How to Enable BTRFS Filesystem Compression

If you want to enable BTRFS filesystem compression, you should first know the prerequisites before proceeding. This article will go over the Btrfs Compression Algorithms and the Prerequisites for Creating and Mounting a Btrfs Filesystem with Compression Enabled. You will also be able to use this article to enable BTRFS filesystem compression on your computer.


The BTRFS filesystem compression protocol was designed with the goal of increasing disk fault tolerance and data availability. The standard compsize command can process any file system, but it is particularly useful with BTRFS. The btrfs system supports transparent file compression, disabling nodatacow and nodatasum, and writing new data elsewhere. Compression success depends on the compression class and value used.
The consistency model for BTRFS is based on the copy-on-write (COPW) principle. That is, it writes new data to a new location and switches pointers between different volumes. BTRFS also assumes that the storage device may not behave as expected, and it applies mechanisms to detect misbehaving hardware and make sure data is valid. Its consistency model also makes it possible for BTRFS to take more snapshots than LVM.

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The Btrfs filesystem uses zstd compression level 3 by default. It supports compression with lzo, zlib, and czlib. To use Btrfs filesystem compression, you need to install the Btrfs filesystem and the command btrfs filesystem compress. This will help you save disk space and reduce storage time. You can install Btrfs filesystem on your computer by following the instructions below.
If you have a BTRFS system, you can use the LZO compression algorithm. It is a lossless, real-time block compression algorithm. When Btrfs defrags files, it requires verbose defragmentation, waiting for all blocks to flush, and forcing file compression to save space. Moreover, it supports multiple devices and logical volumes for data storage.

Btrfs Compression Algorithms:

The BTRFS filesystem comes with internal heuristics that help determine whether a particular file is compressible. But you can bypass these heuristics by using the compress-force mount option. However, this will increase the amount of fragmentation of files that are not compressed. Compression can be achieved with different algorithms, but Zlib has the highest compression ratio. Compression with LZO has the worst performance, but has been available since the beginning of Btrfs.
If you are concerned about disk space, you should enable the use of inband deduplication, which will reduce the amount of unwritten data. This is also known as synchronous or inline deduplication. It is currently an out-of-tree experiment, but could become a standard feature in the future. Alternatively, you can disable deduplication altogether. The Btrfs Wiki also provides information on using tools that automate incremental backup.
There are many ways to enable Btrfs filesystem optimization. The ‘du’ command will show raw physical blocks, zstd will display uncompressed logical blocks, and chattr +c will enable or disable ‘compression’. You can also use ‘compsize’ to view the size of used space. Once you’ve enabled this option, you can perform some benchmarks on your system to see how much better your system will perform.
You can use the chattr utility to enable or disable compression on new extents. If you don’t want to force a file to be compressed, you can use the btrfs filesystem compression property. This property is shared among all mounts of the same filesystem or subvolume. For best results, you should enable compression at the level of three. Higher levels will increase write latency, but they’ll have little effect on overall performance.

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Creating a Btrfs Filesystem:

Before you create a Btrfs Filesystem, you need to mount the existing filesystem. After mounting the Btrfs filesystem, create a Btrfs subvolume. Each subvolume is like a directory and must point to the Btrfs filesystem. For example, you could create a subvolume named /data/photos and use it to store photos. Once this subvolume is created, a new directory will be created. If you need to see the contents of the directory, type btrfs subvolume to see the subvolume list.
Next, you should use the command btrfs -v to list all partitions on the disk. You can also use the btrfs -d command to remove a specific partition from the BTRFS filesystem. The btrfs file system will be reorganized if the partitions are in a different order. To prevent this from happening, you should move all your data off the disk after you install the BTRFS file system.
BTRFS is a copy-on-write (COPY) file system, developed by multiple companies, and is GPL-licensed. This file system can span multiple volumes, is self-healing, and links deleted files to lost+found files. It also supports transparent compression and filesystem snapshots. BTRFS also offers a streamlined GUI for volume management. A BTRFS filesystem is a great choice for Linux.
Creating a Btrfs filesystem will require some admin maintenance. There are some common problems to watch out for when installing BTRFS. Make sure you follow the instructions carefully, as they may contain some bugs. If you use a cloned LV, you risk the data being corrupted. Also, BTRFS expects a unique UUID.

Mount a Btrfs Filesystem with Compression Enabled:

You’ve just mounted a BTRFS filesystem on your Workstation, and now you want to know how to enable compression. This type of filesystem dynamically compresses and decompresses files without the user being aware.

It’s called transparent compression for a reason:

it doesn’t affect the performance of the Filesystem. However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind when mounting this type of filesystem.
Firstly, you must mount the Btrfs filesystem with the -compress option. This will enable filesystem-level compression. If you don’t want compression, your files will still be the same size, so make sure you enable the option when mounting. To enable compression, you can mount a Btrfs filesystem with the -compress option or the -compress-force-mount option. The -compress-force option will enable the compression for all files.
You should also enable compression when storing new files on the Btrfs filesystem. Btrfs supports three types of compression, but zstd is the most efficient. Compression is transparent for existing files, so you can read them without affecting the quality of the data. Furthermore, the disk is much less fragmented when files are compressed than when they are uncompressed.
To mount a Btrfs filesystem with compression enabled, you must select the /dev/btrfs-control device under the misc category. The filesystem UUID will differ from that of any other filesystem. You should also change the /data directory for the Btrfs filesystem. By doing this, you can make sure the filesystem’s UUID is unique.

Testing Btrfs Filesystem Compression:

If you want to see whether btrfs supports filesystem compression, you should enable the option in the mount options. If you don’t enable it, you will be limited to the old method. Btrfs supports two types of compression: lzo and zlib. Lzo is faster, but zlib has a higher compression ratio. The zstd algorithm provides a modern compromise between speed and compression ratio. The zstd algorithm also skips write operations forever and offers similar performance and compression ratios to lzo and xzlib. You can enable or disable compression by using mount -o compress, chattr +c, and btrfs properties.
The default compression algorithm in Btrfs is LZO, which uses lossless real-time block compression. It works by dividing data into blocks and compressing them by blocks in real-time. You can also use ZLIB, a data compression library that uses a combination of the LZ77 and Huffman coding algorithms. It is important to note that Btrfs supports both LZO and ZLIB data compression algorithms, so you will want to use both if possible.
For filesystems larger than 8TB, you should disable copy-on-write. This will disable checksums and prevent Btrfs from detecting corrupted nodatacow files. If you enable copy-on-write, Btrfs will be unable to detect corrupted nodatacow files, but it will still apply compression to existing files. When using nodatacow, the nodatacow mount option disables copy-on-write for newly-created files. Existing files will still get copy-on-write.
Running a df command to examine the size of the file system will provide useful information about the types of compression that are used and how effective they are. Besides df, you can also run the ‘compsize’ command to check whether Btrfs is using deduplication and reflinks. These utilities will tell you how much space is actually allocated for metadata. If you need to know how much space a file takes up, it will be easier to use btrfs filesystem compression.

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Asim Boss

Muhammad Asim is a Professional Blogger, Writer, SEO Expert. With over 5 years of experience, he handles clients globally & also educates others with different digital marketing tactics.

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