Let's say I have ubuntu installed (not as a live drive, acctually installed) on a USB flash drive, can (and if so, how) I access the files saved in the home directory from another computer, (with any OS) when I plug in the USB drive?

3 Answers 3


If you installed Ubuntu on a flash drive then your home directory is likely using an ext2, 3 or 4 filesystem.

My understanding is that Windows and OSX do not natively read ext filesystems. A Linux computer should be able to read your home folder no problem.

You can make the first partition on the flash drive FAT32 or NTFS and keep the data you want to access there.

  • +1 but where you said "make the first partition ... FAT32 ..." any partition on the flash drive should work as well.
    – msw
    Mar 27, 2013 at 19:23

Never tried to but if installed, I think you will be able to. Unless you choosed to encrypt home folder during install.


You can't natively access the usual Extended Filesystem (ext3/ext4 fs) used by Ubuntu and most GNU/Linux OS from MSWindows or MacOS natively. It would require third party drivers and utilities, like ext2fsd fom


for MS Windows

For MacOS there's a utility called OSXFuse, see this post:


From another GNU/Linux OS, it would be easy, provided you are sudoer, as it would certainly not allow a non-privileged user to read/write data belonging to another uid/gid

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