Using Linux filesystems on Windows 8

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For years, Windows has stubbornly refused to support any filesystems apart from its own, but with a few tricks, you can make your Windows systems talk to the Linux ext filesystem.

One of the obstacles standing in the way of cooperation between Linux and Windows on a single machine has always been the incompatibility of the filesystems. Although Linux has made amazing progress in this respect and now supports both NTFS and FAT filesystems without any trouble, Microsoft still stubbornly refuses to support anything but its own native filesystems (Figure 1).

Over the years, various projects have been providing access to Linux filesystems from Windows. In this article, I investigate whether these tools are truly ready for the Windows 8 release. To do so, I set up a system with a version of 32-bit Windows 8 and tested access to the Linux ext2/ 3/ 4, ReiserFS, and Btrfs filesystems.

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