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macfuse_20070616.jpg

If you want to share an external drive between a Mac and a Windows machine, you typically format the drive with a FAT32 partition. One problem you’ll run into, however, is that you can run into a file size limit if you’re dealing with really large files. NTFS gets around this limitation, but unfortunately the OS X NTFS driver only supports reading from NTFS partitions.

Thankfully, there’s a NTFS Fuse driver which you can use with the MacFUSE userspace filesystem driver. It supports full read/write capability, so you can use an external disk to swap large files between your Windows and Mac machines.

It’s a bit of a pain to install, but here’s the quick rundown:

Download and install MacFUSELink
Just get the DMG file and run the contained installer.

Download and install Fink. You need this for obtaining and building the NTFS Fuse driver – Link
- run the installer within the DMG file
- drag the FinkCommander application to your Applications folder
Get NTFS Fuse driver. You need to configure Fink to use unstable packages and then install the ntfs-3g Fuse driver. Open a terminal and run the following commands.
- /sw/bin/fink configure
Use defaults, except answer YES to use the unstable tree
- /sw/bin/fink selfupdate
- /sw/bin/fink index
- /sw/bin/fink scanpackages
- /sw/bin/fink install ntfs-3g
Reboot
Mount your drive
- First, make sure it’s unmounted in disk utility (Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility – select drive – click unmount)
- Make a mount point: mkdir /Volumes/ntfsdrive
- Mount the drive: /sw/bin/ntfs-3g /dev/disk2s1 /Volumes/ntfsdrive
Replace /dev/disk2s1 with your external drive’s device. You can find this in Disk Utility.

The last step is all that you’ll need to repeat in the future to connect to your NTFS drive. After executing the mount command, the drive will appear on your desktop and you should be able to write files to it!


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Comments

  1. SinaK says:

    These instructions don’t work. You need to install the ntfs-3g package before you can use it, it doesn’t come as part of the Fink library.

    When I type in

    /sw/bin/fink install ntfs-3g

    I get

    Failed: no package found for specification ‘ntfs-3g’!

    I think you need to install ntfs-3g (mac port), but there is no binary for this, only source files :(

    Anyone have a fix?

  2. jason_striegel says:

    This was the same error I was getting before running the configure, enabling the unstable builds (ntfs_3g is not in the stable tree), and then doing the full update and reindex (which took forever). Did you run the other commands in the order listed in the post?

    Also, do you have the OS X developer tools installed? Maybe it’s not grabbing and building the source because it knows you don’t have gcc installed or something.

    1. Will says:

      Your advice was helpful. However I still have this problem (running the configure):
      [ Note: As of the OS X 10.7 distribution, fink no longer has a separate
      "unstable" tree. All development and releases happen in the "stable" tree, the
      only public tree that exists. ]

      and after running configure and trying to install ntfs-3g It says:
      [ Failed: no package found for specification 'ntfs-3g'! ]
      even tried ntfs_3g and same results:
      [ Failed: no package found for specification 'ntfs_3g'! ]

      …lame.

  3. mp3murph says:

    does this work with Boot Camp? single hard drive, 2 partitions (1 OSX, 1 Win)

  4. jason_striegel says:

    I assume it would work with a BootCamp setup. You’d just need to figure out what device your NTFS partition is. If you open up disk utility, select the windows partition and click the info button, it’ll tell you the device name. I’d make a guess that it’s /dev/disk0s3, but maybe you or another BootCamp user can clue us in for sure.

    I’d like to hear how that works out for you, by the way. Obviously, all the recommendations about backing up your important files, etc. should be taken care of before doing something like this. The ntfs_3g driver is not officially consindered stable yet, though I haven’t heard of any major issues.

  5. deegeetwo says:

    I’m failing at the last steps – mounting the drive. Does this solution work for multiple drives/partitions?

    I have a Western Digital My Book drive that is partitioned into two pieces that I’ve named Media Book and Music Book.

