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butter-hopper is a collection of tools to help making switching between multiple distros easier butter-hopper allows you to try out multiple distros on a single large BTRFS partition using BTRFS subvolumes.


  • butter-hopper uses systemd-nspawn to ch-boot into your desired distro
  • And if you wanna take it for an actual spin on your hardware you can do that too
  • butter-hopper will extract boot entries in the OS and present them in GRUB/rEFInd menu.
  • Installing and upgrading various common packages on many distros can be time consuming.
    butter-hopper uses nix as package management/cache which can be used from any distro
  • Support installing tools like IDE, VSCode which don't need to be packaged to /common
  • PLANNED: Using qemu/KVM to boot GUI to another distro


  • Make sure all of distro use systemd and support btrfs which should be any recent distro
  • For the boot to hardware you want to make sure you have a recent version of GRUB2 installed with
    support for btrfs.

butter hopper tools

  • btrhop : The main command line interface to btrhop which allows managing snapshots, running, upgrading distros
  • bootcrap : Command line tools to bootstrap a distro from rootfs or docker images.
  • mntem : A tool to help manage multiple mount points of BTRFS subvolumes/ shared storage.
  • nixy : Helper script to install nix and setup packages on common /nix/store


While using a default user of 1000 and allowing any user to change stuffs in /home works.
butter-hopper recommends using differnt user ids of your primary user and supports in the config.
To take a sample config of butter-hopper.conf look at my dotfile in your preferred Git hosting.
Github Gitlab Bitbucket


Change your default subvol to "/staging" so you dont accidentally mount the real root
To do that simply run btrhop populate-distros --staging


This is the layout pulled directly from my current install. butter-hopper installs distros to /distros in your btrfs partition

       ├── arch
       │   ├── @
       │   └── home
       ├── debian-buster
       │   ├── @
       │   └── home
       ├── fedora
       │   ├── @
       │   └── home
       ├── tumbleweed
       │   ├── @
       │   └── home
       ├── ubuntu-latest
       │   ├── @
       │   └── home


Copyright (c) 2019 Cswl Coldwind Licensed under the MIT License. See LICENSE.txt

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