Experimental Write Support for Ext2 on Mac

Userspace Filesystem Drivers are becoming more and more popular since they’re portable and have less headache of platform specific filesystem driver issues. For example, NTFS-3G project provides the full read/write support for NTFS under Linux and MacOSX while living in userspace.

I recently discovered an open source project called “fuse-ext2” which is an implementation of Ext2/Ext3/Ext4 filesystem driver in userspace. Before this one, there was an ext2-only native kernel extension (kext) implementation. So I had no write access to my Ext3 and no read access to Ext4 file-system at all.

To use and enable experimental write support for your Ext2 partition, follow these steps :

  1. Download and install NTFS-3G Package which includes FUSE libraries.
    AFAIK NTFS-3G has been renamed into Tuxera NTFS and is a shareware now. But any way you can download the old GPL version here. it works in both Leopard and Snow Leopard.
    .
  2. Download fuse-ext2 package
    .
  3. Use Disk Utility to un-mount current Ext2 filesystems if there are any
    .
  4. Remove any old filesystem drivers for ext2 from /System/Library/FileSystems (it was ext2.fs for me)
    .
  5. Install fuse-ext2 package
    .
  6. Since write support is experimental, it is not enabled by default. To enable it, open /System/Library/Filesystems/fuse-ext2.fs/fuse-ext2.util for edit while having super user privileges.
    .
  7. Edit the OPTIONS variable at line 207 from
    OPTIONS="auto_xattr,defer_permissions"
    to
    OPTIONS="auto_xattr,defer_permissions,rw+"
    .
  8. Open Disk Utility and choose Mount for your filesystem and have fun !
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