    The device name for Media Book is disk1s1.
    The device name for Music Book is disk1s2.

    Whenever I follow the instructions and type the code into Terminal, I get a message that says “Not a directory.”

    I replaced the /dev/disk2s1/ with /dev/disk1s1 and 2… both resulting in the same error message.

    How can I correct this?

  6. jason_striegel says:

    Deegeetwo, chances are you just need to make the directory that the drive will appear under after it’s mounted.

    So if you wanted it to mount under /Volumes/mediabook, first run:

    mkdir /Volumes/mediabook

    Then run:

    /sw/bin/ntfs-3g /dev/disk1s1 /Volumes/mediabook

  7. deegeetwo says:

    Thanks for the quick response.

    I guess this is a step in the right direction. I now get:

    ntfs-3g: You must specify exactly one device and exactly one mount point.

    ntfs-3g 1.616 – Third Generation NTFS Driver

    Copyright (C) 2005-2006 Yura Pakhuchiy
    Copyright (C) 2006-2007 Szabolcs Szakacsits

    Usage: ntfs-3g [-o option[,...]]

    Options: ro, force, locale=, uid=, gid=, umask=, fmask=, dmask=,
    streams_interface=. Please see details in the manual.

    Example: ntfs-3g /dev/sda1 /mnt/win -o force,locale=en_EN.UTF-8

    Ntfs-3g news, support and information: http://ntfs-3g.org
    —-

    I don’t really know what to do with this information.

  8. Alex74 says:

    Hello,
    I have tried this, but do not get any option in the /sw/bin/fink configure command that mentions Unstable Tree to choose? It only mentions the following:
    Tarballs
    Directory for the packages
    Download pre-complied packages
    How Verbose Fink should be
    Proxy/Firewall
    FTP Passive
    Mirrors
    and that’s it.

    When I type in

    /sw/bin/fink install ntfs-3g

    I get

    Failed: no package found for specification ‘ntfs-3g’!

    Can anyone help?
    I had run all the other commands no problems?
    Thanks
    Alessandro

  9. deegeetwo says:

    Alessandro… you have to install the XCode developer tool in order to get this to work.

    Sign up for free for the Apple Developer Connection and download and install the software before attempting the steps.

    If I can get past my last problem I am having, I’ll post my completed solution to a blog. But as yet, I have not been successful in finishing this project.

  10. BvegasB says:

    alex. run the self update command in it select cvs update. then run the index and scanpackages. then go back and do the config, and then you will receive the unstable option. Also make sure you have the developer tools. there is a good link to them on the fink page.

    I am now getting this error when i run the /sw/bin/ntfs-3g /dev/disk2s1 /Volumes/ntfsdrive command

    Failed to create /dev/fuse: Operation not permitted
    Error opening partition device: Permission denied
    Tried to free NULL inode pointer (0x300bec)
    Tried to free NULL attribute pointer (0x300c44)
    Tried to free NULL inode pointer (0x300c40)
    Tried to free NULL attribute pointer (0x300c58)
    Tried to free NULL attribute pointer (0x300c54)
    Tried to free NULL inode pointer (0x300c50)
    Tried to free NULL attribute pointer (0x300c6c)
    Tried to free NULL inode pointer (0x300c68)
    Failed to startup volume: Permission denied
    Failed to mount ‘/dev/disk0s3′: Permission denied

    Any help?

  11. BvegasB says:

    Also getting this error on another drive:
    Failed to create /dev/fuse: Operation not permitted
    $LogFile indicates unclean shutdown (0, 0)
    Failed to mount ‘/dev/disk1s1′: Operation not supported
    Mount is denied because NTFS is marked to be in use. Choose one action:

    Choice 1: If you have Windows then disconnect the external devices by
    clicking on the ‘Safely Remove Hardware’ icon in the Windows
    taskbar then shutdown Windows cleanly.

