A subvolume is a part of filesystem with its own and independent
file/directory hierarchy. Subvolumes can share file extents. A
snapshot is also subvolume, but with a given initial content of the
A subvolume in btrfs is not like an LVM logical volume, which is
block-level snapshot while btrfs subvolumes are file
A subvolume looks like a normal directory, with some additional
operations described below. Subvolumes can be renamed or moved,
nesting subvolumes is not restricted but has some implications
A subvolume in btrfs can be accessed in two ways:
· like any other directory that is accessible to the user
· like a separately mounted filesystem (options subvol or subvolid)
In the latter case the parent directory is not visible and
accessible. This is similar to a bind mount, and in fact the
subvolume mount does exactly that.
A freshly created filesystem is also a subvolume, called top-level,
internally has an id 5. This subvolume cannot be removed or replaced
by another subvolume. This is also the subvolume that will be mounted
by default, unless the default subvolume has been changed (see
A snapshot is a subvolume like any other, with given initial content.
By default, snapshots are created read-write. File modifications in a
snapshot do not affect the files in the original subvolume.
create [-i <qgroupid>] [<dest>/]<name>
Create a subvolume <name> in <dest>.
If <dest> is not given, subvolume <name> will be created in the
Add the newly created subvolume to a qgroup. This option can
be given multiple times.
delete [options] <subvolume> [<subvolume>...]
Delete the subvolume(s) from the filesystem.
If <subvolume> is not a subvolume, btrfs returns an error but
continues if there are more arguments to process.
The corresponding directory is removed instantly but the data
blocks are removed later. The deletion does not involve full
commit by default due to performance reasons (as a consequence,
the subvolume may appear again after a crash). Use one of the
--commit options to wait until the operation is safely stored on
wait for transaction commit at the end of the operation
wait for transaction commit after deleting each subvolume
find-new <subvolume> <last_gen>
List the recently modified files in a subvolume, after <last_gen>
Get the default subvolume of the filesystem <path>.
The output format is similar to subvolume list command.
list [options] [-G [+|-]<value>] [-C [+|-]<value>]
List the subvolumes present in the filesystem <path>.
For every subvolume the following information is shown by
ID <ID> top level <ID> path <path> where path is the relative
path of the subvolume to the top level subvolume. The subvolume’s
ID may be used by the subvolume set-default command, or at mount
time via the subvolid= option. If -p is given, then parent <ID>
is added to the output between ID and top level. The parent’s ID
may be used at mount time via the subvolrootid= option.
print parent ID.
print all the subvolumes in the filesystem and distinguish
between absolute and relative path with respect to the given
print the ogeneration of the subvolume, aliases: ogen or
print the generation of the subvolume.
print only subvolumes below specified <path>.
print the UUID of the subvolume.
print the parent uuid of subvolumes (and snapshots).
print the UUID of the sent subvolume, where the subvolume is
the result of a receive operation
print the result as a table.
only snapshot subvolumes in the filesystem will be listed.
only readonly subvolumes in the filesystem will be listed.
list subvolumes in the filesystem that its generation is >=,
⟨ or = value. '+' means >= value, '-' means <= value, If
there is neither '+' nor '-', it means = value.
list subvolumes in the filesystem that its ogeneration is >=,
<= or = value. The usage is the same to -G option.
list subvolumes in order by specified items. you can add '+'
or '-' in front of each items, '+' means ascending, '-' means
descending. The default is ascending.
for --sort you can combine some items together by ',', just
set-default <id> <path>
Set the subvolume of the filesystem <path> which is mounted as
The subvolume is identified by <id>, which is returned by the
subvolume list command.
Show information of a given subvolume in the <path>.
snapshot [-r] <source> <dest>|[<dest>/]<name>
Create a writable/readonly snapshot of the subvolume <source>
with the name <name> in the <dest> directory.
If only <dest> is given, the subvolume will be named the basename
of <source>. If <source> is not a subvolume, btrfs returns an
error. If -r is given, the snapshot will be readonly.
sync <path> [subvolid...]
Wait until given subvolume(s) are completely removed from the
filesystem after deletion. If no subvolume id is given, wait
until all current deletion requests are completed, but do not
wait for subvolumes deleted meanwhile. The status of subvolume
ids is checked periodically.
sleep N seconds between checks (default: 1)
This page is part of the btrfs-progs (btrfs filesystem tools)
project. Information about the project can be found at
If you have a bug report for this manual page, see
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Btrfs v4.6.1 02/18/2017 BTRFS-SUBVOLUME(8)