Check tutorial of How to Mount EXT4 Linux File Systems on a Mac with OS X Fuse
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The EXT file system (short for Extended File System) and its relatives of EXT2, EXT3 and EXT4 are the file systems used by Linux and Raspberry Pi. Mac users who work with multiple platforms will find that OS X is unable to mount EXT partitions on its own, and therefore anyone looking to mount and read EXT drives and other file systems will have to rely on a third-party utility .
OSXFuse is one such tool, a free open source offering that allows OS X to read EXT volumes, and if you’re comfortable with any uncertainty and risks to the Linux partition, you can even enable an experimental EXT write feature.
- Download OSXFuse from the developer (free) and run the package installer
- Choose to install the “MacFUSE Compatibility Layer”, this is optional but necessary for FUSE-EXT2
- Restart the Mac when the installation is complete. You can find the “Fuse for OS X” control panel in System Preferences
At this point, you can connect drives and / or partitions of the EXT file system of the Linux world to the Mac and read data from it as expected. That means you can access and copy files from the EXT volume to the Mac, but not the other way around (learn how to use EXT write support in a moment).
When EXT drives are mounted with FUSE, the volumes are interpreted as network drives or servers, so if you hide desktop icons or connected servers from the Finder preferences, you will only see them in the sidebar of a Finder window.
Longtime OS X users may recognize OSXFuse as the successor to the now-defunct MacFUSE, which was once needed to get Windows NTFS support on the Mac as well. Sure, you can now just enable NTFS write support on Macs directly without the need for any third-party tools, but not too long ago, it wasn’t.
Enable EXT Write support
While OSXFuse adds EXT read support, write support to EXT is disabled by default and is probably not recommended to use at all, it is considered experimental and supported by FUSE for a reason.
However, if you absolutely need to write to a Linux partition from OS X and you have a backupup of the data and / or disk in question, and you don’t mind scheduling the data on the disk, you can enable writing to EXT. with the following steps:
- Download FUSE-EXT2 and install it on MacFUSE
- Restart the Mac, then use the following command string to enable write support:
- Cross your fingers and hope for the best, this is experimental and not recommended for a reason
sudo sed -e ‘s / OPTIONS = ”auto_xattr, defer_permissions” / OPTIONS = ”auto_xattr, defer_permissions, rw +” https://compsmag.com/ ”-i .orig /System/Library/Filesystems/fuse-ext2.fs / fuse-ext2.util
Again, enabling EXT write support is not recommended. This cannot be stressed enough. Understand that there are significant risks to the drive and that it is quite possible to damage the Linux partition or file system of the drive as a result. Don’t do this without backupup.
By the way, an alternative for those who want to securely read and write files between OS X and Linux (and Windows for that matter) using an external drive is probably better off formatting a drive for maximum compatibility with the MS-DOS file system, which can be accessed by just about any operating system out there. This is especially useful for USB sticks and external drives that you want to use for fast storage and sharing of files outside a network. Otherwise, network computers can only use the SMB protocol and share files between Mac OS X, Linux and Windows over a local network connection. No, it is not the same as mounting an existing EXT file system, but it works if the sole purpose is to read and write data between different operating systems.
The easiest way to remove OSXFuse is to use the package control panel:
- Go to System Preferences from the Apple menu and choose “Fuse for OS X”
- Click on “Remove OSXFuse” button and enter the administrator password to remove FUSE from the Mac
Uninstalling OSXFuse clearly removes the ability to mount all EXT linux file systems from the Mac. You will want to remove OS X’s FUSE packages if you plan to use any of the other external EXT mounting solutions out there, either from Paragon or elsewhere.
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