Building a BTRFS setup into the Endeavour Installer

Is anyone working on a default BTRFS setup for the EndeavourOS installer? I think a lot of people could benefit from it. I know there are installation guides for BTRFS on EndeavourOS (& Arch), but they’re probably complicated enough to provide too much of a barrier to entry for most people.

What sort of setup do you have in mind?

More complicated than formatting a partition as BTRFS and setting a mount point during the installation steps?

Adding subvolumes for /home, /tmp, /var/cache/pacman/pkg, /srv & /var/log. Possibly some tweaking of the mount options in fstab: relatime vs noatime, space_cache version.


I think what @Feakster is talking about is what I did manually, and Suse and Fedora does default in their graphical installers:

Aka a complete btrf setup of / with subvolumes, snapshots and compression. Not just a / with Btrfs on it.


Yes… this.


Now to be absolutely honest here I do not think our beloved Calamares installer can handle anything like that.

It can, somehow (e.g. Garuda does it). However, I’m not sure how much flexibility that approach offers, e.g. whether setting up that sort of subvolume structure would prevent other setups.


Would it not be possible to offer the user a selection of possible subvolumes they could choose from?

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The only option I can imagine as being doable is that if you chose a btrfs / volume it would always set up subvols according to a specific pattern, maybe also with a warning that you need say 40Gb instead of 20 for / because of this (as suse does it, afair)

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It can possibly if you make a module for it, but like you said idk about how flexible that is. Fedora spins have the option to use Calamares but im not sure if Fedora doesnt use it due to limitations with how they have things setup.

I know I’m speaking purely from the end user point of view, because I could never code any of this up for Calamares. I also have no idea how viable this is in Calamares.

Honestly Im not sure I like automatic BTRFS setup, it has its benefits but to really get the most out of it you gotta know what its doing and how its setup.

I use BTRFS on my storage server setup and It was much easier to accomplish my goals from terminal vs any automated setups i tried.

I agree, but I’m just thinking of something that would cater for the majority of simple use cases, i.e. just snapshots. Nothing complicated.


I would argue that this is a great idea once btrfs gets all of its features and performance in order.

Its a great filesystem, but its still got some ironing out to do IMO before it becomes a 100% solid option for users that arent able to deal with issues that may arise. Once its as solid as EXT4 for example i think this would be a great thing to look at including for people

Is this :arrow_down: something related to what you have in mind?

Yeah. That sounds about right.

I’m not sure about it not being ready. All of us on here are using bleeding edge software right now. Could Calamares not just have a warning message for those selecting BTRFS in the installer?

Its up to distro maintainers and users i suppose but going from the btrfs folks

Is btrfs stable?

Short answer: Maybe.

Long answer: Nobody is going to magically stick a label on the btrfs code and say “yes, this is now stable and bug-free”. Different people have different concepts of stability: a home user who wants to keep their ripped CDs on it will have a different requirement for stability than a large financial institution running their trading system on it. If you are concerned about stability in commercial production use, you should test btrfs on a testbed system under production workloads to see if it will do what you want of it. In any case, you should join the mailing list (and hang out in IRC) and read through problem reports and follow them to their conclusion to give yourself a good idea of the types of issues that come up, and the degree to which they can be dealt with. Whatever you do, we recommend keeping good, tested, off-system (and off-site) backups.

Pragmatic answer: Many of the developers and testers run btrfs as their primary filesystem for day-to-day usage, or with various forms of real data. With reliable hardware and up-to-date kernels, we see very few unrecoverable problems showing up. As always, keep backups, test them, and be prepared to use them.

When deciding if Btrfs is the right file system for your use case, don’t forget to look at the Status page, which contains an overview of the general status of distinct features of the file system.

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Given that two of the main distros including what I consider being “the” main Linux distro (Fedora) are now using it as default, and all kernels that are not ancient supports it it is about as ready as it can be.

99% of “problems” reported online either are misconceptions or has to do with the raid issue that will never be fixed because the btrfs devs just doesn’t care about that particular raid setup (and it is just ONE raid setup).


I guess my question here would be, why have all these options? I mean, if someone knows the combination of partitions, file types and sub volumes, why can’t they just use the manual partitioner? It should be able to do exactly what you’re suggesting .