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

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Storage on 20 February 2023 at 05:00 PM EST. 110 Comments
The big batch of Btrfs file-system driver updates for the Linux 6.3 kernel were submitted today by SUSE's David Sterba. As with many kernel cycles, this Btrfs pull includes more performance optimizations as well as new features.

Btrfs with Linux 6.3 introduces block group allocation class heuristics to pack files by size for helping to avoid fragmentation in block groups. Btrfs with Linux 6.3 also has continued code clean-ups and refactoring around its native RAID5 and RAID6 handling. It was just with Linux 6.2 as well that Btrfs received RAID 5/6 reliability improvements while this code path continues to be enhanced with this follow-on cycle.

Btrfs logo

The latest Btrfs code also changes where it carries out its check-summing in the I/O path, takes care of a few fixes, and achieves yet more performance optimizations. Some of the performance work is quite juicy as outlined in today's pull request:

- send: cache directory utimes and only emit the command when necessary
- speedup up to 10x
- smaller final stream produced (no redundant utimes commands issued),
- compatibility not affected

- fiemap: skip backref checks for shared leaves
- speedup 3x on sample filesystem with all leaves shared (e.g. on snapshots)

- micro optimized b-tree key lookup, speedup in metadata operations (sample benchmark: fs_mark +10% of files/sec)

More details on all of the Btrfs feature work for Linux 6.3 via this pull request.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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