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I see entries describing BTRFS on Ubuntu 12.04 has some concerns due mostly to the maturity of the BTRFS product. Now that we have 13.10 available, is the BTRFS file system reliable?

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fun fact: btrfs is no longer considered unstable (btrfs.wiki.kernel.org/index.php/Main_Page#Stability_status) and is going to be the default in opensuse 13.2 (news.opensuse.org/2014/03/19/development-for-13-2-kicks-off). this suggests that it may be coming to ubuntu soon :) can anyone more qualified than google tell us more about btrfs stability and ubuntu roadmap plans? –  amc May 21 at 5:26

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

BTRFS is and will be for the time being in development. This is being shown in the BTRFS FAQ page:

Is btrfs stable?

  • Short answer: No, it's still considered experimental.
  • Long answer: Nobody is going to magically stick a label on the btrfs code and say "yes, this is now stable and bug-free". Different people have different concepts of stability: a home user who wants to keep their ripped CDs on it will have a different requirement for stability than a large financial institution running their trading system on it. If you are concerned about stability in commercial production use, you should test btrfs on a testbed system under production workloads to see if it will do what you want of it. In any case, you should join the mailing list (and hang out in IRC) and read through problem reports and follow them to their conclusion to give yourself a good idea of the types of issues that come up, and the degree to which they can be dealt with. Whatever you do, we recommend keeping good, tested, off-system (and off-site) backups.
  • Pragmatic answer: (2012-12-19) Many of the developers and testers run btrfs as their primary filesystem for day-to-day usage, or with various forms of "real" data. With reliable hardware and up-to-date kernels, we see very few unrecoverable problems showing up. As always, keep backups, test them, and be prepared to use them.

This also applies to Ubuntu implementation of BTRFS.

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Hi Braiam, good answer - The thing that caught my attention was the datetime of the pragmatic answer - December 2012 - before Ubuntu 13.10 was release (fridge.ubuntu.com/2013/10/17/…) but still, I think your answer is valid. I hope the BTRFS will be considered mainstream soon. I like the notion of a self-healing file system, where others fail silently. I have had file system level error and they are frustrating - going back to backups. And to your point - make sure to have a valid, clean backup is always good practice regardless of file system. –  barrypicker Jan 26 at 5:06
    
@barrypicker if it hasn't changed since then, it means that the developer team still thinks the same. –  Braiam Feb 5 at 12:46
    
FWIW, I know this is anecdotal, but I've run btrfs for quite some time in a RAIDed setup without issue. –  Marco Ceppi Feb 24 at 18:28

It is not stable enough for a server in production yet. From my own experience, the file system gets corrupted at times and this goes as far as the system restarting!

I had to revert back to ext4 after having 4 1TB SAS drives running on it for two weeks.

Update: It seems my corruption problems stem from a hardware problem, since similar error appear if I run ext4.

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btrfs- is "NOT super stable" but its supercool though, brtfs file system seems to have performance problems. It takes extra time for booting up when compared to ext4. Especially on low end hardware.

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