Oracle Talks Up Btrfs Rather Than ZFS For Their Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel 6

Written by Michael Larabel in Oracle on 21 May 2020 at 07:43 AM EDT. 85 Comments
While Red Hat Enterprise Linux deprecated Btrfs and no longer supports it on RHEL8, Oracle does continue supporting this Linux file-system on their RHEL-based Oracle Linux when using the company's "Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel" alternative to their Red Hat Compatible Kernel. An Oracle engineer put out a lengthy post outlining the highlights of Btrfs in their new Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel 6.

Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel 6 is making use of the upstream Linux 5.4 kernel and with the more recent kernel code-base the Btrfs driver allows for configurable compression level, other compression improvements, fallocate zero-range support, swapfile support, unregistering scanned devices, out-of-band deduplication, and other features compared to the prior state of Btrfs support on Oracle Linux.

Continued Btrfs support is one of the ways Oracle has been promoting Oracle Linux and their Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel. Oracle along with the likes of SUSE are among the few companies still backing Btrfs while the likes of Red Hat are focused on XFS+Stratis, Ubuntu on EXT4 and ZFS, etc. Oracle formerly employed Chris Mason as the creator of Btrfs.

While Oracle has brought DTrace to their Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel, they haven't embraced ZFS on Linux with either OpenZFS or bringing their official ZFS file-system support to Linux... Oracle could relicense their in-house ZFS code if they so chose in order to make it upstream-acceptable, but to date they have not, and instead are still pushing Btrfs for Linux boxes. ZFS just remains at play with their ongoing Solaris 11.4 releases.

More details on Btrfs with Oracle's Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel 6 via the Oracle Linux blog.
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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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