ext3 partition compatibility

Gene Czarcinski gene at czarc.net
Sat Feb 5 17:36:39 UTC 2005

Recently, I had some experiences that raises the question as to how compatible 
(how safe) it is to mount and then read/write a partition using a system such 
as FC1 or debian where the partition was  created under FC3.

1. I recently attempted to run e2fsck running on a FC1 system against a FC3 
ext3 partition ... the program refused to run.  When I took the e2fsprogs 
package from FC3 and rebuilt it on a FC1 system, I was able to run the 
rebuilt e2fsck no problem.

2. I have a systems (laptops) which is dual boot with win2k and FC3.  I have 
another dual boot system with win2k and debian.  I attempted to use 
Symantec's ghost to image (backup) the drives -- the whole disk with all 
partitions.  Per advertising, ghost supports NTFS, fat16, fat32. ext2, ext3, 
and swap partitions.  Running ghost on the win2k+debian system worked fine.  
However, when I ran it on the win2k+FC3 system it got errors.  After finally 
finding the right google search, I located a mesage from a user with the same 
problem.  That user had contacted Symantec and, apparent, ghost did not work 
on FC3 (or FC2) partitions.

My suspicion is that the reason it does not work is SELinux.  Although the FC3 
system was installed with SELinux disabled, I suspect that SELinux must 
require some modifications/additions to the file system which may (does) 
cause problems when it is access from a non-SELinux system.

Any help would be appreciated.  I am not looking for the ability to access 
these partions, just to know if it should work or not.


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