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How to mount ext2/ext3 Linux Volumes in Mac OS X (Snow Leopard) with Read/Write access

Uditha Atukorala's picture

I was actually surprised to find out that there is no native support for popular ext2/ext3 Linux Volumes in mac OS X. So if you are like me and have ext2/ext3 drives lying around and want to access them using OS X then here is a compact guide to sort things out in Snow Leopard. 


1. Install MacFUSE

If you haven't already installed it download and install MacFUSE from

2. Install FUSE - Ext2

Once you have MacFUSE download and install fuse-ext2 from Even though it says fuse-ext2, this one package gives both ext2 and ext3 read-write support.

After installation you should see both MacFUSE and fuse-ext2 icons in System Preferences.

fuse-ext2 MacFUSE


That's it. You now have support for ext2 and ext3 file systems. When you plug in an external ext2/ext3 partition it should automatically show up in Finder, mounted and ready to use. You can also use the following commands if you prefer the shell.

$ fuse-ext2 <device|image> <mountpoint> [-o option[,...]]
$ mount -t fuse-ext2 <device|image> <mountpoint>


Note: If auto-mount is not giving you read/write access to ext2/ext3 partitions then you will have to edit the auto-mount script for fuse-ext2 which can be found at /System/Library/Filesystems/fuse-ext2.fs/fuse-ext2.util.

$ sudo nano -c /System/Library/Filesystems/fuse-ext2.fs/fuse-ext2.util

Around line 207 (in function Mount ()) you will find the line OPTIONS="auto_xattr,defer_permissions". Change that line to read as OPTIONS="auto_xattr,defer_permissions,rw+".

function Mount ()
    LogDebug "[Mount] Entering function Mount..."
    # Setting both defer_auth and defer_permissions. The option was renamed
    # starting with MacFUSE 1.0.0, and there seems to be no backward
    # compatibility on the options.
    # OPTIONS="auto_xattr,defer_permissions"

    # The local option is only enabled on Leopard. It causes strange