Never Again, BTRFS! NAS File System Rant.

Synology DS918+ NAS

I have a Synology DS918+ NAS running BTRFS. This is 2019 and development of BTRFS began in 2007. So it should be all good, right?

There are interesting features I wanted to try out. Mainly, keeping snapshots. I’ve also been using EXT3/EXT4, NTFS, HFS, APFS, FAT32, even reiserFS back in 2006-2010, so I’ve seen my share of file systems. I’m willing to try something new.

I’ve heard 2 of my friends complain about this file system, but decided to try it because Synology’s Setup UI made me inclined to think this is preferable.


I don’t know who the target audience for this web UI is, but recommending the BTRFS is a huge mistake. As a home user with a lot of pictures, it is just so¬†unacceptably slow.

How slow is it?

I don’t have exact numbers, because they often time out. And I don’t want to go through the pain of waiting. I have about 16k jpeg files that in a flat folder. Simple operations are terribly slow.

  • Moving 100 files into a folder takes couple of minutes, because there is a copy made for each file moved.
  • Doing ls (list all files in folder) takes forever, my terminal hangs up and never returns even after hours.
    • On the Synology Drive UI, it takes minutes, because the web UI is paginated, about 500 files listed per page.
  • Deleting files takes as long as moving them.
  • Defragging like 1995 is back, so you must remember to periodically “scrub” your disks, which take days (I have two 4TB drives).

I regret so much using this shitty BTRFS system. Unbelievable. RedHat abandoned using this for all the right reasons, it’s hopeless. I’ll be spending a weekend moving my data to USB disks and reformatting to EXT4.

Never again, BTRFS!