Is it higher to make use of Btrfs than EXT4 on a Synology NAS?

Traits of file programs All working programs have a file system that controls how data

Traits of file programs

All working programs have a file system that controls how data is saved and retrieved, whatever the bodily help (laborious drive, SSD drives, pen drives, and so forth.). It is vitally vital to configure the proper file system, as a result of every one has clearly totally different traits, and a few are higher for a sure use, and others are higher for one more use. Within the case of Synology NAS servers, we’ve got the potential for configuring EXT4 or Btrfs, in truth, within the quantity configuration wizard we will select between one and the opposite with none drawback. Subsequent, we’re going to briefly clarify the primary traits of EXT4 and Btrfs.


EXT4 is essentially the most used file system in Linux-based working programs, this file system is transactional and has essential traits comparable to that it doesn’t require a really highly effective processor, and we’ve got an excellent learn and write pace. EXT4 lets you mitigate the fragmentation of the file system, so it’s best for a NAS the place we’re going to copy many information of all sizes, nevertheless, it has instruments to defragment particular person information and even your complete quantity with out having to unmount it. The final traits of EXT4 are the next:

  • Most file measurement: 16TiB utilizing 4K blocks.
  • Most variety of information: 4 billion
  • Most file identify measurement: 255 bytes
  • Most quantity measurement: 1EiB
  • Clear knowledge encryption: sure
  • Copy-on-write: no
  • Clear compression: no
  • Clear deduplication: no

As you’ll be able to see, we’ve got many options that EXT4 doesn’t help, comparable to CoW (Copy on Write), compression and clear deduplication, one thing that Btrfs does have.


This file system is the successor to EXT4, nevertheless, proper now it competes with it relying on the {hardware} used. This file system is primarily geared in the direction of servers, not a desktop pc that is perhaps working Ubuntu or Debian. This file system permits very superior configurations, comparable to the potential for having snapshots natively, on this manner, we will “return” all the info written on the disk backwards. As well as, this file system permits mirroring and striping of a number of disks with out as many limitations as EXT4. The final traits of Btrfs are the next:

  • Most file measurement: 16EiB.
  • Most variety of information: 18 trillion.
  • Most file identify measurement: 255 bytes
  • Most quantity measurement: 16EiB.
  • Clear knowledge encryption: no
  • Copy-on-write: sure
  • Clear compression: sure
  • Deduplication: sure
See also  Why you shouldn’t use a Raspberry Pi as a NAS server

As you’ll be able to see, we’ve got far more capability for the variety of information and in addition the utmost file measurement. As well as, we’ve got very attention-grabbing options comparable to Copy On Write, compression and deduplication, fairly superior elements that are perfect for a NAS server.

Benefits of Btrfs on a Synology NAS

Organising the Btrfs file system on a Synology NAS presents a number of very attention-grabbing benefits, particularly for superior customers and in addition on the enterprise degree:

  • Metadata mirroring: in any NAS system holding the info intact is crucial, with this file system we will configure a Mirroring of a number of disks to retailer a number of copies and keep away from knowledge loss because of the breakage of a number of disks.

  • Automated file restoration from errors: Conventional file programs can expertise errors that go utterly unnoticed when writing and studying them, in order that corrupted knowledge will be despatched to functions with none error messages. Btrfs generates checksums for knowledge and metadata. The file system in every studying course of checks and verifies these checksums, which is able to assure that the info is distributed appropriately with out failure. Within the case of detecting a broken file attributable to knowledge corruption, we will recuperate the unique file if we use a RAID comparable to RAID 1 or RAID 5.
  • Snapshots to guard knowledge: The Btrfs file system incorporates snapshots or snapshots natively, on this manner, it lets you make a duplicate of a shared folder at a sure time, and return in case of unintentional deletion or a ransomware assault. This performance is extraordinarily vital to correctly defend the info on the NAS. Making these snapshots consumes little or no further cupboard space, it solely takes up if we alter or delete a sure file, because of the Copy on Write structure it makes use of. On the software program degree, we’ve got the chance to create snapshots on demand, scheduled, configure the retention coverage of as much as 256 snapshots and far more. After all, we might entry the state of earlier variations of the information with out the necessity to restore the whole lot, this may be achieved with File Station instantly.
See also  Vulnerability in Apple’s AFP impacts Synology and QNAP NAS

Different options which are additionally essential for a NAS server are the next:

  • environment friendly storage– In comparison with EXT4, you don’t want twice the cupboard space for Drive file variations and historical past knowledge. We not have to fret about free house.
  • Extra dependable backups: After we make a backup, it’s attainable that the information within the supply NAS have modified, so there could also be some knowledge inconsistency if they’re modified through the course of. Btrfs lets you take a snapshot earlier than beginning the backup, and by copying the info from the snapshot as a substitute of the present knowledge that has modified.
  • Quota for shared folders: With this file system we can specify a storage restrict for particular person shared folders, so {that a} particular folder doesn’t hog all of the cupboard space.
  • Clone whole shared folders: with Btrfs we’ve got the chance to clone the content material of a shared folder in one other virtually immediately, that is best for testing updates or just to copy one folder in one other.

What ought to I take into accout earlier than utilizing it?

Earlier than utilizing the Btrfs file system, it’s best to know that it’s not attainable to vary the file system after getting already created it in EXT4. That’s, for those who at the moment have a quantity with EXT4 created, it’s not attainable to “migrate” to Btrfs. What you’ll have to do is make an entire backup of all the info contained and the shared folders, delete the EXT4 quantity utterly and create a brand new quantity with the brand new Btrfs file system, as soon as created, we should undergo all of the backup information. For backup, you should use Hyper Backup on to carry out a full backup to a different NAS or cloud storage system.

See also  Why PLCs disconnect when plugging in an equipment

One other side that you could bear in mind is the {hardware} of your NAS server, the EXT4 file system wants much less {hardware} necessities than Btrfs, so entry-level or mid-range fashions won’t even have the power to configure this superior file system. Within the occasion that your NAS is highly effective and lets you configure it, it’s best to know that the efficiency in studying and writing could possibly be compromised, that’s, we can have much less actual pace in sure eventualities, so it’s best to assess if it actually deserves the value altering the file system.

You need to solely select Btrfs if you would like safety options comparable to snapshots, replication to different NAS, knowledge integrity safety, and person quotas for every shared folder. That’s, if you wish to have the perfect knowledge integrity and superior knowledge administration options, then it’s best to select Btrfs as a result of it’s far superior to EXT4.