It feels like I've read about BtrFS forever, but there has always been something that makes me not want to use it. But I'm guessing things are improving, so I'd like to know what the situation is currently. That means in 11.10.

  • Do we have tools to fix a broken BtrFS? I've read that this has been a problem for a long time.
  • Do we have GUI apps to take advantage of the cool features of BtrFS, like cloning, snapshots, COW, RAID, etc?
  • Do we have user friendly tools to convert an Ext4 into a BtrFS?
  • I've read about performance issues in some cases. Is that still an issue?
  • Have I missed an important question?
  • 6
    That's lots of questions... would be better to split these into individual questions.
    – fossfreedom
    Sep 2 '11 at 15:05
  • 5
    It is one question, broken up into sub-questions in order to clarify what kind of information I'm looking for. I was asking for the situation. There might well be issues I don't know enough to ask about. Sep 3 '11 at 3:43
  • It's a lot of subquestions, but the underlying theme is "Is BTRFS stable enough to use?". I've been googling around with the same question, and have not found a concrete answer. Nov 17 '11 at 0:44
  • I tryd on 11.10- it was amazingly slow. I reinstalled back to EXT4 after clean install 10min testing experiencing on 1st boot waiting for 1 min startup and slow program opening. REALLY slow. Dont ever use it until its on tests faster then EXT4
    – Kangarooo
    Nov 17 '11 at 2:32

BtrFS is under develpment, don't use it for critical data.

We do have tools to fix broken FS for some time. See apt-cache show btrfs-tools. This package contains also btrfs-convert for converting from ext3. I don't know about ext4.

I don't know about any GUI tools for that but I don't expect any GUI tool for COW feature. It happens under the hood.

With regards to performance see this article.

I don't expect Ubuntu 12.04 to use BtrFS as a default FS since 12.04 is to be LTS and BtrFS is too young.


What are the chances that it can be used by default in 12.04? I am asking for qualified guesses here, since obviously, nobody can really know what the future has in store.

According to some notes from an Ubuntu Summit earlier this year (Notes should also be available at summit.ubuntu.com, but the page is protected):

As far as when Ubuntu will likely deploy Btrfs as the default Linux file-system for new installations, that probably will not occur until Ubuntu 12.10 due to Ubuntu 12.04 being a Long-Term support release where Canonical is much more conservative about making invasive changes.

  • Even if it were declared stable relatively soon it would take an awful lot of testing to ensure sufficient quality, an amount of time and effort that they may not have during this cycle.
    – user6658
    Nov 17 '11 at 2:45

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