What is ext2?

What is the ext2 filesystem?

The ext2 (second extended) filesystem is a type of file system used in Linux operating systems. It was the default file system in many Linux distributions in the 1990s, and it is still in use today, although it has been largely superseded by newer file systems such as ext3 and ext4.

The ext2 file system was developed as a successor to the original ext (extended) file system, which was released in 1992. The ext2 file system was designed to improve upon the limitations of the ext file system, and to provide additional features and capabilities.

One of the key improvements of the ext2 file system was the addition of support for larger file sizes. The ext file system was limited to files that were less than 2GB in size, but the ext2 file system increased this limit to 4GB. This allowed users to store larger files, such as audio and video files, on their Linux systems.

In addition to increased support for larger file sizes, the ext2 file system also introduced support for linked files and directories. This allowed multiple files or directories to be linked together, which made it easier to organize and access large numbers of files.

Another important feature of the ext2 file system was its support for journaling. Journaling is a method of keeping track of changes to the file system, which can be used to recover from errors or crashes. The ext2 file system implemented a “ordered” journaling mode, which ensured that changes were written to the journal in the order in which they occurred.

Despite its many improvements over the original ext file system, the ext2 file system was not without its limitations. It did not support features such as access control lists (ACLs) or file system quotas, which are commonly used in modern file systems. Additionally, the ext2 file system was not designed to be scalable, which made it difficult to use on large systems with many files.

In the years since its release, the ext2 file system has been largely replaced by newer file systems such as ext3 and ext4. These file systems offer improved performance, additional features, and better scalability. However, the ext2 file system is still in use on some older Linux systems, and it continues to play an important role in the history of file systems.


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