LinuxQuestions.org
Download your favorite Linux distribution at LQ ISO.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Password
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!

Notices


Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 11-19-2013, 01:01 PM   #1
DTFan
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Nov 2013
Posts: 4

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Thumbs up Question about btrfs vs ext4?


Almost a total linux noob. I played with (for about 2 weeks) Ubuntu 11.04 via the windows installer (wubi?). I quickly got swamped with work and eventually just uninstalled.

I'm going to try again (Suse 13.01). I am told that btrfs is the file system/format I should use. But I'm also told that it isn't "finalized" yet (although safe and stable for everyday use). I've been told that ext4 is the standard but is being phased out. The analogy I was given was FAT32 vs NTFS?

My questions are hopefully simple for a noob to understand the answer and not to difficult for a noob to explain the question.

Is btrfs the way to go? Are the benefits of btrfs over ext4 worth the "non-finalized" issue? Also, if I go with btrfs, when it is finalized, will I have to reinstall or will there be some kind of "update" to move it to the final product? Or because I am again just "playing" with (not for work it's just to learn and hopefully eventually move away from Winblows), is it just better to stick with ext4?

Thank you and any help/advice is very much appreciated.

Last edited by DTFan; 12-01-2013 at 01:20 AM. Reason: Didn't know about Thread Tools for reporting it as "Solved." Sorry.
 
Old 11-19-2013, 02:42 PM   #2
TobiSGD
Moderator
 
Registered: Dec 2009
Location: Germany
Distribution: Whatever fits the task best
Posts: 17,130
Blog Entries: 2

Rep: Reputation: 4825Reputation: 4825Reputation: 4825Reputation: 4825Reputation: 4825Reputation: 4825Reputation: 4825Reputation: 4825Reputation: 4825Reputation: 4825Reputation: 4825
Quote:
Originally Posted by DTFan View Post
I'm going to try again (Suse 13.01). I am told that btrfs is the file system/format I should use. But I'm also told that it isn't "finalized" yet (although safe and stable for everyday use). I've been told that ext4 is the standard but is being phased out. The analogy I was given was FAT32 vs NTFS?
Many people think that btrfs is not production ready yet, but apparently the openSuse developers think different about that. But while ext4 is older and not as feature rich as btrfs it is indeed very stable and in many cases faster than btrfs. Also, ext4 is far from being faded out.

Quote:
Is btrfs the way to go? Are the benefits of btrfs over ext4 worth the "non-finalized" issue?
If you use the advanced features of btrfs, yes, it is the way to go. If you don't use those features you will be fine with ext4.
Quote:
Also, if I go with btrfs, when it is finalized, will I have to reinstall or will there be some kind of "update" to move it to the final product?
The filesystem itself is stable and will not change in the near future, what is not finalized yet are all the tools, but work is getting done. So you will not have to reinstall, but you will probably get updated tools (I don't know openSuse's upgrade strategy, it may be possible that you will get those tools in a future release).
Quote:
Or because I am again just "playing" with (not for work it's just to learn and hopefully eventually move away from Winblows), is it just better to stick with ext4?
It doesn't really matter, if you don't play with the features of the underlying filesystem usually the only time you think about the filesystem is when choosing which to use at install time.
 
Old 11-19-2013, 03:06 PM   #3
suicidaleggroll
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Nov 2010
Location: Colorado
Distribution: OpenSUSE, CentOS
Posts: 5,258

Rep: Reputation: 1947Reputation: 1947Reputation: 1947Reputation: 1947Reputation: 1947Reputation: 1947Reputation: 1947Reputation: 1947Reputation: 1947Reputation: 1947Reputation: 1947
ext4 being phased out? ext4 was just phased in a few years ago, it's not going away for a long time.

btrfs is still under heavy development, it'll be a while yet before things calm down. For example, these are the updates in the 3.12 kernel:
Quote:
Linux v3.12 (Nov 2013)
Major performance improvement for send/receive with large numbers of subvolumes
Support for batch deduplication (userspace tools required)
new mount option commit to set the commit interval
Lots of stability and bugfix patches
OpenSUSE 13.1 is still using the 3.11 kernel, Debian is using 3.2, RHEL is using 2.6.35, etc.

Personally, I would give it more time before moving to btrfs, but that's just me. For some things cutting-edge is fine, but I prefer my filesystems to be nice and established.
 
Old 11-19-2013, 03:09 PM   #4
syg00
LQ Veteran
 
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Australia
Distribution: Lots ...
Posts: 14,832

Rep: Reputation: 1820Reputation: 1820Reputation: 1820Reputation: 1820Reputation: 1820Reputation: 1820Reputation: 1820Reputation: 1820Reputation: 1820Reputation: 1820Reputation: 1820
I have used btrfs for years, but on most systems I also use ext4.
I would generally recommend ext4 for a new user - if you need support, you'll generally get more sensible answers (from community lists like LQ) for ext4.

However ... it's a good filesystem, and if you have to learn everything (about Linux in general) from scratch, and are prepared to put in some effort, btrfs might certainly be worth a try. Both btrfs and ext4 are continuing development, and having new features added.
Try the btrfs wiki for some info if interested.
 
