Btrfs under openSUSE Leap 42.1 - better harddisk usage

posted Feb 7, 2016, 3:41 AM by Niels Jensen   [ updated Mar 5, 2016, 11:48 AM ]
Since installing openSUSE Leap 42.1 and choosing the default Btrfs for the root file system we have observed, at better hard disk usage than we experienced with openSUSE 13.2 and the xt4fs. The picture on the left is the harddisk usage on our HP Pavilion Elite 430sc for the home and root partitions. The root partition is 20 GB, and about 80% is in use. With openSUSE 13.2 and the xt4fs we several times experienced the root file-system usage climbing to 100%, but with openSUSE Leap 42.1 and btrfs we have not seen root file system usage above 85% during our first few months of usage.

The picture on the right shows the root partition usage, and the one below the home partition - most pictures and videos. We apologize for using pie-charts on which it is rather difficult to compare the size of different areas. However, the applicaton Filelight don't allow one to show the results in other formats, e.g. such as treemap or bar stacked bar charts.However, there is a new development in the pipeline called QDirstat, and it is from the developer op KDirstat, which don't work with the latest versions of KDE. Another options is the command line tool baobab, which allows you to switch between plots like the ones shown here and treemaps, and also display plots of subfolders.

So we clearly see openSUSE current default choice for root partition file system, as excellent. You just have to get used to shutdown taking a bit longer - especially if the system is not rebooted regularly.

After a few months of usage we have experienced some problems with snapper on our notebook. Our 20 GB root partition is simply too small for snapper, and after a few system updates we ran out of space on the root partition. We think this is mainly due to the default snapper configuration not being optimal with our small root partition and our usage of the notebook, i.e. snapshots not being delete fast enough. Based on research on the different fora we have for the time stopped snapper until we can increase the root partition size.At least 40 GB is recommend, but we will increase it to 60 or 80 GB, since the process will require a full backup of our home partition.