I'm upgrading my laptop to Maverick (10.10) and I noticed btrfs is an option for the filesystem. I read a while ago that the Ubuntu team weren't sure if it was going to be stable for Maverick. Does anyone know (with references) if it was approved for stable use? Any other pros and cons?

For the moment I've made my root partition ext4 and my home partition btrfs, but I could reinstall. My laptop is a secondary computer.

6 Answers 6


I've done a bit of googling about this since asking the question and found:

So all these would suggest btrfs should not be used on a production system, or any other system where you care about the data.

  • 1
    The dpkg bug is a more widespread performance issue - write-heavy loads on in btrfs on 2.6.35 kernels (I haven't checked in the 2.6.36-rcs) dramatically degrade performance.
    – RAOF
    Sep 27, 2010 at 0:26
  • btrfs-utils now installs btrfsck. Feb 17, 2011 at 19:29
  • 1
    @RAOF, it is not write heavy loads, but sync heavy loads that are the problem. dpkg does a ton of fsyncs to make sure that a power loss in the middle of upgrade doesn't leave the system in a broken state. This slows down upgrades quite a bit on any filesystem, but btrfs is really bad at it. Using libeatmydata to disable all of the sync family calls gives great performance.
    – psusi
    Nov 29, 2011 at 15:18
  • It was also my experience that simply being write-heavy would seriously degrade performance. It's entirely possible that's been resolved, though.
    – RAOF
    Nov 29, 2011 at 22:53

It is not considered stable.

People are usually conservative when it comes to new filesystems. You don't want to lose data, right?

If your data under /home is not important to you, brtfs is a good fs choice right now.


Main point against btrfs being called stable anywhere: The on-disk format is not fixed yet and could be changed anytime, which would require the user to reformat his or her disks.

  • 1
    I believe the on disk format is upgraded automatically if it is changed. If you then boot with an older kernel there may be problems, but if you only go forwards with kernels you shouldn't have to reformat. Sep 26, 2010 at 18:29

main problem is that a kernel oops or power loss can corrupt the partition, and btrfsck is not currently able to repair filesystems, although it can recognise faults.


Btrfs is plenty stable and has caused me no problems.

People have very widely varying personal risk tolerances for filesystems. to many enterprise-oriented syaadmins a FS must prove it's self for a decade before being blessed stable and others get a thrill from running the latest experimental cluster filesystem. Btrfs is very unlikely to loose your data, though some of the advanced features (like raid5/6) wont work yet. Some of the people that consider btrfs unstable also consider new things like ext4 unstable also.


I cloned both trans-disk and intra-disk, checked, balanced, removed subvols etc. without any problems.

  • This is interesting as a talking point because btrfs had a lot of problems when the original question was posted in 2010.
    – karel
    Oct 14, 2019 at 6:24

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