Switching from ext4 to btrfs

I have EndeavourOS running smoothly on an ext4. But I want to switch from ext4 to btrfs, mainly because Backups directly in grub seem lucrative, but also as from what I read, btrfs seems to manage memory better(Feel free to correct my reasoning, I by in all means, a Newbie).
Now, from what I read, The only way to convert is a fresh install. Is this right?
Assuming it is, I wanted to know if I can backup everything(Literally everything) and restore it on my btrfs installation(As I have spent a lot of time customizing my personal instance, and building packages takes soooo long :frowning: ).
Also, for deleting my present installation, all I need to do is go into windows and delete the ext4 partiton and the FAT32 right? I am triple booting with Ubuntu,Windows and EndeavourOS. (ALSO ARCH USER BTW HAHA GET REKT)
Please enlighten me, O’ fellow Endeavourers of this sage forum.

Is your customizing in /home ?

There are some binary packages that have already been built in AUR.

I think you shouldn’t convert root file system, but your /home yes.

If your disk has enough free space, you can create a new Btrfs partition and transfer /home data (full or important data) from EXT4 partition to the BTRFS partition, then delete the EXT4 partition and have to edit /etc/fstab to change UUID and mountpoint to /home.

Don’t forget backup!

Reinstalling OS is the safe way and recommended for most users.

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Keep the FAT32.
Instead of reinstallation, I would backup everything with rsync, reformat partition with BTRFS and restore the backup. If done correctly, EndeavourOS should be able to boot right away with fallback initramfs.
Just backup and restore /home. If you restore whole system, there will be no subvolume layout so snapshotting won’t work as you desire.

yes the customization is in my home directory. Sadly, my partitions are maxed out, and I cannot create an extended partition as there is no slot for one. So I will just delete this install(And move /home to my Ubuntu .ext4 partition as a backup). I dont need to delete my FAT32 partition right? (Where the EFI file is present, only for Endeavour)

Instead of deleting partitions, Can I just boot the live usb, and in the install options select my current partitions and overwrite them?
And you mean that I will need to setup stuff once again, a full backup and restore wont be possible?


but you can not restore root and Kernel in / without Btrfs snapshot after any accidental change or bad upgrade of system, e.g. lost WIFI that pacman cannot run without internet.
Arch is the rolling release and could probably break.

My recommendation is setup:

  • Root system and some important parts of Home should be in BTRFS filesystem
  • Other parts of Home are “Downloads/ISO”, “Steam games” and “VM images” and “Multi media” in EXT4 or XFS partitions and mount to Home in Btrfs partition.
  • daily BTRFS backup in other hard disk (Created backup is pretty quickly less than 10 seconds because of the deduplication ability ).

  • If you have a lot of free space on the disk, you can convert the BTRFS profile of data “Single” to “DUP” (Two same your data in the same filesystem). The “self-healing” ability would be activated when using mirrored data.

I have set up both / and my /home in Timeshift as snapshot sources. Snapshots that are taken automatically as I upgrade the system (timeshift-autosnap) are added to the boot menu so I can boot into them and restore them from there. It has happened/was necessary only twice in more than 18 months, but I like the security it gives me.

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If you restore only /home, you will need to reinstall applications but your settings and data will be saved.
If you want to do a full backup and restore, it is possible but will require you to manually create subvolumes, edit /etc/fstab and reconfigure GRUB so you can make use of snapshotting.

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