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Pros and Cons of Using btrfs Filesystem in Linux

File systems are one of the main constituents of any operating system because the whole system storage is dependent on it. In Linux there are various file systems that are used, one of which is btrfs also known as B-tree file system. By default, Linux system comes with ext4 file system but if you want to switch to btrfs and are looking for all the ifs and buts about this file system then read this guide.

What is btrfs File System

The btrfs is a copy-on-write filesystem in Linux that was developed as an alternative to the ZFS file system introduced by Oracle in 2007. This file system keeps the original data safe by saving a copy of only the modifications part of a file in the form of snapshots. This file system improves the overall performance of the Linux system by copying all the data blocks when reading information and in some cases, it becomes faster than the ext4 file system.

Pros and Cons of btrfs File System in Linux

There are various file systems used in Linux and every file system comes with some positives and negatives. To select any of the file system one must be aware of its pros and cons to use its effectively, so if you are planning to use btrfs file system then read the pros and cons that are given in the table below:

btrfs File System Pros Cons
Creates snapshots which makes system restoration easy Creates file fragmentation in case of HDDs
Supports data compression that fits more data in less space Does not support encryption
Big file size (2^64) bytes Getting new updates can lead to data loss
Supports check sum to avoid any data corruption Very less information is provided about this file system which makes it harder to get address to tricky questions or issues


File system is a primary constituent of the data management in the storage system of every operating system. Linux operating systems come with ext4 file systems by default but there are various other file systems as well which are used. The btrfs is one of the file systems used by Linux operating systems and users prefer it for various reasons which include snapshots, built-in volume management and self-healing feature.

About the author

Aaliyan Javaid

I am an electrical engineer and a technical blogger. My keen interest in embedded systems has led me to write and share my knowledge about them.