Going back years there have been and still are other tools to access ext2 thru 4 and even Reiser.
Explore2fs, its successor Virtual Volumes, and the old but still maintained e2fsprogs command line utils.
I used to use Explore2fs way back when as an easy way to get something off my Slackware partition.
With the use of NASes, syncing and whatnot I'd forgotten about these tools.
Keep Up with TechRepublic