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Change filesystem from btrfs to ext4 in Jolla1

asked 2016-11-23 09:28:35 +0300

magine gravatar image

updated 2016-11-23 12:49:15 +0300

palikao gravatar image

btrfs is annoying for me. it is said that Jolla C,aqua-fish is using ext4.Can I change to ext4 in Jolla1? Will Jolla provide a OS based on ext4 for Jolla1?

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I don't think that changing of partition type would be that easy. I have jolla 1 and never had problem with btrfs.
may we know why it is annoying for you?
Maybe someone else may help you on your problems.

cemoi71 ( 2016-11-23 10:51:49 +0300 )edit

@cemoi71 Lucky you!

I never changed anything important in my J1, and worked well, until the day before yesterday.. When my J1 got mad and suddenly unstable because of btrfs..

I've made a summary: after 1 year on Jolla1, starting from SFOS 2.0, I'm now going to restore it because 1 day ago, SUDDENLY, my J1 got unstable, no more free space (while it was 54% used).. No more power on for minutes.. The long time to power on.. Then unstable.. Then no possibility to make a backup.. Then no possibility to instal Developer Mode.. No more repos.. No more Ambiences.. UI destroyed.. No possibility to chance any setting.

Then I entered Safe-Mode from Windows (Thanks to Dax), made a btrfs balance: J1 powered on quickly.. Data was ok, but.. No more repos.. No possibility to install Developer Mode.. UI destroyed..

During the night it was always on.

palikao ( 2016-11-23 12:17:24 +0300 )edit

@cemoi71 you can see a lot of problem about btrfs in jolla-together.At least, I just want to use my phone, save worries and forget about "balance".

magine ( 2016-11-23 12:23:26 +0300 )edit

wouaw! do we have completely different usage of our phone? I use mostly for sms phone, sometime photos, skype calls. Not so much things with web-browser (too small display). A little small games, a little hearing music.
Time spent to use it actively is from 1h to 4h on day. No sync (cozy and owncloud don't work fine by me, and want to get rid of most of google things). Really basically used from my side... If you use it more intensively, that could be explain the problem... But you are on a sailfish test program not? any one should test for the others... ;-)
Do you know why was the reason that jolla chose the btrfs first?

cemoi71 ( 2016-11-23 12:32:24 +0300 )edit

@magine yes i saw it regularly. Until now I saw that is comes from a small quantity of persons (compare to the 10.000 users)... But it comes relative often, and with strong issues, so that it is really serious. The question above is a good one i think, and understand it.
I'm not able to tell if it make sense or not, then i tell noting about it. But i find quite important that a lot's of people report their experience with it, relative of their own use of the device.

cemoi71 ( 2016-11-23 12:43:14 +0300 )edit

4 Answers

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answered 2017-08-08 18:18:37 +0300

DrYak gravatar image

Convert BTRFS' metadata profile from DUP (useful redundancy for HDD , but a waste for SDD according to docs) to single (official BTRFS recommendations for flash).

Commands, as root (devel-su) :

btrfs balance start -v -f -mconvert=single /

See here

that frees some wasted space on the internal flash

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answered 2016-11-23 20:36:21 +0300

pawel gravatar image

:use sd card, leaeve 6-7 gb empty on internal ram, get schturmans deamon fir btrfs balancer and save you the trouble trying such tricky thingd

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treating symptoms and not the root cause.

magine ( 2016-11-24 17:50:15 +0300 )edit

where do you see the sense of down votes ? result will be, next time no answers enjoy

pawel ( 2017-08-08 22:40:04 +0300 )edit

answered 2016-11-23 20:44:18 +0300

DarkTuring gravatar image


and see if you can run it on Sailfish 2 a supposed Debian Linix adaptation.

It requires g++ installed and running, you need twice the storage one half with current system and a sparsefile that will hold the converted file system temporarily, ideally should have fsmove installed too,

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Is it safe? Is it used? A comment by Jolla is needed, I think..

palikao ( 2016-11-24 12:27:50 +0300 )edit

how to boot may be a problem after transform.

magine ( 2016-11-24 17:58:54 +0300 )edit

@palikao i would only attempt it on a testing device before proceeding to your main phone. Jolla might have some input and can send them a service request as well.

DarkTuring ( 2016-11-25 08:35:35 +0300 )edit

answered 2017-08-08 19:52:24 +0300

bocephus gravatar image

Btrfs is a better file system (pun somewhat intended) than ext4. Even onr of the creators of Ext4 thinks so: "Despite the fact that Ext4 adds a number of compelling features to the filesystem, T'so doesn't see it as a major step forward. He dismisses it as a rehash of outdated "1970s technology" and describes it as a conservative short-term solution. He believes that the way forward is Oracle's open source Btrfs filesystem, which is designed to deliver significant improvements in scalability, reliability, and ease of management." (

Jolla was right to use it for the Jolla 1 and wrong to backtrack for the Jolla C. I used a Jolla 1 almost exclusively since its release for well over 2.5 years and went through every single update, and I never hade a btrfs balancing problem. It works flawlessly to this day.

Today Google is looking at swithcing to btrfs for Android. Jolla was again before their time.

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Btrfs is great and it works very well on an up-to-date computer, Jolla just forgot the older versions of btrfs (due to the lack of a more recent kernel) weren't very stable yet. The Jolla phone is running one of these older versions, and this outdated version is the problem, not btrfs itself. You're one of the lucky ones if you haven't had any btrfs-related troubles on your phone.

nthn ( 2017-08-08 20:23:27 +0300 )edit

Yes, btrfs is so good that not only Jolla but also Rad Hat is abandoning it.

sepuka ( 2017-08-09 12:17:59 +0300 )edit

@sepuka Yes, and you can find an interesting discussion about why here:

(It has nothing to do with inherent qualities or lack thereof in btrfs)

bocephus ( 2017-08-09 13:46:06 +0300 )edit

I have to agree, btrfs is a necessary step forward and I like it (yeah, i like it, use it on all my computers). I am still using my Jolla 1 and never had any btrfs related problems. BTW, Apple now use on all of their devices a cow filesystem (APFS), so if Jolla goes back to ext4, we would be the only ones using an ancient file system :).

Hangman ( 2017-08-09 17:55:53 +0300 )edit

@Hangman Please correct me If I'm wrong but only Jolla 1 is using btrfs (and maybe tablet??). Both Jolla C and Intex are using ext4. So I guess you will be using ancient file system if you stay with Sailfish...

sepuka ( 2017-08-11 15:51:00 +0300 )edit
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Asked: 2016-11-23 09:28:35 +0300

Seen: 1,599 times

Last updated: Aug 08 '17