EXT2IFS : linux files on windows…..

Many of us who are dual booting their PCs have a pain when it comes to sharing resources between windows and Linux.

Let’s see what options do we have when it comes to data sharing between two o.s.

1) keep a separate partition as FAT32 for complete interoperability and then keep common data in that partition.

2) second solutions comes easy when we need to access files from windows partition in Linux,
we have native support for FAT32 as well as native read only support for NTFS (extendable to full RW (read Write) support using ntfs-3g) more on this later.

But lets today focus on the other side of the sharing…..

WHAT if you wish to access files from Linux partition while running a windows partition.

AT THIS POINT I WOULD like to introduce you to EXT2IFS which stands for EXT2 Installable File System for windows.


From the official site

It installs a pure kernel mode file system driver Ext2fs.sys, which actually extends the Windows NT/2000/XP/2003/Vista operating system to include the Ext2 file system. Since it is executed on the same software layer at the Windows NT operating system core like all of the native file system drivers of Windows (for instance NTFS, FASTFAT, or CDFS for Joliet/ISO CD-ROMs), all applications can access directly to Ext2 volumes. Ext2 volumes get drive letters (for instance O:). Files, and directories of an Ext2 volume appear in file dialogs of all applications. There is no need to copy files from or to Ext2 volumes in order to work with them.

details can be seen at http://www.fs-driver.org/index.html

download EXT2IFS

although there remains some issues,

  1. file system gets case insensitive (due to inherent limitation of windows.)
  2. files with starting “.” which symbolizes hidden files are all available for public access.
  3. security and user group permission becomes invalid because windows is unable to understand and hence all the files are accessible in windows (including /root to /home folder for all person’s using the system while on windows.

Instead of providing screen shots of my own i would like to redirect you all to the official screenshots

ALSO this is not an open source product this is a freeware.
Open source product that is under development is EXT2FSD.

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7 thoughts on “EXT2IFS : linux files on windows…..”

  1. “There P.C.’s”? (the sentence is screwed up anyway, but “their PCs”)

    “Lets see” (Let’s see)


  2. nic stevens

    It should be pointed out that Ext2IFS allows read/write access to all files on the ext2 volume without security (you’re essentially root)

  3. Linux Reader is a Windows-Explorer like program that grants you read only access to your Linux partitions. So if you have a picture, video, OpenOffice.org document, or other file that you just want to access from Windows, Linux Reader could be the safer option.


  4. It’s a bit of a bad idea… given that it’s fully readable and writable to all users of the Windows system, it wouldn’t be out of the question for a virus that infects your windows system to go around corrupting things on your linux system.
    Suppose you use GRUB as your boot manager. Now suppose someone gets a virus in windows, and has full read/write access to the Linux system. Now imagine the ensuing fun of that virus corrupting files in /boot

    The driver is a good idea, but in practice, it’s a pain. I’d recommend installing it when you absolutely have to have it, and then uninstalling when you no longer need it.

  5. Elliott Craigmiles

    Decent reading. I like your site design as well. Keep up your good work.

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