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Proposed Reflink Support Would Provide Big Space Savings For Wine
Developer Alex Xu sent out a set of patches today that would implement Reflink support within Wine. Alex explained, " With a MinGW build of Wine without Mono or Gecko, new 32-bit prefixes are over 150 MB, and new 64-bit prefixes are over 300 MB. The vast majority of these files are byte-for-byte identical to Wine's central DLL copies...When reflink is supported by the underlying filesystem, new Wine prefix sizes with Mono and Gecko disabled are reduced to less than 1 MB. The resulting Wine prefix is byte-for-byte identical to one created without reflink, but occupies less space on disk. "
Reflinks are currently supported by Btrfs, XFS, and others but notably not supporting it is EXT4. Reflinks are used rather than hard/symbolic links since cases like Winetricks modifying a given Wine prefix would in turn modify the original copy used by the other prefixes while reflinks will still allow for independence between the prefixes.
So with these proposed 4 patches providing the Reflink support, Wine prefix size could drop from 150~300+ MB per prefix down to 1MB or less, assuming you are on a supported file-system, which will quickly add up if installing/managing many Windows games or applications on your system.