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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