haven't tried to use a hard drive smaller that 1TB for quite some time, and most problems reported are for small hard drives/partitions. My last two installations have used the entire drive for operation system and /home, and worked flawlessly.

    The primary (perhaps only) advantage of using btrfs, in my opinion, is the ability to quickly roll back snapshots, not so much so for distribution updates gone wrong (because that hasn't happened in a long time), but after installing non-opensuse software that goes wrong.

    In any case, if you make use decisions based on posts to the forum, you probably won't use any software that has a support forum . Maybe go with the open source MS-DOS that was released (pre-internet so no problems).

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Status of BTRFS

    Quote Originally Posted by doscott View Post
    I've used btrfs since moving to TW in 2018. I have never had an unrecoverable issue with btrfs, but the btrfs implementation improvements in 2019 smoothed out the few issues I did have. Mind you, I haven't tried to use a hard drive smaller that 1TB for quite some time, and most problems reported are for small hard drives/partitions. My last two installations have used the entire drive for operation system and /home, and worked flawlessly.

    The primary (perhaps only) advantage of using btrfs, in my opinion, is the ability to quickly roll back snapshots, not so much so for distribution updates gone wrong (because that hasn't happened in a long time), but after installing non-opensuse software that goes wrong.

    In any case, if you make use decisions based on posts to the forum, you probably won't use any software that has a support forum . Maybe go with the open source MS-DOS that was released (pre-internet so no problems).
    What are the issues you were dealing with 2018 that have been addressed?

    Personally, I haven't dealt with a problem that would benefit from snapshots since I clone stable systems to external drives, not to mention that we're talking about rolling back ~100s of GBs. I'm perfectly fine using software under development as long as it won't jeopardize my data which BTRFS in Leap 42.1 did.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Status of BTRFS

    Quote Originally Posted by malcolmlewis View Post
    Hi
    Your choice Because the openSUSE release maintainers have selected as the default....

    My experience has been the opposite here for a number of years with all my systems running btrfs, some run snapper, some don't, mainly because have had no issues that need rolling back (even here on Tumbleweed). All data is on xfs all filesystems using the blk mq i/o scheduler.
    I guess what I am trying to answer is if BTRFS is ready for handling and storing data as reliable as ext4 on RAID0 with no encryption for an instance. If I understood you correctly, you're using BTRFS for root and system functions but xfs for home and data?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Status of BTRFS

    Quote Originally Posted by SJLPHI View Post
    I guess what I am trying to answer is if BTRFS is ready for handling and storing data as reliable as ext4 on RAID0 with no encryption for an instance. If I understood you correctly, you're using BTRFS for root and system functions but xfs for home and data?
    Hi
    Correct, which is what btrfs is for, it is not for data, eg database web servers etc that has and always should be the likes of xfs... that is not what btrfs is for, just the operating system. You can use it for the likes of /home for creating user snapshots, but never used it for that. I do run my $HOME on btrfs but it's not used to store any data just some config stuff, rest is softlinks to data on xfs.
    Cheers Malcolm °¿° SUSE Knowledge Partner (Linux Counter #276890)
    SUSE SLE, openSUSE Leap/Tumbleweed (x86_64) | GNOME DE
    If you find this post helpful and are logged into the web interface,
    please show your appreciation and click on the star below... Thanks!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Status of BTRFS

    Quote Originally Posted by malcolmlewis View Post
    Hi
    Correct, which is what btrfs is for, it is not for data, eg database web servers etc that has and always should be the likes of xfs... that is not what btrfs is for, just the operating system. You can use it for the likes of /home for creating user snapshots, but never used it for that. I do run my $HOME on btrfs but it's not used to store any data just some config stuff, rest is softlinks to data on xfs.
    I see. Honestly, maybe when I switch to LEAP 15.2, I may give it a BTRFS root and keep ext4 for home. I personally just had a terrible "taste" of btrfs when I used to have a singe partition root, home, data etc. On LEAP 42.1 I was dealing with a bug from BTRFS and the bug completely hindered my ability to work at a critical time. I didn't bother trying to fix it and I just went back to OpenSUSE 13.2 until LEAP 42.3

    Regarding snapshots, in my case, I typically have my system in a ~100GB partition in an SSD and I clone it to a seperate drive, which I find more suitable for backup.

    There however reports of BTRFS being slower and less space efficient (net storage usage due to snapshots but not for individual small files). Is that still true? Is the general consensus that the BTRFS is stable and trusted for an OS at least?

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