openSUSE and SLES use btrfs as their default filesystem with snapper configured to automatically create filesystem-level snapshots on btrfs. These disk snapshots are created periodically via cron and whenever you make system changes using YaST2 or zypper.

Filesystem snapshots provide a fallback mechanism in system failures but require additional disk spaces that not everyone could afford. In virtual machines, for example, the snapshots will quickly fill up the typically small allocated disk.

You can disable automatic filesystem snapshots in SUSE by removing snapper plugin for zypper, disable snapper's timeline snapshots, and disable YaST snapshots.

Step-by-step video guide:

Remove snapper plugin for zypper

snapper-zypp-plugin is a snapper plugin for zypper. It will automatically create a system snapshot whenever software packages are installed, removed or updated via zypper. This can be circumvented by removing the plugin via the following command at the terminal:

> sudo zypper remove --no-confirm snapper-zypp-plugin
Loading repository data...
Warning: No repositories defined. Operating only with the installed resolvables. Nothing can be installed.
Reading installed packages...
Resolving package dependencies...

The following package is going to be REMOVED:
  snapper-zypp-plugin

1 package to remove.
After the operation, 9.8 KiB will be freed.
Continue? [y/n/v/...? shows all options] (y): y
(1/1) Removing snapper-zypp-plugin-0.8.3-1.1.noarch ..............................[done]

Disable snapper's timeline snapshots

Timeline Snapshots are disk snapshots taken on an hourly basis with old snapshots deleted based on a policy. This is disabled by default. You can disable timeline snapshot for snapper if it's somehow enabled by following these commands at the terminal:

  1. List available available snapper configs.
    > sudo snapper list-configs
    [sudo] password for root: 
    Config | Subvolume
    -------+----------
    root   | /
  2. Disable timeline snapshot for specific config.
    > sudo snapper --config root set-config "TIMELINE_CREATE=no"

Disable YaST snapshots

A snapshot is created when configuration changes are made via YaST. It can be disabled via these steps:

  1. Open YaST configuration file using your preferred text editor with root permission.
    > sudo vi /etc/sysconfig/yast2
  2. Search for USE_SNAPPER and set the value to no.
    USE_SNAPPER=no

Guide compatibility:

Operating System
openSUSE Tumbleweed
openSUSE Leap 15.1
openSUSE Leap 15.0
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12
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