How to use BTRFS and Snapper with specific file system layout?

Posted December 7, 2019 878 views
Initial Server Setup

The last discussion I see on this topic is six years old. It is now nearly 2020 and DO has added many new features.

Can someone tell me how to do the intial setup on a Droplet which will be configured with BTRFS and will use a filesystem layout compatible with the Snapper snapshot tool?

I am familiar with Linux, BTRFS and Snapper, as I use these on my own servers. I am comfortable working in the command line, and I know which steps I would perform to achieve my goal on my own server. Therefore, my question is mainly about how to do those steps on a DO VPS.

  1. One possible option is to boot into a live image and go to work setting things up from scratch. Can I do that on DO?

  2. Another possible option is to convert an existing Droplet from Ext4 to BTRFS. However, with that option, I’m not sure how easy it will be to get the filesystem layout I desire.

I will be running Ubuntu, but the Snapper-compatible filesystem layout I plan to use is described on the Arch Wiki. One of the things I wish to avoid is having the root filesystem in the top level BTRFS subvolume. However, if I convert from Ext4 to BTRFS, I think the result is that undesirable configuration.

However, assuming there is a solution for that issue, would this approach to converting to BTRFS work on DO?

How to: convert your VPS root filesystem to btrfs (using rescue boot)

Finally, if neither of the above two options are suitable, are there other ways to achieve my goal on DO?

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