btrfs-property - get/set/list properties for given filesystem object

btrfs property <subcommand> <args>

btrfs property is used to get/set/list property for given filesystem object. The object can be an inode (file or directory), subvolume or the whole filesystem.

btrfs property provides an unified and user-friendly method to tune different btrfs properties instead of using the traditional method like chattr(1) or lsattr(1).

A property might apply to several object types so in some cases it's necessary to specify that explicitly, however it's not needed in the most common case of files and directories.

The subcommands take parameter -t, use first letter as a shortcut (f/s/d/i) of the type:

  • filesystem
  • subvolume
  • device
  • inode (file or directory)

compression algorithm set for an inode (it's not possible to set the compression level this way), possible values:
  • lzo
  • zlib
  • zstd
  • no or none - disable compression (equivalent to chattr +m)
  • "" (empty string) - set the default value


This has changed in version 5.18 of btrfs-progs and requires kernel 5.14 or newer to work.

read-only flag of subvolume: true or false. Please also see section SUBVOLUME FLAGS in btrfs-subvolume(8) for possible implications regarding incremental send.

label of the filesystem. For an unmounted filesystem, provide a path to a block device as object. For a mounted filesystem, specify a mount point.

Read value of a property name of btrfs object of given type, empty name will read all of them
List available properties with their descriptions for the given object.
Set value of property name on a given btrfs object.


Force the change. Changing some properties may involve safety checks or additional changes that depend on the properties semantics.

Set compression on a file:

$ touch file1
$ btrfs prop get file1
[ empty output ]
$ btrfs prop set file1 compression zstd
$ btrfs prop get file1

Make a writeable subvolume read-only:

$ btrfs subvol create subvol1
[ fill subvol1 with data ]
$ btrfs prop get subvol1
$ btrfs prop set subvol1 ro true

btrfs property 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 or wiki for further information.

mkfs.btrfs(8), lsattr(1), chattr(1)

March 3, 2023 6.2.1