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Btrfs System Rollbacks In Fedora 13

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One of the benefits of Btrfs besides offering competitive performance against other Linux file-systems and SSD optimizations is its support for sub-volumes and writable snapshots. While Btrfs is still in development and is not yet used as a default file-system by any Linux distribution, Red Hat has been looking to capitalize upon the capabilities of Btrfs by introducing support for system rollbacks into Fedora. The Btrfs-based system rollback support has been a feature for Fedora 13 so with the release of the Fedora 13 Beta earlier this week we decided to further investigate this feature.

In order to benefit from this, you must, of course, be using a Btrfs root file-system. This can be setup by either converting an existing EXT3/EXT4 root partition over to Btrfs or by performing a new Fedora installation and using Btrfs -- we opted for the latter method. Btrfs is only available from the Fedora DVD versions and not the Live DVD/USB version that is limited to using EXT4. The DVD-based installer needs to be started with the "btrfs" boot argument added to the GRUB boot-loader; otherwise Red Hat's Anaconda installer will not offer Btrfs file-system support. Note that this boot parameter is now "btrfs" and is not "icantbelieveitsnotbtr" like in earlier Fedora releases.

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