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The ext3 or third extended filesystem is a journaled file system that is commonly used by the

Linux operating system. It is the default file system for many popular Linux distributions. Stephen
Tweedie first revealed that he was working on extending ext2 in Journaling the Linux ext2fs
Filesystem in 1998 paper and later in a February 1999 kernel mailing list posting and the filesystem
was merged with the mainline Linux kernel in November 2001 from 2.4.15 onward. Its main
advantage over ext2 is journaling which improves reliability and eliminates the need to check the file
system after an unclean shutdown.

Although its performance (speed) is less attractive than competing Linux filesystems such as JFS,
ReiserFS and XFS, it has a significant advantage in that it allows in-place upgrades from the ext2 file
system without having to back up and restore data. Ext3 also uses less CPU power than ReiserFS
and XFS. It is also considered safer than the other Linux file systems due to its relative simplicity and
wider testing base.

The ext3 file system adds, over its predecessor:

o A Journaling file system


o Online file system growth
o htree indexing for larger directories (specialized version of a B-tree not to be confused
with the H tree fractal)

ext3

Developer Stephen Tweedie

Full name Third extended file system

Introduced November 2001 (Linux 2.4.15)

0x83 (MBR)
Partition
EBD0A0A2-B9E5-4433-87C0-
identifier
68B6B72699C7(GPT)

Structures

Directory Table, hashed B-tree with dir_index


contents enabled

File allocation bitmap (free space), table (metadata)

Bad blocks Table

Limits
Max file size 16 GiB 2 TiB

Max number of
Variable, allocated at creation time[1]
files

Max filename
255 bytes
length

Max volume
2 TiB 16 TiB
size

Allowed
characters in All bytes except NUL and '/'
filenames

Features

modification (mtime), attribute


Dates recorded
modification (ctime), access (atime)

December 14, 1901 - January 18,


Date range
2038

1s Nanosecond (using
Date resolution
undocumented big i-node)

No-atime, append-only,
synchronous-write, no-dump, h-tree
Attributes (directory), immutable, journal,
secure-delete, top (directory), allow-
undelete

Unix permissions, ACLs and arbitrary


File system
security attributes (Linux 2.6 and
permissions
later)

Transparent
No
compression
Transparent No (provided at the block device
encryption level)

Single Instance
No
Storage

Supported
Linux, BSD, Windows (through an
operating
IFS)
systems