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Note: Ext2IFS is licensed as Freeware. From Ext2IFS's web page, "It may be copied and distributed free of charge as long as no modifications are made in the software and no components are added or removed." No source code is released. Binary only!

Download and install Ext2IFS from

It installs a pure kernel mode file system driver Ext2fs.sys, which actually extends the Windows NT/2000/XP/Vista (x86/x64) 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 G:). 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.

Ext3 Support

The Ext3 file system is the Ext2 file system which has been extended by journaling. Ext3 is backward-compatible to Ext2 - an Ext3 volume can be mounted and used as an Ext2 volume. Just as older Linux Kernels which do not know the Ext3 file system can mount Ext3 volumes (as Ext2 volumes), the Ext2 file system driver ext2fs.sys for Windows incorporated in this software package can do it without any problems, too. Of course you do not take advantage of the journaling of the Ext3 file system if you mount it as an Ext2 file system.

The Ext2 file system driver of the Ext2 IFS software will refuse mounting an Ext3 file system which contains data in its journal, just like older Linux kernels which have no Ext3 support. In this way data loss and damaging the file system is avoided when the journal is subsequently replayed. So you can access only those Ext3 volumes with the Ext2 IFS software which have been cleanly dismounted beforehand.


Note: Explore2fs license is not stated on it's website. (Possibly GPL? Yet to examine source code documentation.) Source code is available, along with binaries.

explore2fs is a useful alternative to Ext2IFS because you don't have to install any drivers to your system, however explore2fs is read-only.

Linux Reader (by DiskInternals)

Note: DiskInternals Linux Reader appears to be licensed as Freeware. Again, no source code released. Binary only.

"Linux Reader runs under Windows and allows you to browse Ext2/Ext3 Linux file systems and extract files from there.

DiskInternals Linux Reader is free, provides for read-only access and does not allow you to make records in Ext2/Ext3 file system partitions. This guarantees that the interference in an alterative file system will not affect the work of Linux later. Apart from this, it is necessary to note that it gives you an opportunity to use common Windows Explorer for extracting data. A preview option for pictures is one more pleasant point, which is worth mentioning.

While saving, it ignores file security policies. Which means that it is possible to access absolutely any file on a Linux disk from Windows. The program can create and open images of Ext2/Ext3 disks."

Ext2fs Utilities

Note: Ext2fs Utilities is licensed as GPL & LGPL. Source code is available, along with binaries.

e2fsprogs for Linux

Ext2fsd for Windows (2K, XP, Vista)

Note: Ext2fsd is licensed as GPL. Source code is available, along with binaries.

Ext2fsd is an open source linux ext2/ext3 file system driver for Windows systems (NT/2K/XP/VISTA, X86/AMD64). It could provide natively reading or writing access to your ext2/ext3 volumes under windows. Ext2Fsd supports various codepages, like utf8. You can specify the codepage and other settings for every volume via "Ext2 Volume Manager". Download the latest version from

See screenshots for Ext2 Volume Manager here: Screenshots

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Last modified: Fri, 10 Oct 2008 19:07:00 +0000 Hits: 26,010