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The ext3 or third extended filesystem is a journaled file system that is commonly used by the Linux kernel. It is the default file system for many popular Linux distributions. Stephen Tweedie first revealed that he was working on extending ext2 in Journaling the Linux ext2fs Filesystem in a 1998 paper and later in a February 1999 kernel mailing list posting, and the filesystem was merged with the mainline Linux kernel in November 2001 from 2.4.15 onward.[2][3][4] Its main advantage over ext2 is journaling which improves reliability and eliminates the need to check the file system after an unclean shutdown. Its successor is ext4.



Although its performance (speed) is less attractive than competing Linux filesystems such as ext4, JFS, ReiserFS and XFS, it has a significant advantage in that it allows in-place upgrades from the ext2 file system without having to back up and restore data. Benchmarks suggest that ext3 also uses less CPU power than ReiserFS and XFS.[5][6] It is also considered safer than the other Linux file systems due to its relative simplicity and wider testing base.[7][8]

The ext3 file system adds, over its predecessor:

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