How to install and format a partition with the Btrfs on Ubuntu?

How To Install And Format A Partition With Btrfs Filesystem On Ubuntu

Btrfs on Ubuntu is a modern copy-on-write (CoW) filesystem for Linux with an aim to implement advanced features while being easy to repair, maintain, and easy administration. Like ZFS, the Btrfs file system features advanced features like Snapshots, RAID, self-healing, and more. You can find the whole list of features at btrfs Wiki. Btrfs project was started in 2007, and it is also a part of the Linux kernel. Some top technologies like Kubernetes also make use of the Btrfs filesystem.

Installing the Btrfs on Ubuntu

Btrfs file system is easily available in the apt package manager.

Before installing, update your apt package manager index by executing the following apt command with sudo:

sudo apt update

Now, to install the Btrfs filesystem, execute the following apt command with sudo:

sudo apt install btrfs-progs

Once we have installed the package, we can proceed further to set up the Btrfs file system on our device.

The device we have used on our system for the Btrfs filesystem is /dev/sdb

Partitioning with the help of cfdisk partition editor

Before creating a filesystem on our device, we need to first create the partition(s). For this purpose, we can make use of the popular Linux partition editor called cfdisk.

Execute cfdisk partition editor for the device /dev/sdb by executing:

sudo cfdisk /dev/sdb
Sudo Cfdisk
sudo cfdisk /dev/sdb

You might wanna use gpt if you are on a UEFI system. But, for this tutorial, we’ll proceed with dos. Use the down arrow to select dos and press Enter to choose it.

No Partitions
No partitions

In the above picture, you can see we have no partitions at the moment on this device. So, we have to create a new partition.

Select [ New ] with arrow keys and press Enter.

Creating A New Partition
Creating a new partition

As you can see in the above picture, we are creating a partition of 10G (that is 10 GB, similarly for M for MB, & T for TB). We are using all the available space on our device, but you can choose as per your needs.

Choose Primary
Choose primary

Now choose primary, and hit Enter.

Select Write To Write Changes To Device
Select write to write changes to device

Now type yes to confirm, write changes to the device.

Type Yes To Confirm Write Changes
Type yes to confirm write changes
Now You Can Quit Cfdisk
Now you can quit cfdisk

Now you can quit cfdisk. You can list the partition using the lsblk command with sudo:

sudo lsblk
Sudo Lsblk Output
sudo lsblk output

Now that we have a partition created, we can now proceed to create the Btrfs filesystem on the partition.

Creating Btrfs filesystem on a partition

We can make a filesystem on our partition using the mkfs.btrfs command.

To create a Btrfs filesystem on our partition execute the following command and replace your partition with /dev/sdb1:

sudo mkfs.btrfs -L btrfs /dev/sdb1

The -L option is used to specify the volume label.

Btrfs Filesystem Created
btrfs filesystem created

As you can see in the above image, we have successfully created a Btrfs filesystem on our partition.

Mounting a Btrfs partition

To mount a Btrfs partition, create an empty directory preferably in / using the mkdir command with sudo:

sudo mkdir /btrfs

We will use the mount command with sudo to mount our Btrfs partition.

sudo mount /dev/sdb1 /btrfs

You can verify it by executing the following df command:

df -h
Btrfs Partition Mounted
Btrfs Partition Mounted


btrfs is among the most popular filesystems in the Linux world. It has many advanced features like, snapshots, raid, self-healing, deduplication, and more, which ensures integrity and reliability.

Thank you for reading!