Systemd-boot, dracut and btrfs?

I’m a bit confused about dealing with systemd-boot and dracut in conjunction with a btrfs system. I’m supposed to install EOS with btrfs on another machine next week, but dalto wrote yesterday “There is no good way to do btrfs snapshot booting with systemd-boot.” So in that case I would have to give up the ability to boot directly from snapshots? Or I do without btrfs on this machine and go back to ext4? Both not so good. But switching to grub on this reinstall sounds a bit regressive to me again. You developers sure thought of something to implement this other boot loader.

On my own computer this is no problem, it runs with Grub and Btrfs and mkinitcpio without problems and a reinstallation is still a long way off.

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Hmm…there are multiple things here. First, both systemd-boot and dracut work with btrfs no problem.

However, using btrfs and being able to boot off snapshots via the boot menu are two separate things.

If you want to use the boot menu to boot snapshots you need to stick with grub for that. However, the new installer still allows this. It asks you to choose a bootloader during the install process and you can still choose grub.

As for dracut, the situation is a bit more complicated. dracut supports booting off snapshots. However, if you need the overlay in place to successfully boot them which is required for certain display managers, grub-btrfs hasn’t added support for that yet but is in the process of doing so now.

If you want snapshot booting you have options.

  • You could install your btrfs system now, and just accept that restoring a snapshot might require a bit of extra handling until support is added to grub-btrfs
  • You could switch the system back to mkinitcpio which isn’t that hard to do.

I don’t think there is any reason to do that(Unless you prefer ext4). In all scenarios you can continue use btrfs.

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Thank you @dalto for your detailed reply. I’ll probably just do without the possibility of booting snapshots. It should be enough if I can select snapshots from the system with the Btrfs assistant.

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If one is using systemd-boot, is it possible to edit the cmdline in the boot menu and use subvolid to boot into a particular snapshot?

Yes. If you happen to have you snapshot subvolids memorized… :laughing:

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I better start working on that :brain:

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