Are there any real advantages of ext4 over ext2 ?

David Christensen dpchrist at
Wed Jul 8 23:14:16 UTC 2020

On 2020-07-08 11:10, Manish Jain wrote:
> Hi,
> I have a dual boot computer with FreeBSD and Linux.
> My Linux partitions are ext4 simply because ext4 is now the default 
> under Linux. However, ext4 is not supported directly by FreeBSD. As a 
> result, writing to those filesystems from FreeBSD is painfully slow (via 
> fuse).
> It is notable that ext2fs is directly supported by FreeBSD.
> ext4 supports huge files (in terra bytes) and filesystems (in thousands 
> of peta bytes). But very few people have such files/filesystems. At 
> least, don't - my use case is max 64 GB file, max 500 GB filesystem.
> So I wonder are there any real advantages of ext4 over ext2 ?
> Thanks for any inputs,
> Manish Jain


If you want to get inside your Linux root filesystem from FreeBSD on a 
dual-boot system, your choices would appear to be FUSE, or reinstalling 
Linux and manually partitioning with ext2.

I recently learned that FreeBSD supports ext2 and have formatted a USB 
HDD with ext2 for this reason, but have yet to test it with FreeBSD.

OpenZFS is available and works on both platforms.  But, I have not tried 
moving ZFS devices between platforms.  I expect the crux would be 
limiting the feature flags to the common subset.


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