ben54i321e432q
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Why in 2017 do we still not have BTRFS in Raspbian?

Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:48 pm

With such huge demand for the file system, it's a legitimate question to ask why the devs keep rejecting it?

In my experience with Raspberry Pi BTRFS is more reliable and there are a huge number of people following guides to get it working via initramfs but it breaks when updating the Raspberry Pi kernel.

Debian and Ubuntu support it out of the box, why can't we have that?

DirkS
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Re: Why in 2017 do we still not have BTRFS in Raspbian?

Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:56 pm

ben54i321e432q wrote:With such huge demand for the file system
Such as what? Can you give us some proof of that 'huge demand'?

You can put in a request at https://github.com/raspberrypi/linux/issues
But: https://github.com/raspberrypi/linux/issues/1550

runboy93
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Re: Why in 2017 do we still not have BTRFS in Raspbian?

Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:47 am

F2FS would be better option, as newer and as very small noticeable boost. I have just experience with F2FS on android, and it's really noticeable vs default oldie ext4.

DirkS
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Re: Why in 2017 do we still not have BTRFS in Raspbian?

Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:57 am

runboy93 wrote:F2FS would be better option, as newer and as very small noticeable boost. I have just experience with F2FS on android, and it's really noticeable vs default oldie ext4.
See same issue 1550 I linked to above. f2fs has been considered and rejected.

jamesh
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Re: Why in 2017 do we still not have BTRFS in Raspbian?

Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:01 am

Quote from popcornmix, about a year ago.
BTRFS won't be built in. It is large and will be used by a very small percentage of users, and will encourage more requests for other filesystems to be built in.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi Ltd.
Working in the Applications Team.

runboy93
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Re: Why in 2017 do we still not have BTRFS in Raspbian?

Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:22 pm

Forever ext4 :3

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jojopi
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Re: Why in 2017 do we still not have BTRFS in Raspbian?

Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:05 pm

ben54i321e432q wrote:Debian and Ubuntu support it out of the box, why can't we have that?
Debian supports different root filesystems using initramfs, not by compiling them all into a monolithic kernel. It would make a lot more sense to ask for easier integration of the Foundation-packaged kernels with the Debian/Raspbian initramfs mechanisms, rather than for building every possible feature into the default kernel configuration.

However, the Foundation kernels boot perfectly well in most images without initramfs. Anyone wanting to use a non-standard root filesystem is going to have to make their own image anyway, which requires a certain amount of knowledge and effort. I am not really sure that the initramfs requirement is such a show-stopper in this market.

Perhaps someone who has tried using BTRFS via initramfs could comment on what needs to be done after a kernel update. Could a solution be as simple as to have the raspberrypi-kernel package's postinst script run update-initramfs if /boot/initrd.img exists?

ben54i321e432q
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Re: Why in 2017 do we still not have BTRFS in Raspbian?

Mon Aug 19, 2019 6:28 pm

It's 2019 and it looks like the devs are continuing to ignore BTRFS despite practically every other Linux distro now having built-in support.

Furthermore ZSTD compression is now available in BTRFS which Raspberry could benefit from significantly due to the truely awesome compression ratios and relatively low cpu usage (less writes to the SD card).

I really wish the developers would stay "in-line" with Debian and support the core elements which for a long time have included BTRFS.
Last edited by ben54i321e432q on Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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ShiftPlusOne
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Re: Why in 2017 do we still not have BTRFS in Raspbian?

Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:27 pm

I don't think anybody is ignoring it. In fact, I'm using it on my pi.

As I see it, the issue isn't BTRFS itself or any other kernel module, but proper initramfs support.

ben54i321e432q
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Re: Why in 2017 do we still not have BTRFS in Raspbian?

Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:41 pm

Then let's somehow get support built into Raspbian, perhaps in this case it entails having to build it directly into the kernel, but seriously who cares?

Pretty sure the smallest MicroSD card I can buy in a retail shop now is 16gb!

Opens the Raspberry up to a range of cool file system features and even snapshots.

I've been using BTRFS on Raspberry for years but I'm always worrying I will forget to update init ramfs after I upgrade the kernel, I've made the mistake many times and countless hours could have been saved if support was just built into the distro.

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rpdom
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Re: Why in 2017 do we still not have BTRFS in Raspbian?

Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:47 pm

ben54i321e432q wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:41 pm
Then let's somehow get support built into Raspbian, perhaps in this case it entails having to build it directly into the kernel, but seriously who cares?

Pretty sure the smallest MicroSD card I can buy in a retail shop now is 16gb!
I'd rather not have to replace half the cards on my systems just to support a filing system I don't want and don't need.

Frankly the few times I've had to deal with BTRFS it has been an utter pain to work with.
Unreadable squiggle

ben54i321e432q
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Re: Why in 2017 do we still not have BTRFS in Raspbian?

Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:52 pm

rpdom, do you care about the integrity of your data?

Cause on EXT4 I'm pretty sure there is no way you can know for sure that it's all actually in-tact.

At least with BTRFS, it can actually verify file contents against a checksum so I know if there is a problem.

epoch1970
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Re: Why in 2017 do we still not have BTRFS in Raspbian?

Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:21 pm

There is a ZFS-on-Raspbian-64 protest somewhere in the forum, perhaps you could join?
Sarcasm aside. I believe most Raspbian users would be happy with a smaller and simpler system, and don’t care for data integrity.
"S'il n'y a pas de solution, c'est qu'il n'y a pas de problème." Les Shadoks, J. Rouxel

ProDigit
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Re: Why in 2017 do we still not have BTRFS in Raspbian?

Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:38 pm

ben54i321e432q wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 6:28 pm
It's 2019 and it looks like the devs are continuing to ignore BTRFS despite practically every other Linux distro now having built-in support.

Furthermore ZSTD compression is now available in BTRFS which Raspberry could benefit from significantly due to the truely awesome compression ratios and relatively low cpu usage (less writes to the SD card).

I really wish the developers would stay "in-line" with Debian and support the core elements which for a long time have included BTRFS.

Back in the day, we used to run EEEBuntu for the EEEPC, on an SD card. It did speed up read/writes by a bit (on a 900Mhz Celeron, which is faster than the Pi Zero/1)
But enabling also increased errors in booting from the SD card.

goodburner
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Re: Why in 2017 do we still not have BTRFS in Raspbian?

Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:18 am

What is so special about BTRFS? I used it once, it was always stuttering and slower than ext. Obviously I haven't looked into the full feature set but this looks more like a vocal minority asking for it when most other people would rather have things like a stable 64bit kernel for Raspberry. :D

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rpdom
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Re: Why in 2017 do we still not have BTRFS in Raspbian?

Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:28 am

ben54i321e432q wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:52 pm
rpdom, do you care about the integrity of your data?
Yes, but I'm not paranoid about it to the extent that I will install a clunky filesystem that makes simple admin tasks complicated.

I do regular backups.

I do check my data. (I've had experience with many types of disk failure, including one that had a single bad bit in its write buffer RAM which took a while to identify why some data was getting corrupted and not others - that was in 1985).
Unreadable squiggle

keshlam
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Re: Why in 2017 do we still not have BTRFS in Raspbian?

Wed Dec 30, 2020 1:40 am

I am not attached to any particular filesystem, but:

I like having a read-only core overlaid with modifications stored separately, to minimize wear on flash storage. My solution for that has generally been to use the configuration where the flash card is used _only_ as the boot hook, immediately switching to running the actual environment from removable storage (typically usb disk drive). Overkill for an embedded systems, but I think it's a better choice for a development) experimentation machine. It would be nice for the community if setting that up was a more push-button process.

Similarly, the journalling/rollback filesystem ideas are more attractive to folks developing a solution that will run on a pi (or using the pi as a lightweight general purpose machine) than to folks who already know exactly how their "production" pi is going to be
configured.

And some folks are using the pi as a platform to try out alternative configurations they aren't ready to risk on their main machines.

So I can see the attraction of at least being able to try btrfs more easily. I'm curious myself, especially if it could be configured to provide a "core" set of Raspbian files to be overridden by the external disk without having to juggle quite so much.

On the other hand: Instructions for installing btrfs on Raspbian exist on the web, and af first glance they don't look much worse than what I had to do in order to (re)boot from usb. So I can't really disagree with those who suggest that this doesn't have to be the Pi's default configuration. I'd just suggest that, it would be nice if RaspberryPii.org blessed and hosted one of those articles (as they did the boit-from-usb tweak), and even nicer if someone could bundle up some automation so it doesn't require quite the same amount of detail work.

Perhaps those who want btrfs to be more available could contribute some time to creating that article and automation?

(Open Source: if a feature is important to you, you should be the one who invests the effort to submit a specific proposal.)

((Apologies for any typos; writing this on a tablet.))

ejolson
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Re: Why in 2017 do we still not have BTRFS in Raspbian?

Wed Dec 30, 2020 4:04 am

keshlam wrote:
Wed Dec 30, 2020 1:40 am
On the other hand: Instructions for installing btrfs on Raspbian exist on the web, and af first glance they don't look much worse than what I had to do in order to (re)boot from usb.
Installing and getting BTRFS to work on Raspberry Pi OS is not difficult. The difficulty is that when the Linux kernel is updated the initial RAM filesystem is not automatically regenerated and this will break an existing system without warning.

I wrote a post-install hook to regenerate the initial RAM filesystem when the kernel is updated. Within a year, that also broke due to an unannounced change in how the kernels are compressed. While BTRFS seems to work in 32-bit mode, most of the testing is on 64-bit systems.

Have you checked how BTRFS works on recent versions of Ubuntu for the Pi?

keshlam
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Re: Why in 2017 do we still not have BTRFS in Raspbian?

Sat Jan 02, 2021 5:50 pm

For whatever it is or isn't worth, it appears Red Hat's moving toward BTRFS as the preferred filesystem for new Fedora installs. I'm not sure what they're doing about swap space.

Different environments, different needs, certainly.

ejolson
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Re: Why in 2017 do we still not have BTRFS in Raspbian?

Sat Jan 02, 2021 6:00 pm

keshlam wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 5:50 pm
For whatever it is or isn't worth, it appears Red Hat's moving toward BTRFS as the preferred filesystem for new Fedora installs. I'm not sure what they're doing about swap space.

Different environments, different needs, certainly.
Does that Fedora run on a Pi?

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