WinBtrfs Filesystem — Btrfs For The Other Side


winbtrfsShort Bytes: In a slight intermission in the Btrfs series, we’re looking at WinBtrfs, a “from-scratch” implementation of the Linux brainchild filesystem, Btrfs. Windows has a notorious lack of support for filesystems, and a shaky reputation with its RAID software, meaning WinBtrfs could be a saving grace for filesystems on Windows.

Like Apple, Microsoft has been reluctant to move from its tried and true (but is it really?) filesystem, NTFS. Although, they have introduced ReFS, Microsoft has done little in the public eye to move away from its now ancient NTFS which was introduced in 1993. ReFS is supposed to be Microsoft’s “next generation” filesystem, but has been lacking in adoption despite the obvious deficits of NTFS. ReFS still lacks many of the distinguished features of Btrfs and ZFS, and for many of the industry leaders, that just won’t do.

Cue WinBtrfs. WinBtrfs is an implementation of Btrfs for Windows built from the ground up. It doesn’t contain any of the code from the original Btrfs project and is licensed under the LGPL.  The project has come to support many of the staple features that Linux users of Btrfs benefit from.

As of now, the project supports RAID0/1/10, full subvolume support, snapshots, and even ACLs. As the project becomes more feature-complete and stable, it will surely allow for some blistering performance, even on commodity hardware. But much more importantly, it will put the power of redundant and reliable storage into the hands of the less technically inclined.

WinBtrfs is by no means a stable solution yet, though. Being in early development, the project is bound to have bugs, some more dangerous than others. The author offers a blunt disclaimer describing the possibilities of using the software and insists on maintaining a proper backup, but then goes on to say that it “ought to be suitable for day-to-day use.”

Are any of the fossBytes readers interested in giving it a spin? You can find on GitHub here. Let us know how it goes in the comments below.

Also Read: Linux Filesystems Explained — EXT2/3/4, XFS, Btrfs, ZFS

Devin McElheran

Devin McElheran

IT professional by day and various hobbies by night.
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