2012 issue of ;login:
detailed overview of Btrfs [PDF]
written by developer Josef Bacik.
"Btrfs’s snapshotting is simple to use and understand. The snapshots
will show up as normal directories under the snapshotted directory, and you
can cd into it and walk around like in a normal directory. By default, all
snapshots are writeable in Btrfs, but you can create read-only snapshots if
you so choose. Read-only snapshots are great if you are just going to
take a snapshot for a backup and then delete it once the backup
completes. Writeable snapshots are handy because you can do things such as
snapshot your file system before performing a system update; if the update
breaks your system, you can reboot into the snapshot and use it like your
normal file system.
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