Does btrfs use more resources than ext4?

If i were to install btrfs will it consume more resources than ext4? I have no experience with btrfs.

I have no experience with BTRFS, but I think it consumes more resources than EXT4, because BTRFS stores multiple snapshots in disk or I am wrong. I read briefly that BTRFS is good for servers. EXT4 is good for desktop and is pretty stable.

1 Like

If you want to use BTRFS for Desktop, then maybe better solution to create 3 separate partitions:

  1. partition:
    FAT32 for /boot directory.

  2. partition:
    BTRFS is for / as root directory, if root-data were wrong or system was broken, you can restore it or rollback to old snapshots…

  3. partition:
    EXT4 for /home directory for many resources.

1 Like

Not if you don’t make any snapshots. btrfs does not make any snapshots out of its own accord.

Furthermore, it’s a copy-on-write filesystem and it supports transparent inline compression, both of which mean that it actually uses less disk space than ext4. It only writes the modified data to new disk sectors while leaving the unmodified sectors alone.

You should never use vfat for /boot unless you use refind as the boot loader. If you want to create a separate /boot, then it’s better to make it ext4, with or without snapshots.

Only if you do actually have snapshots.

I have no idea what you mean by “for many resources.” :confused:


I haven’t noticed and slowdowns using BTRFS I don’t use snapshots so I don’t know how that works but it’s been very stable for me.


I mean /home directory has more data ownership, for example accounts, each account uses its own data.

Sorry for my bad English.


BTRFS is a next-generation-filesystem. It does a lot of things different then older filesystems.
EXT4 is a evolution of EXT2 and EXT3
With BTRFS you can (but you don’t have to):

  • join partitions to build one BTRFS-Volume
  • split one Volume into Subvolumes and mount them separately (space is dynamically shared)
  • use software-raid1 with 2 or more disks of different sizes
  • use snapshots (if you want) manual or automatic, at boot or at install or at fixed intervalls
  • verify your filesystem while it is mounted
  • repair raid1 while it is mounted
  • use compression allover the filesystem ( zip, zstd, …)
  • self-healing
  • … look for yourself btrfs Wiki

So it is difficult to compare btrfs with ext4. (maybe with reiserfs5 if it did exist)

Especially what resources do you care for most ? (disk-space, CPU-Power, time, …)

For example: i do use btrfs. And with compression zstd:9 i have saved ca. 50% space on my disk. The files do load faster. But writing files may be slower. With 4 cores i don’t care for the write-time. Booting is very fast :wink:
My volume is spanned over 2 partitons on 2 disks, and when i will run out of space i only have to add another partition to it.

Most of these things you can do while the btrfs-filesystem ist in use !!!


How big should /boot be then? Assuming I have only 2 kernels installed at a time?

If you have only two kernels installed, then you can easily get by with 256 MiB, and then you still have room to spare ─ which is always a good thing. :wink:

Ok, I would like to set up my / then so that I have

  • 300 MiB /boot/efi - vfat
  • 300 MiB /boot - ext4 (for grub)
  • about 100 GiB /root - btrfs (still divided into subvolumes)
  • 8,8 GiB swap

Would this be ok?

/root is not the same thing as /. :stuck_out_tongue:

Isn’t that just a little bit too much? :smiley:

Sorry, was probably already with the thoughts somewhere in the nowhere … have changed it :wink:

By the way, if Calamares doesn’t create the subvolumes on / for me on its own (when assigning sda3 as / partition), how do I do that manually?

These points are interesting, thank you :slight_smile:

Who is interested in performance test: Performance Test (Btrfs, ext4, f2fs and xfs) on Linux - YouTube

8800 GiB = 8.8 TiB. So, again, are you sure about that? :stuck_out_tongue:

There should be a manual option ─ it might be called “Advanced” or “Custom” or something. Still, I think that the most recent installer will create the required subvolumes if you opt for btrfs.

If all else fails, create the subvolumes from beforehand from within the live session. That should normally also create the directories for those subvolumes, and in that case, the files will be installed into the correct subvolumes.

Sorry, my mistake :wink:

Thanks for your guide :+1:t2: