Low space on btrfs


New Member
This seems like a fairly common issue but I'm having trouble finding clear answers.

I just replaced Win 10 on my laptop with OpenSuse 15.1 and the installation went with btrfs. I let it use all of my 2TB hdd as a single partition for / and /home. I've been using it for a couple weeks now and I'm getting messages to the effect that /home is running out of space but I've got 1.6TB free. When I run "sudo btrfs filesystem usage /home" it tells me:
Device size: 1.82TiB
Device allocated: 215.07GiB
Device unallocated: 1.61TiB
Device missing: 0.00B
Used: 199.72GiB
Free (estimated): 1.62TiB (min: 837.65GiB)
Data ratio: 1.00
Metadata ratio: 2.00
Global reserve: 258.72MiB (used: 0.00B)

Data,single: Size:212.01GiB, Used:197.02GiB
/dev/sda3 212.01GiB

Metadata,DUP: Size:1.50GiB, Used:1.35GiB
/dev/sda3 3.00GiB

System,DUP: Size:32.00MiB, Used:48.00KiB
/dev/sda3 64.00MiB

/dev/sda3 1.61TiB

I think the key is the "Data,single" line which seems to say that I really only have 212 GB available. So how do I move space from unallocated to allocated?

Thanks and please feel free to move this to a more appropriate forum.

70 Tango Charlie

Well-Known Member
Welcome gwood 55,
I'm not sure if I have the answer to your problem, but it seems that you will need to download Gparted and put it on a memory stick. You can then resize your partitions and I believe you will make space usable. {You will have to read up on how to use Gparted}. You can download it here - https://gparted.org/download.php
There are many here who may help better than I can.
Anyhow, Welcome and enjoy your stay.
Old Geezer
Tango Charlie


New Member
Thank you, gentlemen, I appreciate your time looking at this for me. As you suggest I could use gParted to shrink the partition. It does support shrinking a btrfs partition so that would probably work.
So what I could do is to run Suse from my live CD and use gParted from there.

What happened last night, though, was that the partition suddenly went to 100% used. What I ended up doing is reinstalling Linux using a different file system. So now this is an interesting problem instead of an emergency. I have another system that I use for testing so as an exercise I will see what I can do with gParted.

Again, thank you for your help.


Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
G'day @gwood55 and welcome to linux.org :)

Glad to hear there was a successful resolution there.

Might I ask did you use EXT4 as the alternative, or if not, which FS?


Chris Turner


New Member

I gave it some thought but ended up going with XFS. I may be putting myself back in the same boat as with btrfs but we'll see. If that happens I'll definitely go with EXT4. By now I've got a check list for all the installs and tweaks I need to get my system back so it will be easy next time.


Active Member
The btrfs is slick and pretty and sounds important. If you do not understand how to administer it, it will gobble you up, and spit out whatever remains.

I don't use btrfs, but I do know some folks who do. There's a lot of admin work that goes along with it, and the same applies to zfs. Don't get me wrong it is a useful environment for enterprise systems and with the right admin tools, but ext4 is as good and as efficient and as effective as btrfs or zfs without being overly demanding.


New Member

After my experience I would agree with you entirely. I think OpenSUSE, at least, ought to reconsider making it the default file system.

By the way, I like your signature block about Windows. I like to misquote Matthew Quigley near the end of the movie Quigley Down Under: "Said I never had no use for Windows. Never said I didn't know how to use it."

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