After upgrading from Ubuntu 12.04 to Ubuntu 12.10, I get a message "scanning for btrfs file systems" at starting-up. I don't have any BTRFS filesystem. It delays the booting for about 15 seconds.

How can I get rid of this?


7 Answers 7


On Ubuntu 18.04 you can uninstall btrfs-support with

apt purge btrfs-progs

But that probably wouldn't save you much boot time. On my system the reason was, that I don't have a swap partition but on boot it is searched for such for about 30 seconds (while displaying the btrfs-scan).

remove the swap check

  • open /etc/initramfs-tools/conf.d/resume
  • replace RESUME=UUID=xxx with RESUME=none
  • issue sudo update-initramfs -u
  • reboot your system

(create the file if it does not exist and just add RESUME=none in it)

source: https://askubuntu.com/a/1034952/34298

  • This is the actual issue! The swap search is hidden after btrfs seek. Thanks you very so much!
    – develCuy
    Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 6:03

The btrfs-tools package adds an action to the initramfs to load the btrfs module. If you purge that package (sudo apt-get purge btrfs-tools), followed by an update-initramfs -ukall if the uninstallation doesn't do it already, that should go away (though I've not tested it). If it doesn't, you can always blacklist the brtfs module in /etc/modprobe.d.

  • 1
    Doing this on Ubuntu server 16.04 apt gives me "The following packages will be REMOVED: btrfs-tools* ubuntu-server*". Hmm, I'd like to keep the server though...
    – elomage
    Commented Apr 29, 2017 at 21:02
  • 1
    @elomage, ubuntu-server is just a meta-package that is used to pull packages typically found on server-style installations as dependencies. By removing it (provided no other package are removed as a result), you're not removing any software. Commented Apr 30, 2017 at 7:55
  • Thanks. Improved my elementary Juno startup times. Commented Nov 16, 2018 at 21:03

Btrfs isn’t too much stable to be used as deafult file-system. Most Linux distributions, probable all, are still using ext4 as primary file-system. So, you can completely remove it from your computer. Try the given command:

sudo apt-get purge btrfs-tools

This command will remove btrfs-tools from your computer. You may need to wait some minutes to complete the process. Your initramfs should be updated automatically but if not happen, do it by this command:

sudo update-initramfs -ukall

Then make a grub update:

sudo update-grub

All is well. Now make a restart. Hope your Ubuntu will start successfully this time.

Reference: http://www.ugcoder.com/disable-scanning-for-btrfs-file-systems-in-ubuntu/

Let me know if you have some questions still.

  • The package is not installed on my system. So i tried echo "blacklist btrfs">>/etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf But no effect. still scanning for btrfs on boot
    – rubo77
    Commented May 9, 2018 at 17:02

I saw this as well on 18.04 during boot. Since


calls for the scan, you can workaround this issue by dealing with that file. Since I wasn't using btrfs regularly, I purged the file through

sudo apt purge btrfs-progs
  • 2
    To get rid of that message, you need to do sudo update-initramfs -ukall as well. But still, that doesn't help much, the boot process then hangs at the step before saying Begin: Running /scripts/local-premount
    – rubo77
    Commented May 10, 2018 at 6:36

Circa 2021

At least with server versions of ubuntu btrfs-tools is not loaded by default and thus this unwanted scan is not an issue. The issue arises when you install a distro that has tools which have btrfs-tools as a dependency like the popular timeshift which is included with mint. That creates the issue. If you can live without timeshift then just remove btrfs-tools per other posts and you should be good to go (it will remove timeshift and update initramfs automatically).

BUT if you are like me use qt-fsarchiver or need timeshift then you can't just remove btrfs-tools as it is a dependency of both. If you remove it you will remove them. :(.

So this is what I did.

sudo modprobe -r btrfs
echo blacklist btrfs | sudo tee -a /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-btrfs.conf
sudo update-initramfs -u

now reboot and watch to see if the btrfs scan was disabled.

  • That's similar to what I did, technically, after updating the initramfs, it's also possible to delete the blacklist file, and it'll allow using btrfs after the boot has finished.
    – Didi Kohen
    Commented Nov 26, 2022 at 16:58
  • If the kernel gets updated then initramfs will get rebuilt and if you remove the blacklist I guessing it will end up including the module again. Unless there is reason to I'd leave the blacklist. If you indeed have a btrfs partition on the machine this whole issue is moot. The scan should complete quickly and continue to boot so no reason to blacklist it.
    – DKebler
    Commented Nov 29, 2022 at 15:59

It is the btrfs kernel module that does the scanning (for filesystems scanning multiple devices).

I have not found an indication that this is configurable, so your only options seems to be removing that module from your kernel (modprobe -r btrfs) assuming your kernel supports that.

  • 1
    I tried, but it seems like this has no effect on Ubuntu 18.04
    – rubo77
    Commented May 9, 2018 at 17:00

The script which starts the search looks for the existence of btrfs. Simply renaming the executable /sbin/btrfs to p.e /sbin/btrfs.save (as sudo) will eliminate the search , gaining some 10-20 seconds in the boot-process!

  • 2
    it is not recommended to just delete system files. better uninstall the btrfs too with apt purge btrfs-tools
    – rubo77
    Commented May 10, 2018 at 6:38

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