Not surprisingly there were a few comments in my LVM article and in some of the other articles around users trying to understand whether they should choose BTRFS or LVM+EXT4. It could certainly be a fairly complex topic, and full of opinion, but I think it could be useful to have a high-level comparison, with links out to more detailed discussions. This could help individuals come to a decision they are comfortable without wading through all the various bits of detailed discussions out on the Internet.
Largely the article would be an overview of my own discovery and decision process, as I’m going through the exact same questions. I think I can provide good pointers, in line with Fedora choices, and hand people the high-level information necessary for them to make a decision for their own situation and feel like it was based on explicit choice on their part instead of just being carried along in ignorance of alternatives.
I’ve been thinking on it some, and here is the sketch of what I had in mind:
tl;dr; Both are great choices, so go with the defaults unless you have some specific use case you want to address (or you want to play with new tech). If you are doing a fresh install of Fedora 33 use the default BTRFS, if upgrading from an earlier release, leave LVM+EXT4.
Start with assurances that both options are stable and mature. Highlighting the lineage and successful usage of both setups. Pointing to additional info as I find it.
BTRFS Strengths (some of these I still need to confirm/double-check, I’m still a BTRFS newbie)
- Subvolumes for easy snapshot management (no preallocation, send/receive)
- Online resize, including shrink
- Directory level filesystem options (COW, compression, etc)
- Checksuming etc
- LVM volumes can host other filesystems
- Caching volumes
- Some virtual machine integrations with volume pools, etc
Maybe comparison of proper on-going maintenance for each setup?
Quick pointer to what is involved in going from LVM+EXT4 to BTRFS: basically reformat and reinstall.