The ext3 file system is a set of incremental enhancements to the robust ext2 file system that provide several advantages. The ext3 file system is a journaling file system that is 100% compatible with all of the utilities created for creating, managing, and fine-tuning the ext2 file system, which is the default file system used by Linux systems for the last few years.
Before delving into the differences between the ext2 and ext3 file systems, a quick refresher on storage and file system terminology is in order. The ext3 filesystem has one significant advantage that no other journaling filesystem has ? it is totally compatible with the ext2 filesystem. It can therefore make use of all of the existing applications that have already been developed to manipulate and fine-tune the ext2 filesystem.
The ext3 filesystem is supported in Linux kernel versions 2.4.16 and newer, but must be activated using the Filesystems Configuration dialog when building the kernel. Linux distributions such as Red Hat and SuSE already include built-in support for the ext3 filesystem. The ext3 filesystem is a high-performance journaling filesystem whose compatibility with the ext2 filesystem and associated utilities makes it easy to upgrade your system to use the ext3 filesystem. ..