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Exploring the ext3 Filesystem

Introduction to the ext3 Filesystem

  • April 5, 2002
  • By Bill von Hagen

As a sophisticated, powerful, and free operating system, Linux provides a fertile territory for developing sophisticated system and user-level software. Some of the most exciting developments in recent Linux kernels are new, high-performance techniques for managing how the data on Linux systems is stored, allocated, and updated on disk. One of the most interesting of these new mechanisms is the ext3 filesystem, which has been integrated into the Linux kernel since version 2.4.16 and is already available as a default filesystem type on Linux distributions from Red Hat and SuSE.

The ext3 filesystem is a journaling filesystem that is 100% compatible with all of the utilities created for creating, managing, and fine-tuning the ext2 filesystem, which is the default filesystem used by Linux systems for the last few years. Before delving into the differences between the ext2 and ext3 filesystems, a quick refresher on storage and filesystem terminology is in order.

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