mintCast 339.5 – ZFS Butter Recognize


1:58 Innards
44:04 Feedback
1:16:41 Check This Out
1:20:58 Outro

In our Innards section, community member Joshua Hawk tries to convert us to unsalted BTRFS.

And finally, some feedback and a few suggestions


Joshua Hawk

When did you first learn about Linux?

When did you start using it as much as you do?

Btrfs – No Partitions Needed, with Joshua Hawk 

  • Features
    1. Copy on Write (CoW)
      1. Creates new files when storing data instead of overwriting current data.
      2. Necessary for snapshots
    2. Subvolumes
      1. Like a partition but has access to the entire space of the btrfs formatted disk.
      2. Also necessary for snapshots
      3. Can be interacted with either like a directory on a filesystem or like a separately mounted filesystem.
      4. Some subvolume commands
        1.  subvolume create [destination] <name of subvolume>
        2. subvolume delete [option] <subvolume name> [<subvolume inside subvolume>] 
        3. subvolume list [options] [–sort=rootid,gen,ogen,path] <path>
    3. Snapshots
      1. NOT BACKUPS! They are akin to Windows system restore points but far far superior. 
      2. Can be automated using snapper or timeshift.
      3. Is a subvolume itself that points to data and metadata in its parent subvolume.
      4. NOT BACKUPS! 
    4. File System Compression (ZLIB, LZO, ZSTD)
      1. Saves space sometimes up to 20%-30%
      2. Increases life of SSD’s due to significantly less writes
      3. ZSTD is flexible and configurable to your needs.
      4. Mounting a subvolume with the compression option won’t compress files currently on subvolume.
      5. To compress files already contained in a subvolume you must use the Defrag command with the -r option
    5. Checksumming
      1. Not Enabled on SSD’s by default due to the fact that ssd’s tend to just fail rather than die slowly. If you want this feature with ssd’s it is recommended to use 2 ssd’s in a RAID 1 Configuration.
      2. Enabled by default on HDD’s and when used with RAID 1 will checksum and self heal files that are corrupt. 
    6. SSD Awareness
      1. Disables file duplication to reduce writes
      2. TRIM/Discard to report free blocks for reuse
      3. Sends writes in clusters resulting in larger write operations and faster throughput. 
    7. Send/Receive of subvolume changes
      1. Can send and receive subvolumes and changes to those subvolumes over the network for backup operations.
    8. RAID Support
      1. RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10 support
      2. RAID 5 and 6 are experimental and are NOT recommended!
      3. RAID 0, 1, and 10 are production ready
      4. Can add and remove storage to RAID on the fly
  1. When to use btrfs
    1. Root Filesystem
    2. Redundant data storage (NAS)
    3. Laptops with SSDs
    4. Btrfs works for MOST filesystem cases
  1. When not to use btrfs
    1. Anything that does not need redundant data storage (video game data storage for example excluding game save data)
    2. Databases due to the slow nature of CoW.
  1. Issues with btrfs
    1. Will not mount a filesystem if errors are detected on disk. This can be corrected by using the scrub command 99% of the time.
    2. If connection is lost or computer/server loses power during some btrfs operations, may result in data corruption or file system issues.
    3. If snapshots are not being controlled by a script or a limit is not set the disk drive may fill up and cause issues. Can be corrected by deleting some snapshots.
    4. As stated before RAID 5/6  is experimental and has major issues. 
  1. Main Contributors to btrfs
    1. Facebook – Where Chris Mason the lead dev on btrfs is employed
    2. SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE)
    3. Fujitsu
    4. Oracle
  1. Links to Good btrfs Content
    3. btrfs: The Best Filesystem You’ve Never Heard Of – YouTube
    4. openSUSE Conference 2018 – btrfs is awesome, except when it isn’t – YouTube
    5. btrfs Tutorial | btrfs Filesystem | btrfs Subvolume and btrfs Snapshots – YouTube
    6. BTRFS Guide – Basic Commands, Snapshots, and RAID – Chris Titus Tech


  • Brad Alexander 
  • Brad’s addendum
  • Joe’s response
  • Henrik
  • Benjamin Moser
  • Jim Daldry
  • Bill Dietrich
  • John Wallis Saga Episode x+1


Not Linux related at all, just a great poem about the current situation and how it may just be a positive thing. It is released under a Creative commons licence and called ‘What Happened when we all stopped’ by Tom & Bee Rivett-Carnac, very thought provoking.


The next show will be Sunday, the 26th of July at 7PM UTC, 2PM US Central Time, 8PM British Summer Time


Before we leave, we want to make sure to acknowledge some of the people who make mintCast possible … 

  • Hobstar for his work on the new logo
  • Josh for all his work on the website
  • Hacker Public Radio for the Mumble server we are using to record
  • Bytemark Hosting for hosting and our Mumble server
  • for hosting our audio files
  • The Linux Mint development team for the fine distro we love to talk about.

4 Replies to “mintCast 339.5 – ZFS Butter Recognize”

  1. Henrik Hemrin

    You talked today about how to submit the episodes; if in two parts as today or possibly divided in more parts. For me, I think I actually prefer the full episode in one. I listen to the whole show. But when do it, I pause. I pause the episode several times, not at any natural break from show point of view, but when natural from my point of view. I will keep on listening whatever you do with episode management!

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