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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Read Linux filesystems from Windows

I have a linux ext2 formatted external disk from which I wanted to transfer some files to my Windows PC. I came across Ext2 IFS for Windows on which does this. This program is freeware. However, this program was unable to read the file system. So I googled some more and came across explore2fs. I tried the 1.07 version which is stable and voila, I could read the external disk. I exported all the files from that disk to Windows PC. The makers of explore2fs have also come out with Virtual Volumes. This is still in beta. A copy paste of the current features and future planned features of virtual volumes:

Current Features of Virtual Volumes:
  • Supported by all versions of Windows (Vista is still Work In Progress)
  • Read and Write LVM2 (linear stripes only)
  • Read and Write EXT2/EXT3 (e2fsprogs/libext2fs)
  • Read ReiserFS (rfstools)
  • Read and Write Win32 filesystems (Win32 API)
  • Read FAT12/FAT16/FAT32 without using Win32
  • Read and Write software RAID0, RAID1 and RAID5
  • Read and Write via SFTP
  • Read and Write VMWare disks
  • VFS allows mounting on subdirectories
  • VFS abstraction allows multiple filesystems to be supported
  • VFS abstraction allows network filesystems like ftp, http and scp to be supported
  • Command line interface
  • Drag & Drop GUI
  • Auto detect available filesystems for GUI quickstart
Planned Features of Virtual Volumes:
  • More filesystems (HFS, ISO9660, NTFS, ...)
  • More file based filesystems (.zip, .tgz etc)
  • Accessable in native namespace to give filesystem drivers access to LVM2 and RAID
  • NT Kernel driver to enable IFS to read LVM2
  • Apache module to make Virtual Volumes available via WEB-DAV. This will allow Windows to assign a drive letter to Virtual Volumes.

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