btrfs-qgroup — control the quota group of a btrfs filesystem


btrfs qgroup <subcommand> <args>


btrfs qgroup is used to control quota group (qgroup) of a btrfs filesystem.


To use qgroup you need to enable quota first using btrfs quota enable command.


Qgroup is not stable yet and will impact performance in current mainline kernel (v4.14).


Quota groups or qgroup in btrfs make a tree hierarchy, the leaf qgroups are attached to subvolumes. The size limits are set per qgroup and apply when any limit is reached in tree that contains a given subvolume.

The limits are separated between shared and exclusive and reflect the extent ownership. For example a fresh snapshot shares almost all the blocks with the original subvolume, new writes to either subvolume will raise towards the exclusive limit.

The qgroup identifiers conform to level/id where level 0 is reserved to the qgroups associated with subvolumes. Such qgroups are created automatically.

The qgroup hierarchy is built by commands create and assign.


If the qgroup of a subvolume is destroyed, quota about the subvolume will not be functional until qgroup 0/<subvolume id> is created again.


assign [options] <src> <dst> <path>

Assign qgroup <src> as the child qgroup of <dst> in the btrfs filesystem identified by <path>.



(default since: 4.19) Automatically schedule quota rescan if the new qgroup assignment would lead to quota inconsistency. See Quota Rescan for more information.


Explicitly ask not to do a rescan, even if the assignment will make the quotas inconsistent. This may be useful for repeated calls where the rescan would add unnecessary overhead.

create <qgroupid> <path>

Create a subvolume quota group.

For the 0/<subvolume id> qgroup, a qgroup can be created even before the subvolume is created.

destroy <qgroupid> <path>

Destroy a qgroup.

If a qgroup is not isolated, meaning it is a parent or child qgroup, then it can only be destroyed after the relationship is removed.

limit [options] <size>|none [<qgroupid>] <path>

Limit the size of a qgroup to <size> or no limit in the btrfs filesystem identified by <path>.

If <qgroupid> is not given, qgroup of the subvolume identified by <path> is used if possible.



limit amount of data after compression. This is the default, it is currently not possible to turn off this option.


limit space exclusively assigned to this qgroup.

remove <src> <dst> <path>

Remove the relationship between child qgroup <src> and parent qgroup <dst> in the btrfs filesystem identified by <path>.


The same as assign subcommand.

show [options] <path>

Show all qgroups in the btrfs filesystem identified by <path>.



print parent qgroup id.


print child qgroup id.


print limit of referenced size of qgroup.


print limit of exclusive size of qgroup.


list all qgroups which impact the given path(include ancestral qgroups)


list all qgroups which impact the given path(exclude ancestral qgroups)


raw numbers in bytes, without the B suffix.


print human friendly numbers, base 1024, this is the default


select the 1024 base for the following options, according to the IEC standard.


select the 1000 base for the following options, according to the SI standard.


show sizes in KiB, or kB with --si.


show sizes in MiB, or MB with --si.


show sizes in GiB, or GB with --si.


show sizes in TiB, or TB with --si.


list qgroups in order of <attr>.

<attr> can be one or more of qgroupid,rfer,excl,max_rfer,max_excl.

Prefix '+' means ascending order and '-' means descending order of <attr>. If no prefix is given, use ascending order by default.

If multiple <attr>s is given, use comma to separate.


To retrieve information after updating the state of qgroups, force sync of the filesystem identified by <path> before getting information.

Quota Rescan

The rescan reads all extent sharing metadata and updates the respective qgoups accordingly.

The information consists of bytes owned exclusively (excl) or shared/referred to (rfer). There’s no explicit information about which extents are shared or owned exclusively. This means when qgroup relationship changes, extent owners change and qgroup numbers are no longer consistent unless we do a full rescan.

However there are cases where we can avoid a full rescan, if a subvolume whose rfer number equals its excl number, which means all bytes are exclusively owned, then assigning/removing this subvolume only needs to add/subtract rfer number from its parent qgroup. This can speed up the rescan.

Exit Status

btrfs qgroup 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 btrfs wiki for further details.

See Also

mkfs.btrfs(8), btrfs-subvolume(8), btrfs-quota(8),

Referenced By

btrfs(8), btrfs-quota(8), btrfs-subvolume(8), tmpfiles.d(5).

07/26/2019 Btrfs v5.2.1 Btrfs Manual