Are there any real advantages of ext4 over ext2 ?

andrew clarke mail at
Thu Jul 9 02:16:34 UTC 2020

On 2020-07-09 05:36:23, Manish Jain (bourne.identity at wrote:

> On 2020-07-09 04:44, David Christensen wrote:
> > 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.
> ext2 works very well under FreeBSD. I have been using ext2fs for ages under
> FreeBSD. The support is smooth and reliable. All you need to do is kldload
> linux.
> ext4 works under FreeBSD via fuse-ext2, which unfortunately is quite slow as
> on date.
> ZFS, as you correctly point out, is another option that I will keep in mind
> in future.

Is sysutils/fusefs-lkl a viable alternative? I've not used it, but it is
said to support Ext4, XFS and BTRFS.

XFS and BTRFS are supported by most Linux distros. I've used XFS in Ubuntu
for many years without any issues.

As a last resort there is also exFAT, which is not to be confused with
FAT/VFAT/FAT32. The exFAT drivers in Linux and FreeBSD probably don't support
chmod/chown file modes but the FreeBSD exFAT driver may be quicker than
using Ext2 if speed is all you need.

But ultimately ZFS may be the way to go. Notably Ubuntu and its derivatives
now has native support for ZFS.

With ZFS it might be important to create the pool on the FreeBSD system first
because Ubuntu's ZFS feature set could conceivably be ahead of FreeBSD 12.1's,
leading to incompatibilities. Also I'm not sure if you need to export the ZFS
pool each time you want to use it when you boot the other OS. That could be a
hassle if you forget.

All that said, I'm curious what the use case of dual-booting Linux and FreeBSD
is. I don't imagine that's very common.

More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list