Looking for Help or a good HowTo when using BTRFS win OpenSuse 13.1

here is the situation.
I am building a file server /VM server based on OpenSuse 13.1
after several post that were maybe a bit too complicated/ asking for too much in a single post
I am tackling one issue at a time from now on.

What I have so far :
I build out a server with an OpenSuse 13.1 using LXDE GUI (I want to have GUI on my server for ease of operation. I do not like CLI and will resort to it only in extreme cases when all other thing fails)

my server layout is :
“/” is on a single 1T HDD + swap (1GB SWAP + 999GB /root)
“/home” is on a separate 1T HDD full drive use

DATA(existing and planned) :
1x2T HDD – single BTRFS partition
2x3T HDD – empty
planned to add 3 or 4 2TB HDD for additional data capacity. I already hav the drives but they are used in other setups for now, but as the data is moved onto this new FS they will become available and added to the system.

My question is :
#1. Does OpenSuse recognize BTRFS multi-device volumes
I know I can partition a single drive using BTRFS and it comes up as mounted or available to mount volume in File Manager.
as I open the file manager now I see my 2T drives and can access it/mount it just fine
but when I create muli-device BTRFS volume on my 3T drives (yeas using CLI as you can not do that with Yast partitioner) instead of the single 3T volume (I use Raid1 option) I still see 2 3T drives in the list.

what am I doing wrong? or what don’t I understand about Linux file system/LVM/BTRFS ?

practically all tutorial/how-tos on BTRFS use I can find revolve around CLI
but nothing I see so far that would explain how all this should work/look and feel from with in GUI

Sorry no GUI for BTRFS you need to learn command line a bit to use the bells and whistles

LVM and software RAID may be a better solution there are things in BTRFS tat still are not working fully And you can use Yast to set up the LVM though extending them may still require command line or config edits.

Last I heard mirror was not working though that was some time ago

well actually gogalthorp
it’s not all bad

[quote] Sorry no GUI for BTRFS you need to learn command line a bit to use the
bells and whistles
the Yast does work with btrfs on a limited basis, so is gparted
using this GUI tools you can partition a single drive or a LVM/soft Raid volume with btrfs partion(s)
what you can’t do is actually create multi-device btrfs volume with them.(and that is what I am attempting to do here.)

LVM and software RAID may be a better solution there are things in BTRFS tat still are not working fully And you can use Yast to set up the LVM though extending them may still require command line or config edits.
Last I heard mirror was not working though that was some time ago
this might be true but if I have to use CLI I might as well go with btrfs
it works, I have been playing with it for the last 2 month.
what I have problem with is the fact that Yast does not recognize the multi-device volume created with CLI and still show the disks as empty/available
and file manager show the disks as separate entries (but it seams as it does recognize that they do have a file system on them.)

Really BTRFS is not near complete yet. Can you use it? Yep. Is it easy to use? nope? All the support tools are really not up to snuff yet. Maybe 13.2 or 13.3??

May I suggest just to throw yourself into it? :slight_smile: Yes, much of Linux is about CLI, and there are a lot that will go amiss without it. As things evolve, more and more are picked up in the GUIs (GUIs are good for CLI-ers too, since e.g. if you are only using a few features of a program only occasionally, you will get to the needed level much faster - maybe even instantly). However, it is much easier to write programs for CLI use, and there are a few CLI features that are hard to build into a GUI.

It seems that the key command you are looking for is (CLI, sorry)


Here’s a tutorial implementing and manipulating LVM2 volumes - all CLI:: http://www.howtoforge.com/linux_lvm

LVM2 mirror unsafe:
I haven’t been using LVM2 mirroring yet, but I am looking forward to give it a good test. My impression is that it should be at a usable level now. However, you should know about its pros and cons, and adhere to it correspondingly. One limitation is that it still seems NOT to be power-failure resistant. I did read somewhere (I’m not able to find it now, sorry) that LVM2 now do respect write barriers (quite recently implemented).

Here’s an article to read about write-barriers and mirroring (not fresh enough for stating the change I read about write barriers):https://deranfangvomende.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/linux-lvm-mirroring-comes-at-a-price/.
And here’s some more about resizing LVM2 partitions: http://www.trueblade.com/knowledge/resizing-an-lvm-partition.html.

Also, to end with a rather pessimistic comment about LVM2 mirroring, and - seemingly - how to force LVM2 mirror problems: http://hydra.geht.net/tino/howto/linux/lvm2/mirror/. I haven’t tested this yet, but I will. However, I’ve had a fair amout in my time with caching failures presenting rather surprising results, so I wouldn’t bee very surprised if the technique desribed above (in the article about write barriers) would cure the problem described here. I need to run tests myself to feel absolutely sure about what is correct, though.

That is what I can offer now, as I do miss experience in the field myself - but I think that you, armed with the info in the articles above, should be able to handle your needs yourself - hopefully, they are the HowTos you are asking for.

Good luck!


very interesting dayfinger, thank you.
but as I said before I do not want to use LVM.
I want to go with BTRFS. it is IMHO a better solution and it really works.
I do not shy away from CLI(just don’t like it much :slight_smile: )
and the only issue I have so far (with OpenSuse and Yast) is the fact that Yast does not support BTRFS RAID implementation in any way or form thus I have to do a lot from the CLI and since I am some what noob in Linux I have to strugle with understanding why things do not work the way I expect them to.
what makes it even more difficult is the fact that I come from an extensive Windows background and things do not work same in Linux as they do in windows
as in my expectations set from years of working in Win systems get in the way :-).

I am only now getting some gleams of understanding on what I am doing (right or wrong) and why things don’t work as I expect them to.
like I said before Linux is only intuitive to some one who understands it at least a little bit.

You are welcome.

My bad. I didn’t interpret you like that, since you said


which you should be able to do (the LVM part) using the articles I linked above. Then you apply BTRFS on top of that (as seems to be possible according to what you are saying - which I find very interesting indeed).

That’s my background too.:slight_smile: I still have a long way to go to get the Linux feeling to my “Windows level”.

I agree.
I find Linux to be very modular, and that in combination with the understanding of the file system structure (root and its descendants, mount points, hard- and soft links, rights (chmod/chown)) is key to get the grip of things. That also includes samba (if you want to use it - it makes the file system look more like Windows) which I think can be added to most any file system. Getting to CLI is part of all that, since so much in Linux evolves around CLI. Myself, I finally got to feel CLI-confident in Linux by reading up on bash.

Take a look here http://tldp.org/guides.html.

I recommend “Bash Guide For Beginners” and “Advanced Bash Scripting Guide”. They really are pretty good. I read them in parallel as they complement each other in many areas. The good thing with both of them is that they also take a look at Linux tools and how to use them too. If you know Windows Batch you shouldn’t have much difficulties doing the same yourself.