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Weekend Project: Get Started with Btrfs

Oct 16, 2010, 11:01 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Nathan Willis)

" The B-tree file system Btrfs is a next-generation filesystem for Linux, and although it is still undergoing rapid development, you can use it for day-to-day tasks. Even if you are not prepared to migrate your production servers over to Btrfs, you should take some time to explore what it can do. It offers significant time- and space-efficiency improvements over ext3/ext4 — not to mention considerably simpler volume management.

"For those unfamiliar, Btrfs is a clean break from the approach used in Linux's ext filesystems in years past. It uses b-trees to store generic "items" of varying data types in a single, unified data structure. Items are sorted by their 136-bit key, which groups related items together via a shared key prefix (and thus automatically optimizes the filesystem for large read and write operations). Small files can be stored directly in the tree leaves, while large files are written in extents —which lowers the overhead and reduces fragmentation."

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