Old 11-19-2013, 08:10 PM   #5
jefro
Moderator
 
Registered: Mar 2008
Posts: 15,374

Rep: Reputation: 2198Reputation: 2198Reputation: 2198Reputation: 2198Reputation: 2198Reputation: 2198Reputation: 2198Reputation: 2198Reputation: 2198Reputation: 2198Reputation: 2198
I tend to use btrfs but I'm pretty sure OpenSuse doesn't use it by default. You will end up having to use snapper application a lot.

If you are worried then use ext4, nothing wrong with it.
 
Old 11-19-2013, 11:12 PM   #6
DTFan
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Nov 2013
Posts: 4

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
After reading the replies and browsing the wiki (which honestly is over my head) I think I'm going to stick with the ext4. If it's working for all/most distros and it's going to be around for awhile then I see no reason to go with the btrfs. The btrfs has features what sound very promising if you need them but being as this is a learning machine and it's not uber-important that I know btrfs I'll go with the "standard."

Thank you for everyone who posted and for the opinions. Very much appreciated.
 
Old 11-19-2013, 11:25 PM   #7
TobiSGD
Moderator
 
Registered: Dec 2009
Location: Germany
Distribution: Whatever fits the task best
Posts: 17,130
Blog Entries: 2

Rep: Reputation: 4825Reputation: 4825Reputation: 4825Reputation: 4825Reputation: 4825Reputation: 4825Reputation: 4825Reputation: 4825Reputation: 4825Reputation: 4825Reputation: 4825
Quote:
Originally Posted by jefro View Post
I tend to use btrfs but I'm pretty sure OpenSuse doesn't use it by default.
They don't, but they explicitly state that they see it as production ready and that they discuss using it as default in the next release.
 
Old 11-20-2013, 06:32 AM   #8
salasi
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jul 2007
Location: Directly above centre of the earth, UK
Distribution: SuSE, plus some hopping
Posts: 4,052

Rep: Reputation: 881Reputation: 881Reputation: 881Reputation: 881Reputation: 881Reputation: 881Reputation: 881
Quote:
Originally Posted by DTFan View Post
I'm going to try again (Suse 13.01).
I assume that you mean 13.1 (released yesterday, and, therefore, pretty new). Certainly, if you want to use BTRFS, there is a case for using something pretty new, because development is pretty rapid, and you'll get more of the new features. But, should you? Well, I'd say probably not.

If you want/need the extra features of BTRFS (and the flavour I get is that you don't know how you'd use them, so that's probably a 'no') and/or if you have an application that separates the operating system installation from storage (again, my impression is probably no) then consider it.

If you just want a simple answer that doesn't add to the learning curve, go ext4. It doesn't add any complex concepts and it just works. On the other hand, if you have a real need for the advanced features or you are a confirmed techie who has to work with the latest and coolest, irrespective of some pain getting there, then BTRFS is there for you (actually, you are probably a little bit late, but that can't be cured now for BTRFS, but you can always use F2FS on your SSD and experiment with the more advanced configuration options of BTRFS).

Quote:
I am told that btrfs is the file system/format I should use.
I'd describe that as a bad or incomplete answer to the question that you asked here, but maybe you had to be there (eg, there was some extra context, or less clarification of your current status).
 
Old 11-20-2013, 09:38 AM   #9
TobiSGD
Moderator
 
Registered: Dec 2009
Location: Germany
Distribution: Whatever fits the task best
Posts: 17,130
Blog Entries: 2

Rep: Reputation: 4825Reputation: 4825Reputation: 4825Reputation: 4825Reputation: 4825Reputation: 4825Reputation: 4825Reputation: 4825Reputation: 4825Reputation: 4825Reputation: 4825
PLease don't use custom tags (like "[Answered!]") for marking your threads, please use the thread tools (right above your first post) to mark threads as solved.
 
Old 11-20-2013, 06:31 PM   #10
jefro
Moderator
 
Registered: Mar 2008
Posts: 15,374

Rep: Reputation: 2198Reputation: 2198Reputation: 2198Reputation: 2198Reputation: 2198Reputation: 2198Reputation: 2198Reputation: 2198Reputation: 2198Reputation: 2198Reputation: 2198
DTFan writes,

"but being as this is a learning machine and it's not uber-important that I know btrfs"

This is logical. Learn the other stuff first. Btrfs is like extra credit just yet.

I found it interesting to see an "answered" in there. What TobiSGD means is to use the solved button maybe.


""What we have done in openSUSE 13.1 is include new Btrfs features," Bethencourt said. " Some of them are ready for production environments and some still need more stabilization effort; this is why Btrfs is not the default file system in openSUSE 13.1." http://www.serverwatch.com/server-ne...e-quality.html November 19, 2013

Last edited by jefro; 11-21-2013 at 03:30 PM.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
[SOLVED] EXT4 vs BTRFS ReaperX7 Slackware 14 11-29-2014 04:19 PM
LXer: Btrfs vs. EXT4 vs. XFS vs. F2FS On Linux 3.10 LXer Syndicated Linux News 0 05-18-2013 08:10 AM
ext4 vs btrfs, and with btrfs do I still need to use LVM? blue_k Linux - Software 4 08-18-2012 12:31 AM
LXer: Linux 3.3 Kernel: Btrfs vs. EXT4 LXer Syndicated Linux News 0 03-02-2012 01:20 PM
LXer: EXT4, Btrfs, NILFS2 Performance Benchmarks LXer Syndicated Linux News 0 06-29-2009 03:50 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:06 AM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration