Btrfs calculates a crc32c checksum for each file. Is there a way I can view what checksum is stored (as opposed to just reading the file and recalculating it)?


3 Answers 3


Btrfs calculates a crc32c checksum for each file.

This is not correct. Both of the open-source checksumming file-systems (ZFS and BTRFS) calculate a checksum for each logical block (the unnamed source Awe used is correct). This is a checksum of the on-disk data.

If the file-system has compression enabled (an increasingly common setting), this checksum is of the data after compression. This means that, even if the file fits in one logical block, it's possible (and increasingly likely) that the file-system's checksum data will be useless to you.

If you need a file checksum, the best way to get it would be to calculate it.


From a similar answer at superuser:

I don't believe it is possible to extract the block level checksums from a ZFS filesystem, but since the checksums are at the block level, not the file level, it probably wouldn't help you anyway.

Meaning. Checksums are not created per file by btrfs. It is mentioned @superuser there is a patch to add a functionality to the inspect-internal subcommand: btrfs inspect-internal dump-csums this dumps - for all blocks being occupied by a given file - the block checksums. Plural, unless the file fits into one block.

  • 2
    Please link to the answer you are quoting from, and name its author.
    – Scott
    Oct 7, 2017 at 4:19
  • what for? It is NOT an answer to the actual question. The quote rather explains why it is technically not possible due to wrong assumptions while posing the question. That's not a repetition of an answer.
    – Awe
    Oct 25, 2017 at 4:51
  • 2
    Because (1) quoting somebody else’s words without identifying the author is plagiarism, and (2) if you quote somebody else’s words without identifying the author, you give the reader no way to assess the credibility of the statement.
    – Scott
    Oct 25, 2017 at 5:10
  • superuser.com/a/1030443/669977
    – user62916
    Dec 16, 2017 at 19:11

I think this isn't possible via btrfs CLI, but here there is a source code that, I hope, could help you to read chechsum for a single block in a btrfs filesystem. Needs root.

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