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Btrfs Enjoys More Performance With Linux 6.3 - Including Some 3~10x Speedups

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  • #51
    Originally posted by pkese View Post

    The "big" RAID5/6 patchset is in the works, now at revision 5, most of problems have been ironed out by now and is likely to hit mainstream sometime this year.


    And the patchset is not very big either - about 1000 lines of code (relative to 150,000 for the whole filesystem).
    This is actually super exciting

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    • #52
      Originally posted by timofonic View Post

      That was sais before, it needs to be seriously checked and see adoption for certain important server-grade distros first.

      Is raid5/raid6 reliable now? Any plans for a raidz-like feature?
      Traditional RAID just isn't actually important these days. The RAID issues with btrfs are so old now that technological progress in the meantime has mostly made the feature irrelevant. It's actually pretty funny!

      What matters more IMHO is consistent performance and stable operation without manual maintenance. While btrfs has decent performance overall, particularly for what it does (e.g. checksumming), there are various pathological cases where performance unexpectedly can drop like a rock. This is a big problem. Then there's maintenance... as far as I know, you still need to manually initiate balance from userspace, which is bad. Basic maintenance tasks should be done automatically without assistance from userspace.

      When most of these issues are fixed, it becomes much more viable as a general-purpose filesystem.

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      • #53
        Originally posted by Lbibass View Post
        Very nice. I wish steamOS used BTRFS.
        Why, its one of the few usecases where BTRFS does not make sense. CoW filesystems add extra overhead which in the case of steam deck translates less battery, and the protections/features of BTRFS are unnecessary on the Steam Deck especially considering almost all of the data are game assets which SteamOS verifies automatically with checksums stored on Steam servers anyways. The only possible exception to this is save files but SteamOS does automatically sync save files as well (however there is an argument that save data should be treated specially).

        If anything, the F2FS is the filesystem that would make more sense especially considering the Steam Deck has flash memory.

        Originally posted by Vermilion View Post

        Btrfs also offers deduplication and transparent compression which is useful on devices with limited storage like the deck.
        I am skeptical how much benefit deduplication would provide and there are other filesystems like F2FS (that is much better suited to the deck anyways) which offers transparent compression.

        In any case as mentioned before, I think the higher battery life due to less overhead of not using BTRFS is more important to almost all steam deck users.
        Last edited by mdedetrich; 21 February 2023, 09:07 AM.

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        • #54
          Originally posted by TemplarGR View Post

          That depends on how you do your backups.....
          nope. If you backup garbage, you restore garbage, regardless of how you do your backups.

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          • #55
            Originally posted by NobodyXu View Post
            brucethemoose Since when is data integrity not important?
            Steam game installs are trivial to hash check and redownload, with virtually zero chance of permanent data loss or a need for a total redownload. They are mostly read, not written. They dont need to be preserved over a long periods of time.


            In that use case, compromising performance and energy use for data integrity makes no sense to me.

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            • #56
              Originally posted by Mitch View Post

              Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but IIRC, the biggest two gaps for BTRFS that made EXT4 the default were:
              1. Allowing case sensitive insensitive directories / Filesystem (used by Wine in some cases)
              I don't experience that issue with BTRFS and Wine on Tumbleweed, and the one Wine app I use is definitely using such a structure.

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              • #57
                Originally posted by Vistaus View Post

                I don't experience that issue with BTRFS and Wine on Tumbleweed, and the one Wine app I use is definitely using such a structure.
                Because Wine has code dealing with that. The difference is in performance, with case fold enabled on ext4, case insensitive file lookup will be much faster.

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                • #58
                  Originally posted by Berniyh View Post
                  Because Wine has code dealing with that. The difference is in performance, with case fold enabled on ext4, case insensitive file lookup will be much faster.
                  Not to mention outright prevents issues such as multiple game mods with sloppy capitalization in their directory structure.

                  Though I will say in favor of btrfs: with a bunch of proton games installed, block dedup and zstd compression make a notable difference in space usage. Not a huge a Huge amount of you're only installing a couple 50/+ GB games or have several TB you're storing to, but if your preferred games are on the smaller side and/or are on a smaller drive (multiplicatively so if on a shared system) then 300/+MB savings per game can really be felt.

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                  • #59
                    Originally posted by F.Ultra View Post

                    But games should already have quite compressed assets and most likely are not sharing assets across other games so IMHO both should be quite useless on the deck, but that is a guess of mine and not a stated fact so would be interested to see real numbers here.
                    At least on Windows some users reported good results with game compression. And there is a community maintained database for compressing games.
                    As for deduplication, there's also some interesting numbers on Proton's bug tracker.
                    Last edited by Vermilion; 21 February 2023, 02:48 PM.

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                    • #60
                      Originally posted by dreamcat4 View Post

                      Or i might have a replacement disk already to hand (more likely, thinking ahead). OK then! so what's the downtime? Well probably literally zero, if it's sata 2.5". Because I can hotplug those disks without even requiring a system reboot. And that is about as good as it can be. However lets say i do need to reboot, then I can still keep on chugging along while the new disk is being sync'd up. No problem!.
                      I do understand that argument maybe for Servers, but servers can have some downtime, it's not world ending if they have, and if you worry have the replacement disk at home, but why would you have a productive machine with Harddisks as bootdisks? Heck even sata ssds are on the way out. Nvma is the new standard.

                      But even if you use a sata SSD, their rate of spontaneous failure is much lower than of harddisks. And if you choose faster ssds you might run in a reverse lottery win situation run into 1-2 days downtime (while you still have 20 other computer devices available, from smartphones over gaming machines and other stuff), but you save every day from either booting or starting programs let's just say only 30 seconds from not using harddisks, and if your harddisk might fail after 5 years, that's 5 * 12 * 360 * 30 / 60 minutes, that's 900 minutes or 15 hours time saved. And I think 30 seconds is a very low estimation. Especially if not only the harddisk but the cow filesystem is even slower than non-cow systems at many tasks.

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