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Data Storage Open Source Software Linux

OpenSUSE 13.2 To Use Btrfs By Default 91

Posted by Soulskill
from the changing-horses dept.
An anonymous reader writes "OpenSUSE has shared features coming to their 13.2 release in November. The big feature is using Btrfs by default instead of EXT4. OpenSUSE is committed to Btrfs and, surprisingly, they are the first major Linux distribution to use it by default. But then again, they were also big ReiserFS fans. Other planned OpenSUSE 13.2 features are Wayland 1.4, KDE Frameworks 5, and a new Qt5 front-end to YaST."
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OpenSUSE 13.2 To Use Btrfs By Default

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  • Beta testers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @04:57PM (#46528273)

    Finally someone who beta tests btrfs for me!

    • Re:Beta testers (Score:4, Interesting)

      by complete loony (663508) <Jeremy...Lakeman@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @06:58PM (#46529383)

      I've lost data with btrfs, but I did have a failing drive that I didn't notice was going bad. I didn't have a redundant copy of meta-data and couldn't seem to change that.

      All of those things have changed since then. You can set up a cron job to scrub your data instead of being blind to sectors going bad. And you have much better control over the redundancy of your data.

      • by relisher (2955441)
        BTRFS inode limitations once cause my system to go completely bonkers. I lost a huge amount of data due to a "limitation of space" when in reality it was an inode limit.
      • I've lost data recently with btrfs, in the past two weeks. Redundant metadata & data didn't help me. Neither did the snapshots.

        Thankfully, I had a backup of the data.

        So my review of btrfs: Not ready. Slow. May eat your data.

    • Re:Beta testers (Score:4, Interesting)

      by caseih (160668) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @07:00PM (#46529397)

      Been beta testing BtrFS for about 3 years now. Haven't had any problems. This is home desktop use. All my laptops run it, and I'm starting to use snapshotting more and more. Snapshotting a single VM disk image file is very handy.

    • Re:Beta testers (Score:5, Interesting)

      by buchner.johannes (1139593) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @07:26PM (#46529617) Homepage Journal

      You can create a file system on a file on your disk (similar to a swap file).
      Contrary to popular believe this is not slower than a partition, because if the file is mostly continuous, it can be mapped to disk directly by the kernel. Here I create a file system using a sparse file:
      $ truncate +20G mylocal.fs
      $ mkfs.btrfs mylocal.fs
      $ mkdir -p mylocal; sudo mount mylocal.fs mylocal/

      You can use such file systems, for example, to bundle directories with many files, which are deleted/created many times. This causes fragmentation in the file system. Contrary to another popular believe, yes, this is a problem on Linux file systems, and it slows down reads. None of the file system currently has a defragger implemented. Btrfs is actually developing one, but I think it is not in the release yet. The recommended solution is rewriting files (shake [vleu.net]).

      Sub file system containers can be easily resized, and with sparse files only use up the space filled with data. I use them for the linux kernel build directory (you shouldn't build in /usr/src), for portage (many files, changing frequently), and scientific data directories, to limit the fragmentation, and keep speed high. I use reiserfs for this -- find a managing script here: https://github.com/JohannesBuc... [github.com]

      • by felipou (2748041)
        Damn, man, your comment surely should have a higher than five rating.

        You should definitely make a blog post about this!
      • by Anonymous Coward

        "autodefrag" seems to habe been in since 3.0:
        https://btrfs.wiki.kernel.org/index.php/Mount_options

    • by evilviper (135110)

      OpenSUSE users beta test EVERYTHING for everyone. I thought Fedora was bad, but OpenSUSE puts them to shame...

      • I've used opensuse for many years, I guess because when I wanted to adopt the linux desktop, a colleague used it so I did too.

        I usually lag behind new releases by months, unless I'm setting up a new computer and so I don't have anything to lose

        our experience at work of BTRFS having poor and inconsistent performance have put me off ever using it personally except as experimental. OTOH, we found ZFS to be very good.
    • Pah. My phone uses btrfs.

    • by g1zmo (315166)
      FWIW, Netgear's ReadyNAS [readynas.com] lines have been using btrfs for about a year now.
  • by fustakrakich (1673220) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @05:09PM (#46528399) Journal

    I don't get it. Is Chris Mason about to murder his wife/girlfriend?

    • by RITjobbie (211397)
      He _did_ used to work at Namesys for Hans. Joking aside, his wife is pretty cool. She teaches IT/networking at my alma mater, RIT. I've met a few other (now former) Namesys employees in the past, probably some of the brightest minds I've ever known.
    • Why can't Reiser continue? Just because he is in prison? WTF not? It's not like he has anything else to do now. Just because he can't be allowed near future wives and society says he must be punished does not mean he can't contribute to society.

      • Why can't Reiser continue? Just because he is in prison?

