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btrfs-check - check or repair a btrfs filesystem


btrfs check [options] <device>


The filesystem checker is used to verify structural integrity of a filesystem and attempt to repair it if requested. It is recommended to unmount the filesystem prior to running the check, but it is possible to start checking a mounted filesystem (see --force).

By default, btrfs check will not modify the device but you can reaffirm that by the option --readonly.

btrfsck is an alias of btrfs check command and is now deprecated.


Do not use --repair unless you are advised to do so by a developer or an experienced user, and then only after having accepted that no fsck successfully repair all types of filesystem corruption. E.g. some other software or hardware bugs can fatally damage a volume.

The structural integrity check verifies if internal filesystem objects or data structures satisfy the constraints, point to the right objects or are correctly connected together.

There are several cross checks that can detect wrong reference counts of shared extents, backreferences, missing extents of inodes, directory and inode connectivity etc.

The amount of memory required can be high, depending on the size of the filesystem, similarly the run time. Check the modes that can also affect that.


use the first valid set of backup roots stored in the superblock

This can be combined with --super if some of the superblocks are damaged.

verify checksums of data blocks

This expects that the filesystem is otherwise OK, and is basically an offline scrub that does not repair data from spare copies.

use the given offset bytenr for the chunk tree root

show extent state for the given subvolume

select mode of operation regarding memory and IO

The MODE can be one of:

The metadata are read into memory and verified, thus the requirements are high on large filesystems and can even lead to out-of-memory conditions. The possible workaround is to export the block device over network to a machine with enough memory.
This mode is supposed to address the high memory consumption at the cost of increased IO when it needs to re-read blocks. This may increase run time.

indicate progress at various checking phases
verify qgroup accounting and compare against filesystem accounting
use the given offset 'bytenr' for the tree root

(default) run in read-only mode, this option exists to calm potential panic when users are going to run the checker

use Nth superblock copy, valid values are 0, 1 or 2 if the respective superblock offset is within the device size

This can be used to use a different starting point if some of the primary superblock is damaged.

completely remove the free space cache of the given version

See also the clear_cache mount option.


This option is deprecated, please use btrfs rescue clear-space-cache instead, this option would be removed in the future eventually.


enable the repair mode and attempt to fix problems where possible


There's a warning and 10 second delay when this option is run without --force to give users a chance to think twice before running repair, the warnings in documentation have shown to be insufficient.

create a new checksum tree and recalculate checksums in all files


Do not blindly use this option to fix checksum mismatch problems.

build the extent tree from scratch


Do not use unless you know what you're doing.

allow work on a mounted filesystem and skip mount checks. Note that this should work fine on a quiescent or read-only mounted filesystem but may crash if the device is changed externally, e.g. by the kernel module.


It is possible to run with --repair but on a mounted filesystem that will most likely lead to a corruption unless the filesystem is in a quiescent state which may not be possible to guarantee.

This option also skips the delay and warning in the repair mode (see --repair).


(removed: 6.7)

remove leftover items pertaining to the deprecated inode cache feature, please use btrfs rescue clear-ino-cache instead


btrfs check returns a zero exit status if it succeeds. Non zero is returned in case of failure.


btrfs is part of btrfs-progs. Please refer to the documentation at


mkfs.btrfs(8), btrfs-scrub(8), btrfs-rescue(8)

June 24, 2024 6.6.3