Garuda (+ others) use BTRFS over EXT4 file-system

Yes they have a live option.
I have tried garuda-dr460nized-linux-tkg-bmq-210107
and a second one.

They both have a dark color.
Even their website has a black back ground

I personally do not like black desktop.

It took me a while to make the change to a more comfortable back ground.

I have also tried to install ii on a 700 Gb disk
and got a message about partioning the disk.

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@R_G I really don’t understand why people are so keen on live versions. I use them for rescuing operations or at off-site business meetings. In neither case, Garuda would be my option.
In order to get a real feeling, I reckon, you need a full installation and really use it, not live, not virtual machine.

As I said before, I’m not trying to sell this one, but they definitely have many desktops and themes with very different looks. When it comes to dark or bright, I have phases: I have light and bright ones and sometimes, like right now, I’m in a darker mood.

Anyway, despite the eye-catching optics of this distribution, I consider the most important features to be the ones under the hood: The selection of pre-installed tools, the file system, the kernel tweaks, the automatic snapshots etc.

The latter might be the reason why it wanted to reformat the disk. This distribution uses BTRFS and not EXT4 as file system, for a variety of reasons.


Yes, I saw that GARUDA uses BTRFS and not EXT4.

I’ll format the drive first.
I hope @C.J gets it installed.

I read that :

Ext4’s limits remain pretty impressive. The largest volume/partition you can make with ext4 is 1 exbibyte—the equivalent of roughly 1,152,921.5 terabytes. The maximum file size is 16 tebibytes—or roughly 17.6 terabytes, which is much bigger than any hard drive a regular consumer can currently buy.

I’ll never need such a file or such a disk.

So, unless I find a simple way to return to ext4 or FAT, I don’t think I’ll try to force/convince myself and format the disk to go with Garuda.

You might as well create a separate partition and format it as BTRFS, if this file-system is mandatory.

Thank you very much for this explanation. It´s great to have a solution to our investigation.

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Regarding the BTRFS question:

@Akito’s option is one. However, if you don’t like Garuda, the other one is to simply reformat the disk in the format you like. Gparted makes that very easy. Still, most Linux distributions now support btrfs out of the box.

There’s a number of reasons why the distro’s developers chose this filesystem over the well-established and mature ext4:

  1. It is more resilient towards read/write errors.
  2. It allows spanning over different devices. You can do that with ext4, too, but you’d need an extra layer of software for that: E.g. lvm, the logical volume manager.
  3. It allows the creation of instant snapshots. This is important because Garuda is based on Arch Linux. Arch Linux has (probably) the biggest and most up-to-date software repository available. This is great for people who love to tinker and try out things, but it also means, there’s a bigger chance of stumbling upon buggy pieces of software than on stability oriented distributions like Debian, OpenSUSE or RedHat Enterprise. If this happens, Garuda makes rolling back to the previous status a piece of cake: It’s just one click in the boot manager.
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It’s important to also note that we are always talking about root partitions here. If we were talking about general storage partitions, without Linux root on it, the story would be entirely different.

The huge plus about BTRFS is, that it has industrial style reliability features for consumer Linux users. However, if you want such features for generic data disks, ZFS would be a much better choice. The problem with that is, that its history with Linux is much younger than with BSD. One of the symptoms of that fact is that disks formatted in any ZFS style are by far not supported by every Linux version natively. Sometimes you can have trouble and you certainly are in for a very manual setup, if you really decide to have a ZFS based root disk. Sometimes, it may not work, at all.

Basically, btrfs is the middle ground between ext4, a generic consumer Linux format, and zfs, an industrial level format with tons of features for data disks and huge amounts of stored data.


I thank you both @Mina and @Akito.
Thank you very much for this explanation.

I’ll consider this when I decide to spend time on Garuda.