Fedora 33 Desktop Will Switch To Using Btrfs As Default Filesystem

Fedora 33 Desktop Will Switch To Using Btrfs As Default Filesystem

Btrfs on Fedora 33 will include all of the default features found in the stable version of the file system. And with btrfs having been well tested for over 7 years, the developers are confident this change will go smoothly.

The Fedora Project is changing the default file system for desktop variants (Fedora Workstation, Fedora KDE, etc), for the first time since Fedora 11. Above all, Btrfs will replace ext4 as the default filesystem in Fedora 33.

Btrfs is a stable and mature file system with modern features:

  • Data integrity
  • Otimizations for SSDs
  • Compression
  • Cheap writable snapshots
  • Multiple device support

The switch to Btrfs will use a single-partition disk layout, and Btrfs’ built-in volume management. The previous default layout placed constraints on disk usage that can be a difficult adjustment for novice users. Btrfs solves this problem by avoiding it.

The Fedora developers have said:

“For laptop and workstation installs of Fedora, we want to provide file system features to users in a transparent fashion. We want to add new features, while reducing the amount of expertise needed to deal with situations like running out of disk space. Btrfs is well adapted to this role by design philosophy, let’s make it the default.”

Btrfs uses a “copy-on-write” model: your data and the file system itself are never overwritten. This enhances crash-safeness. When copying a file, Btrfs does not write new data until you actually change the old data, saving space.

In fact, users will save more space when using Btrfs’ transparent compression. Compressing data reduces total writes, saves space, and extends flash drive life. In many cases, it can also improve performance. Compression can be enabled on an entire file system, or per subvolume, directory, and even per file. You will be able to opt-in to using compression in Fedora 33. And it’s one of the features we’re looking forward to taking advantage of by default in future Fedora releases.

Fedora 33 should be releasing in mid to late October 2020.

Btrfs is a file system we can trust

Facebook uses Btrfs on millions of machines in production. They compare its stability to ext4 and XFS (another file system available in Fedora). In fact, they use Btrfs to “improve” the quality of the consumer storage hardware that they use in production. Btrfs detects problems before the hardware fails.

In addition, OpenSUSE have been using Btrfs for many years now, including SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES).

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