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Friday, 3 October 2014

Why BTRFS is Amazing

You may have heard of the BTRFS file system. BTRFS is an advanced, next-generation file system which was jointly developed by Oracle, RedHat and other companies.

When I came across BTRFS the first time, I dismissed it as yet another file system like EXT4 and NTFS. There are so many file systems available these days that most people don't care about what they are using. And there really is nothing to care about. The difference between file system formats like EXT3 and EXT4 are of interest only to advanced users. Sure, EXT4 provides journaling and better reliability than EXT3, but for the average user, there is nothing about EXT4 that changes the way they interact with their system on a daily basis.

BTRFS is different. It's such a big improvement over previous generation file systems that it will change the way you use your hard disks.

Upgrade to Linux Kernel 3.16

As you may know, a new version of the Linux kernel is released every 6-10 weeks. Each new version features various improvements, fixes issues, and adds support for newer hardware.

Because of the rapid release cycle, the version of the Linux kernel available in Ubuntu PPAs always lags behind the latest stable kernel that may be available. For example, the stock kernel included with Ubuntu 14.04 is v3.13 (released in Jan 2014) while the latest stable kernel is v3.16 (released August 2014). Ubuntu provides only security updates for the stock kernel and newer kernels are made available in the next Ubuntu release after 6 months.

If you are running Ubuntu 14.04 and wish to upgrade to the latest Linux kernel, you can do so easily by running a few commands. The changes between v3.13 and 3.16 are given in following links:

Linux v3.14
Linux v3.15
Linux v3.16