Why SUSE Likes The Btrfs File-System
Written by Michael Larabel in SUSE on 17 October 2013 at 04:12 AM EDT. 20 Comments
While many assumed Fedora would be the first tier-one Linux distribution shipping with Btrfs by default, it looks like openSUSE may end up being the one. OpenSUSE has been looking at switching to Btrfs for their next release (post-13.1) and already in its current state feel Btrfs is safe for users -- nearly one year after SUSE Enterprise felt Btrfs is production-ready.

Matthias Eckermann of SUSE gave a presentation at LinuxCon last month about "why btrfs is the Bread and Butter of Filesystems." Eckermann is a senior product manager at SUSE and quite passionate about Btrfs as the future Linux file-system while acknowledging that it's not the only good Linux file-system and that there's other options out there depending upon the use-case.

While it shouldn't come as a surprise to frequent Phoronix readers, one of the highly-praised Btrfs capabilities is its copy-on-write support and efficient snapshot capabilities. SUSE already has a Snapper utility making Btrfs snapshots for managing OS activities (e.g. upgrades), snapshotting on the desktop, and there's support for server-side snapshots too. Snapper integrates with SUSE package management software like Zypper or YaST system management and is exposed as a DBus service. The server-side copy support comes down to Btrfs as a Samba back-end.

Btrfs also has greater maximum file-system and file sizes than can be found by EXT4 or XFS with 16 EiB limits on each. Btrfs also supports sub-volume quotas, tail packing, online shrink of the file-system, and numerous other capabilities that make the SUSE Linux developers happy. Going out, Btrfs is also exciting for planned data de-duplication support and tiered storage between SSDs and HDDs.

Those wanting to dig deeper into this Btrfs presentation can find the PDF presentation slides.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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