        Yes, exactly because he's in prison, where they don't allow you your own personal computer hardware or general access to the internet.

        Shocking, I know. They'll be locking him in at night next!

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          Why can't Reiser continue? Just because he is in prison?

          Yes, exactly because he's in prison, where they don't allow you your own personal computer hardware or general access to the internet.

          Shocking, I know. They'll be locking him in at night next!

          You don't need a PC to code. Seriously, you don't. If he's allowed visitors and they can leave him printed materials, that's all that's needed to code.

          Hell, he can sit and think through a lot of the flaws of the filesystem by doing it all mentally or on paper the

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Be prepared to bleed.

  • It surprising but nice to see someone stepping outside of the "just do what we have done before" box but I suppose there is precedent for SUSE (given the mention of ReiserFS).

    Personally, I have been using BTRFS on a few of my systems for a little over a year and it is quite nice. Later versions have some really intriguing snapshot delta capabilities but my main win, with a slightly older version, is the big benefit of reduced disk I/O via transparent compression.

    The way that it manages storage pools looks

    • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

      How is the btrfs speed compared to ext4 in your experience? Most tests I see has it slower with the explanation that it actually does more than ext4. Many of us still have magnetic drives instead of SSDs so, speed could be an issue. On the otherhand, reduced disk I/O should be a speed improvement. So, how does it perform?

      • I can't speak to its reliability because I only used it a little bit. But in terms of features, from what I understand it the two killer features that slow btrfs down by make it so attractive (assuming it doesn't corrupt your files) are snapshots and live volume resizing. Those two things do what you might from the name - snapshots let you tag a certain point in time in the filesystem, and in the future you can revert your filesystem to look exactly as it did at that point in time. That is of course inc
        • Yes, the ability to add/remove storage devices is done on the live file system.

          I haven't played with it myself but I know that there was talk of using this for OS installation (beyond the more obvious live disk replacement possibility):
          -boot from live DVD
          -start installation is just "add new device to pool" (returns immediately), followed by "remove DVD device from pool"
          -the "remove" doesn't return until it has finished migrating (and possibly balancing, if you added several devices as the target)
          -once "remo

  • I tried setting up btrfs about a year ago on one of my servers running imap (which is continually backed up). I gave up in disgust since btrfs was insanely slow just untarring all of the files (Cyrus Imap stores each email as a separate file). This was on a relatively fast Intel SSD drive. As more and more files were added, the speed continued to drop.

    The other problem I have is that I could not find an adequate answer with respect to free space. When files are deleted it sounds like they really aren't dele

  • by csirac (574795) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @09:35PM (#46530551) Homepage

    I've been using btrfs on all my machines/laptops for more than 2 years now. I've never had corruption or lost data (btrfs has actually coped rather well with failing/dying disks in my experience), unlike ext4. COW, subvolumes and snapshots are nifty.

    But too many times I've had the dreaded "no space left of device" [kernel.org] (despite 100GBs remaining) when you run out of metadata blocks. The fix is to run btrfs balance start /volume/path - I now have a weekly cron job on my non-SSD machines - but it's hugely inconvenient having your machine go down because you're expected to babysit the filesystem.

    Recent months of Docker usage has made me encounter this condition twice this year already.

    I'll continue using btrfs because I've experienced silent corruption with ext4 before which I believe btrfs would have protected me against, and I like snapshots and ability to test my firmware images cheaply with cp --reflink pristine.img test.img.

    • You can run into the same sort of error, if I understand correctly, from other filesystems running out of inodes. Typically the solution there is to know what kind of workload (roughly) you'll be doing with the filesystem, and set the inode-to-block ratio appropriately. I imagine btrfs should have something similar for metadata allocation?
    • by Swistak (899225)
      This is actually a horrible flaw in my opinion. I've also installed btrfs on one of my laptop drives and it was a horrible mistake. If you run out of space it's possible in some edge cases that you won't be able to free your space!
      You'd expect `rm huge_file` to work, but no it won't. Some pages recomend echo "">huge_file but that not always help either if the reason the disk got full is metadata
      I honestly cannot understand how anyone can create filesystem that A) lies about free disk space B) Does no
    • by trynis (208765)

      I've been using btrfs on all my machines/laptops for more than 2 years now. I've never had corruption or lost data

      How do you know?

      • by ssam (2723487)

        Because BTRFS actually checks for corruption unlike older file-systems.

  • I have been using BTRFS for a while now with no problems. Even been through a couple of unclean shut downs, and unplugging mounted drives.

    I suspect that some of people reporting corruption have bad hardware. If they run ext4 the corruption happens, but they never notice. When they switch to BTRFS it spots the corruption quickly because of checksumming, and makes noise about it. Not to say that BTRFS is bug free, but neither is any other file system.

I've never been canoeing before, but I imagine there must be just a few simple heuristics you have to remember... Yes, don't fall out, and don't hit rocks.

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