Ext2 Linux File System
The second extended file system [ext2] is a system that was designed to replace Linux’s previous extended file system. The original extended file system was released in 1992, as a means of fixing some deficiencies in the previous Minix file system- including increasing partition size and length of file names from 14 characters up to 255. Though the ext was an improvement, however, it still had some deficiencies of its own.
Improvements in Ext2
Ext2 was designed to improve on ext, as well as be extendable. In addition to providing support for file access timestamps, and inode and data modification, it left a lot of free space available to be built upon by future versions of the file system. Though newer file systems have been developed since then, the second extended file system is still used to test new additions to the virtual file system layer of the Linux kernel. Because this file system doesn’t write to drives as often as journaling file systems do, it is still recommended over some newer file systems for use with USB flash drives to help preserve the life of the drive. Since journaling file systems (like ext3) perform more writes to the drive, they can contribute to premature drive failure. Ext2 doesn’t have this issue, making it a superior choice for USB flash drives, or other solid-state media.
Ext2, the Web Zine
Ext2 – a Linux based web magazine that can be found at http://www.ext2.org has more information on the ext2 file system, as well as subsequent generations of Linux file systems, and other extensions to the OS. Ext2.org provides a valuable resource for Linux users, as well as users of Windows, Google’s Chrome, or the Mac OS who want to learn more about Linux and the virtual file system API.