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Libewf is a library to access the Expert Witness Compression Format (ewf).


Read or write supported EWF formats:

Read-only supported EWF formats:

  • Logical Evidence File (LEF) .L01 (EWF-L01) and .Lx01 (EWF2-Lx01)

Other features:

  • empty-block compression
  • read/write access using delta (or shadow) files
  • write resume


The libewf package contains the following tools:

  • ewfacquire, which writes storage media data from devices and files to EWF files.
  • ewfacquirestream, which writes data from stdin to EWF files.
  • ewfdebug; experimental tool does nothing at the moment.
  • ewfexport, which exports storage media data in EWF files to (split) RAW format or a specific version of EWF files.
  • ewfinfo, which shows the metadata in EWF files.
  • ewfmount, which FUSE mounts EWF files.
  • ewfrecover; special variant of ewfexport to create a new set of EWF files from a corrupt set.
  • ewfverify, which verifies the storage media data in EWF files.
  • ewfaquirestream-mt, C++ 11 multi-threaded version of ewfacquirestream contributed by Bernhard Zach in 2013.

The libewf package also contains the following bindings:

  •, bindings for .Net
  • pyewf, bindings for Python contributed by David Collett in 2008


Tools that have been contributed to the project are provided as separate tools on the sourceforge libewf project site. These are:

  •, which allows the storage media data in a EWF files to be mounted, contributed by David Loveall in 2007.
  • libewf-java, Java (JNA) bindings were contributed by Bradley Schatz in 2009.
  • delphi imdisk proxy, Borland Delphi imdisk proxy, as an alternative to for Windows, contributed by Brendan Berney in 2010. In 2014 this was updated by Erwan L and is currently maintained as a separate project here.
  • jlibewf, native Java EWF reader contributed by Bruce Allen in 2010.
  • libewfcs, native C# EWF reader contributed by Bruce Allen in 2011.

A menu based interface for ewfacquirestream called pyEWF, contributed by Dennis Schreiber, was originally also available on the uitwisselplatform project site. However this is currently no longer maintained and was not moved to the sourceforge project size. The uitwisselplatform no longer exists. The name pyewf was reused for the libewf Python bindings created by David Collett which is now included in the libewf package.


Imaging a device on a Unix-based system:

ewfacquire /dev/sda

Imaging a device on a Windows system:

ewfacquire \\.\PhysicalDrive0

Converting a RAW into an EWF image

ewfacquire myfile.raw


ewfacquire -c best -m fixed -t myfile -S 1T -u [-q] myfile.raw


cat split.raw.??? | ewfacquirestream
cat myfile.??? | ewfacquirestream  -c best -m fixed -t myfile -S 1T

Converting an optical disc (split) RAW into an EWF image (libewf 20110109 or later)

ewfacquire -T optical.cue optical.iso

Converting an EWF into another EWF format or a (split) RAW image

ewfexport image.E01

Exporting files from a logical image (L01)

ewfexport image.L01

FUSE mounting an EWF image (libewf 20110828 or later)

ewfmount image.E01 mount_point

FUSE mounting a logical image (L01) (libewf 20111016 or later)

ewfmount -f files image.L01 mount_point

Verify an single image with results to the screen

ewfverify image.E01

From a linux shell, verify a group of images in subdirectories of the current directory creating a simple log file per image.

find . -name \*.E01 -printf '%f %p\n' | xargs printf "ewfverify -l \$(basename -s .E01 %s).ewfverify.out  %s\n" | sh


find . -name '*.E01' | while read F
  echo ewfverify -l "$(basename -s .E01 $F).ewfverify.out" "$F"

On Mac OS X you can run hdiutil on a mounted EWF file set:

hdiutil attach -imagekey diskimage-class=CRawDiskImage fuse/ewf1


Libewf was created by Joachim Metz in 2006, while working for Hoffmann Investigations.

Libewf is a rewrite of earlier work on the EnCase 4 file format by Michael Cohen part of PyFlag and the ASR Data's Expert Witness Compression Format Specification by Andrew Rosen. It has been updated to read and write EnCase version 1 to 7 .E01 files, EnCase 5 to 7 .L01 files, EnCase 7 .Ex01 and .Lx01 files and SMART .s01 files. Libewf has initiated an Extended EWF (EWF-X) specifications to bypass limitations on the format imposed by the EnCase .E01 format.

In 2007 David Loveall contributed to the libewf project. This application allows a fuse based mount of the storage media data in the EWF files to be mounted. Due to repeated issues with Python and the fuse Python-bindings on Mac OS X part of the functionality of these scripts has been rewritten into ewfmount.

As of version 20120715 support for EWF version 2 (.Ex01 and .Lx01) was added.