How-to: Install CentOS 6.5 using btrfs for the root partition

I discovered today that CentOS 6.5 x86_64 can be installed using btrfs with very little effort!

Here’s how to do it:

  1. At the grub menu for the installation media (e.g. minimal install CD), press tab.  Pressing tab will give take you to a prompt where you may add to the installer’s kernel options.
  2. Append ‘ btrfs’ to the end of the line.
  3. Press enter.
  4. Proceed as usual, until you reach the ‘type of installation’ screen.  At this time, select ‘Create custom layout’.
  5. Many partition schemes are possible here.  I chose to start with a blank ‘sda’, without LVM.
    1. I think a non-btrfs partition type is necessary for /boot, but I’m not sure at the moment.  I’ll leave that up to you to investigate.
    2. The first partition I entered was ‘/boot’ with a 1024MB ext4 file system.
    3. For most installs, you should next consider creation of a swap partition, which is something documented in the CentOS/RHEL manuals quite well.  I chose not to create a swap partition for the machines where I tested this procedure, but I highly recommend you educate yourself about swap space before proceeding if you have not done so already.
    4. I used the rest of sda for ‘/’ using a ‘Fill to maximum’ btrfs partition.
    5. Proceed as usual with the installation.
    6. Profit!

It seems previous version(s) of CentOS 6.x may or may not have this feature which prompted folks to convert their ext4 partitions to btrfs after the initial install [1].  Lucky for us, this is no longer necessary.

Please let me know in the comments if you find this works on other CentOS 6.x versions/architectures and I’ll update this post.


Thanks for reading,

– Joshua

// Founder @ Wrale

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Would you like some Salt with your Freedom?

I wish to share my experience installing the Salt Stack on Trisquel 6.x.

Salt Stack is a very cool Apache 2.0-licensed remote execution / configuration management / plus more tool.  Trisquel is an awesome free as in freedom GNU/Linux distribution, which seeks to purge all non-free bits from your GNU/Linux experience.  Trisquel 6.0 is based on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, which makes the following is possible.

I’ve found the Salt Stack team to be quite responsive, in both Github issues and #salt (IRC).  Therefore, I recommend running their ‘develop’ branch, so as to easily upgrade when they apply issue fixes on Github.

To install both salt-master and salt-minon on Trisquel 6.0, log in as a sudo-able user and execute the following after connecting to the Internet.

sudo apt-get -y install curl

curl -L \
  | sed 's/ubuntu/trisquel/g' \
    | sudo sh -s -- -M git develop

While the solution above worked for me, it seems less than pretty (see the 404’s?).  To fix this permanently, I opened an issue at the salt-bootstrap repo requesting a fix.


Idea: Open Enterprise Bootstrap

There really should be an abstraction above the OS and “distro” levels. I’m talking about something akin to Open Compute, but not as inaccessible. No, what we need is some open and well thought out guidelines for what your basic tech start-up company infrastructure should look like. My guess is that a project to pull together the many open projects we’ve got into some standard layout will be a popular idea, which can reap many benefits.

Let’s try to answer some basic questions here for the common IT bootstrapper / renovator (after the break):

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Song: “Sierra”

It’s not great, but I made something for the first time in a long time, so I figured I’d share. By the way, I just started using REAPER, and it’s amazing for the cost, with all the free VST’s and VSTi’s floating around.

Peritus – Sierra


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Look and listen…GIMP owns your face.

Shame on These Websites


As I’m sure you are already aware, giving your true email address for any registration is a mistake.  Even when your email provider employs some spam-fighting measure(s), you are likely to find yourself wasting precious seconds (cumulatively, who knows how long) of your life being distracted by them.

Here are some websites, which have either sold or somehow misused (yeah, yeah, legal agreements, fine print, blah) my disposable email addresses since January 20, 2011 (the date the  oldest email in my auto-purged Spam folder was received). 34 4 2 1

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Map of CentOS 5.5 x86_64 Minimal Install

I worked out a bash script today to generate a GraphViz dot file for visualizing CentOS/RHEL/Fedora yum dependencies.  (See below.. script is after the break) -joshua

Here is my barebones install of CentOS 5.5 x86_64 on a Fedora14-based VirtualBox.

Here is what the output of my script looks like.

[root@server gdeps]# ./gdeps.bash openssh openssl glibc bash | tee
 digraph centos5 {
 node [color=lightblue2, style=filled];
 "audit-libs" -> "openssh";
 "e2fsprogs-libs" -> "openssh";
 "fipscheck-lib" -> "openssh";
 "glibc" -> "openssh";
 "initscripts" -> "openssh";
 "krb5-libs" -> "openssh";
 "libselinux" -> "openssh";
 "nspr" -> "openssh";
 "nss" -> "openssh";
 "openssl" -> "openssh";
 "util-linux" -> "openssh";
 "zlib" -> "openssh";
 "bash" -> "openssl";
 "e2fsprogs-libs" -> "openssl";
 "glibc" -> "openssl";
 "krb5-libs" -> "openssl";
 "mktemp" -> "openssl";
 "zlib" -> "openssl";
 "basesystem" -> "glibc";
 "glibc-common" -> "glibc";
 "libgcc" -> "glibc";
 "glibc" -> "bash";
 "libtermcap" -> "bash";
 "mktemp" -> "bash";

 [root@server gdeps]# dot -Tpng > test.png

^ creates a graph based on the text data

(script after break)

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Jewel Punk: Luigi

Is he green with envy?…


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Jewel Punk: OldManZelda

this is boredom….


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