Installation instructions

The Btrfs utility programs require the following libraries/tools to build:

  • libuuid - provided by util-linux, e2fsprogs/e2fslibs or libuuid

  • libblkid - block device id library

  • liblzo2 - LZO data compression library

  • zlib - ZLIB data compression library

  • libzstd - ZSTD data compression library version >= 1.0.0

For the btrfs-convert utility:

  • e2fsprogs - ext2/ext3/ext4 file system libraries, or called e2fslibs

  • libreiserfscore - reiserfs file system library version >= 3.6.27

Optionally, the checksums based on cryptographic hashes can be implemented by external libraries. Builtin implementations are provided in case the library dependencies are not desired.

  • libgcrypt >= 1.8.0

  • libsodium >= 1.0.4

  • libkcapi >= 1.0.0

  • Botan >= 2.19.0

  • OpenSSL >= 3.2.0

Optionally, multipath device detection requires libudev and running udev daemon, as it’s the only source of the path information. Static build has a fallback and does not need static version of libudev.

  • libudev

For zoned device support, the system headers installed in /usr/include/linux must be 5.10 or newer.

Generating documentation:

  • sphinx

Please note that the package names may differ according to the distribution.

Building from sources

To build from git sources you need to generate the configure script using the autotools:

$ ./

To build from the released tarballs:

$ ./configure $ make $ make install

To install the libbtrfsutil Python bindings:

$ make install_python

You may disable building some parts like documentation, btrfs-convert or backtrace support. See ./configure --help for more.

Specific CFLAGS or LDFLAGS should be set like

$ CFLAGS=… LDFLAGS=… ./configure --prefix=/usr

and not as arguments to make. You can specify additional flags to build via variables EXTRA_CFLAGS and EXTRA_LDFLAGS that get appended to the predefined values of the respective variables. There are further build tuning options documented in the Makefile.

$ make EXTRA_CFLAGS=-ggdb3

The build utilizes autotools, dependencies for generating the configure scripts are:

  • autoconf, autoheader

  • automake, aclocal

  • pkg-config

Statically built binaries

The makefiles are ready to let you build static binaries of the utilities. This may be handy in rescue environments. Your system has to provide static version of the libraries.

$ make static $ make btrfs.static $ make btrfs-convert.static

The resulting binaries have the ‘.static’ suffix, the intermediate object files do not conflict with the normal (dynamic) build.

There are pre-built static binaries for download available at the latest release (under Assets), .

All-in-one binary (busybox style)

Since version 5.2 it’s possible to build a single binary that can act as other standalone tools, based on the file name:

$ make $ mv btrfs $ ln -s btrfs mkfs.btrfs

The list of built-ins can be obtained by

$ btrfs help --box

The basic set will always contain: mkfs.btrfs, btrfs-image, btrfs-convert.

32bit build on 64bit host

The combination of 32bit build on 64bit host could work but depends on the libraries that must provide the 32bit versions, or even 32bit static versions. This is fairly uncommon on contemporary distributions and building 32bit versions on a 32bit host is recommended.

References: * * (outdated)