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copy/delete files from an ext2 binary img (win32)


I've been trying for a while now to find a bug-free utility that let's me copy files to an ext2 binary image from from windows.. so far no luck.

I've tried so far the following:

explore2fs (pascal): Doesn't support writing to image files (like most of the utils out there)

ltools: Does everything except that its buggy. After doing a few write operations (mkdir, cp ) the image will become corrupted

I would really appreciated it if someone can help me to accomplish my goal. I could use anything (C/C++ libraries, utilities , dlls ... etc )

Also, if I were to write my own library. Where should I start? Which documentations can point me to the way ext2 was implemented?



  • jabirali
    jabirali Posts: 157
    There is another implementation of ext2 through the Installable FileSystem Kit, called ext2ifs. It has been in development for several years, and has working ext2 write support - but I never played with it for long enough to notice any bugs that might exist.

    The application is meant for accessing physical partitions, and I must admit that I don't know to go about mounting harddisk images in windows. Is it perhaps possible to use it together with something like Daemon Tools?

    Might I also ask why you need to use ext2 images in windows? Unless you're specifically after a file system with UNIX permissions, you could use e.g. fat32, which has perfect support for read/write operations on all modern platforms.
  • shakazzolo
    shakazzolo Posts: 4
    The ext2 image file will be converted to vdi and then attached to a linux VM machine. The linux VM machine expects the file system in the vdi file to be ext2... other wise it wont be able to mount it.

    As for ext2ifs, I don't think I have the luxury to install an unsigned driver... :( And I also need something which is GNU opensource.

    If I've known how the ext filesystem works, I would've ironed out the few bugs in ltools... maybe make my own fork too ;)
  • woboyle
    woboyle Posts: 501
    I'd install linux in a virtual machine under Windows, create a samba share that Windows can access, create a mount point in the share for the image file, and then mount the image file on that mount point. Windows will then be able to access the image file with read/write permissions just fine. I do this when necessary myself and it works without problems.
  • shakazzolo
    shakazzolo Posts: 4
    This option remains as a backup plan because it will greatly slow down the responsiveness of our product... :(

    At this point, I'm still experimenting with LTools. It seems that for it to do the job correctly, I need to just copying a single file to a clean image. However, results seem to vary from one machine to another.

    I just can't believe that no one had to do this before!!! I mean not a single peace of code out there supports ext2 completely
  • woboyle
    woboyle Posts: 501
    Well, in truth, writing file system drivers in Windoze is a REAL PITA compared to Linux. When MS is doing everything it can to suppress Linux adoption, why should Linux developers waste their time in giving Windows easy access to Linux devices? I've pretty much completely stopped doing Windows system development because it is costly (have you seen what an MSDN license costs these days?), doesn't pay much because of all the out-sourcing of Windows application development to India and China, and Microsoft keeps changing the rules (api's, EULA terms, etc). So, as a professional, I say screw that! At least if a linux driver that a client requires has problems, I can usually get the source code and fix it myself if the vendor isn't forthcoming with a fix in a timely manner.
  • Thanks but ur response doesn't help me. We have a lot of people like u out there that r distroying the image of linux community. Reading ext from windows should be as easy as reading ntfs from linux.
  • mfillpot
    mfillpot Posts: 2,177
    I have had luck accessing ext filesystems from windows using http://www.fs-driver.org/ and similar tools/drivers. However I have not yet tried to mount an image other than an ISO file in windows so I do not know how you would go about dong that once you have ext filesystem support.

    Please let me know if that helps of if I misunderstand you needs.


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