How do I setup BTFS on a system with 2 drives without Architect?

Hey guys, im trying to setup Manjaro 21.0 with the BTRFS file system. What I’m trying to do is have two subvolumes (one for root and one for home) that exist on different drives; root will go on my ssd and home will on the hard drive. But I can’t really find much information out there on how to setup while inside the live usb, most seem to use the architect build, which is now gone. Anyone have any idea on how I can get it setup?

So, question. How are you spanning the drives?
I am not sure what you want to do is best for subvolumes… However, it would make it easier to create other subvolumes if you wanted to exclude snaps…

Check this out:

I know it is Pop_OS, but the Manjaro version is incomplete and it doesn’t cover all of the possible scenarios. Some of this stuff you absolutely won’t need. But if you read it through, you will get a really good grip on how to manipulate BTRFS (or any other file system) just after install.

Basically, you install the OS as normal, getting it as close to what you want as you can. Then once the install is complete, instead of rebooting, you can really get in there and move stuff around, set up other file systems, etc.

One major difference in Manjaro and Pop_OS, is that the installer doesn’t yet (info is dated to last year) support luks2. This doesn’t mean that you couldn’t create it… But you would have to move stuff around to get it to work.

Definitely read through the Manjaro-LUKS-BTRFS guide as well. That will give you an idea on what the differences are between the two installers.

Im not sure what spanning drives mean, but basically I want my programs and OS to run on my ssd, and my personal stuff (photos, music and such) to be on my hard drive

Spanning a volume across 2 or more hard drives usually via LVM.
It sounds like that is not what you are wanting.
All good.

Question 1. Are you wanting to run encryption? (LUKS)
Question 2. Are you wanting to run a swap file/partition?

I don’t want encryption, and I want to have a swap file

Subvolumes live within partitions and that for reason. It is a bad idea to do so with btrfs. Better use another filesystem instead like ext4.

OK great.
So you will want to install Manjaro normally. Select the normal EFI or BIOS boot (whatever you normally use) and install as you would.
Once you get to the end and it asks to reboot, you open a terminal instead and move the files to a sub-volume on each drive (if it didn’t do it already.) You edit the fstab to match the new sub-volume locations and you should be good to go. It is fairly straight forward.
The links should help a lot. Just ignore the LUKS or LVM stuff.

I am not understanding why the OP’s desire to have this layout is a bad idea. They would still get snapshot capabilities… Right?

It is because of the design decisions of BTRFS. However, with some knowledge, the OP can do as he like it, but for example timeshift will not work and for snapshots he will need to tinker.

As I understand, BTRFS is made for one big partition. With subvolumes you mount then then the mountpoints within that partition. If you need to include a second drive, then expand the drive as a JBOD or RAID0 to the other drive. Thats it.

But what the OP is trying to do is the old way. It is better to do this with old filesystems like ext4. At least the second drive, which is a rotating one, should be ext4 to prevent fragmentation since BTRFS is a COW-System. But i would rather say make both ext4.

Sigh I give up, I can’t even get the system to boot with BTRFS on the system at all.

Maybe you can reinstall Manjaro normally, and train and tinker with stuff in a virtual machine to learn how all of this works. It is never good to do things in a hurry when you need to learn it before, especially if you would need help to maintain/fix it later on. Don’t give up, but don’t rush.

It doesn’t even work on Manjaro apparently… it breaks the installer apparently, at least from what the devs said

And so don’t use BTRFS but as 99% of people, use EXT4.

So how do I setup a home folder and root folder on different drives?

Cool, thanks for the info. I am running BTRFS and I found that it is very straight forward. However, I can understand it being too much for someone that is unwilling to spend the time to learn how it works. I spent a lot of time to get mine perfect for me. I also learned a lot along the way, and blew up my PC more than a few times.

Do a custom partitioning then.