Saturday, November 03, 2007

Ext2 Filesystem for Linux and Solaris

Right now most people are using FAT32 on their external storage media (usually USB memory sticks or external hard drives and such) due to compatibility reasons. FAT32 can be used on anything from Windows and Linux to Solaris and BSD. Problem is, FAT32 has some severe limitations (like the 4GB file size limit). An alternative would be to use ext2.

The ext2 or second extended file system is a file system for the Linux kernel designed as a replacement for the extended file system (ext). Its successor, ext3, provides journaling and is almost completely backward compatible with ext2 (as in, you can mount ext3 as ext2, dropping journaling capabilities). It is implemented via ext2fs in the Linux kernel.

Other implementations:

If you practice dual boot (or multi boot) often or use external hard drives for backup or mass storage purposes, consider using the ext2 filesystem for compatibility reasons.


Unknown said...

Or you could use NTFS and it's fuse implementation NTFS-3G :)

cmihai said...

NTFS-3G requires FUSE (not available on OpenBSD for example), and the native NTFS support is pretty much horrible on *BSD (read only, writes are destructive) and Solaris (read only using 3rd party drivers). If only Windows and Linux are used, yes, NTFS-3G would work.