Can Btrfs Provide Similar Protection Against Bitrot as ZFS

I’m looking to give new life to old hardware in a homelab, nothing mission critical.

  • AMD A4-4000 CPU
  • 4GB of DDR3 RAM (might be able to raise that to 6GB)
  • 5 old 1TB 3.5 disks (planning to use 4 and keep one as spare)
  • Variety of 3.5 hard drives (160-500GB) planning to use one as the system OS disk
  • Motherboard
  • Still needed: 1 4 port SATA PCI Card (overcome limit of 4 SATA ports on motherboard) and SATA power leads to come off of open power connectors from power supply)

I don’t feel the above would be the best TrueNAS box, so I’m thinking of running Debian 11 on the box and then use Btrfs. Tom and Jay spoke at length of why they love TrueNAS and ZFS because of the bitrot protection that ZFS offers in this Homelab Podcast. Unless, I’m understanding things incorrectly, couldn’t I have that same benefit from Btrfs its “self-healing” features? This article seems to describe the same feature working automatically in a Btrfs pool where a JPG was corrupted.

Anyway, just wondering if I can get the same benefits of running ZFS for bitrot protection by running Btrfs on a RAID 10 pool of 4 1TB drives. Also if I understand things correctly, Btrfs is more tolerant of adding drives of different sizes to the pool than ZFS, so that you don’t have to upgrade all of your drives at the same time. However, I don’t know if I can take out a 1TB drive replace it with a 500GB drive in a Btrfs pool with the understanding that my overall storage pool size will decrease.

Yes, btrfs can protect against bitrot. Also, you can run ZFS on Debian/Ubuntu.