    Choice 2: If you don’t have Windows then you can use the ‘force’ option for
    your own responsibility. For example type on the command line:

    mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/disk1s1 /Volumes/The_B_Drive -o force

    Or add the option to the relevant row in the /etc/fstab file:

    /dev/disk1s1 /Volumes/The_B_Drive ntfs-3g defaults,force 0 0

    I can’t get the force command to work either

  12. masaman says:

    How to do it. Using Powerbook G4 with OS 10.4.10

    1.) Get the latest install of XCode from Apple Developer Tools (2.4.1 as of this posting) and install it.
    2.) Get Fink and install it as above.
    http://www.finkproject.org/download/index.php?phpLang=en
    3.) You can run Fink within the graphical environment if you like — just run FinkCommander.app from the FinCommander folder.
    4.) In the FInkCommander menu, choose Preferences, click the Fink tab and check “Use unstable packages”
    5.) in the search window type “fuse”, select the first package (0.4.0-3) and in the “Source” menu, choose “install”
    6.) When this completes, type “ntfs” in the search window, and choose the first package “ntfs-3g 1.616-1″ and Install this also.
    7.) Quit FinkCommander.
    8.) Follow the instructions above to dismount your ntfs drive from Disk Utility, select info to find out the “Disk identifier” which gives you the address in the command line, eg /dev/disk2s1.
    9.) run the terminal command to mount the drive, and then to copy files most efficiently, use the command cp -R.
    10.) Good luck/.

  13. kerker00 says:

    i dont know what i do wrong :(
    i’am at the last point, to mount the disk and i do this in Terminal

    - mkdir /Volumes/mmd
    than
    -/sw/bin/ntfs-3g /dev/disk1s1 /Volumes/mmd

    but thats the answer

    Failed to create /dev/fuse: Operation not permitted
    mount_fusefs: fusefs@0 on /Volumes/babe: Operation not permitted

    ???

  14. kerker00 says:

    in the last line befor ???
    babe = mmd

    sorry but it does not work at all

  15. kerker00 says:

    Ok i try a lot an know i get

    Failed to create /dev/fuse: Operation not permitted
    kextload: /sw/lib/fuse/fusefs.fs/Support/fusefs.kext loaded successfully
    mount_fusefs: fusefs@0 on /Volumes/DING: Operation not permitted

    if i want to mount my Disk

  16. masaman says:

    Hi, try making the commands as root, and also make sure to set the user and group to yourself. You can find out your code number in Mac Utility “Netinfo Manager”:
    1.) Run the utility
    2.) Select yourself under users in the upper window
    3.) scroll down and find out your uid and gid numbers (maybe 501)

    Then fill in those numbers in the code below (in Terminal) –
    make sure to choose your disk number correctly by looking it up in Disk Utility!

    mkdir /Volumes/ntfsdrive

    then

    sudo /sw/bin/ntfs-3g /dev/disk5 /Volumes/ntfsdrive -o uid=501,gid=501

  17. jason_striegel says:

    If you’re running into permissions problems, make sure you check 2 things:

    1. You need to run the commands as root. Put “sudo” before each of the commands, or run “sudo bash” to make yourself root before doing anything else.

    2. Make sure the drive isn’t mounted in OS X. Use disk utility to unmount the drive if it was mounted automatically.

  18. raphzahn says:

    hi,
    i’ve created a small droplet which can remount ntfs drives writeable (macfuse + ntfs-3g) just drag the ntfsdrive to the droplet and schwups i will be mounted read/write – able
    macfuse remount droplet – download

    http://wb.raphaelwolfer.de/pages/mac-os-x/macfuse.php

  19. callthatkarma says:

    Help. I have a maxtor external that I just put in the ol’ mac. I have a Power PC G3 running OS X 10.3.9 and would love to what my options are on opening up the maxtor for read write proposes. Thanks

  20. aristotlebyday says:

    i tried this and now my display is completely jacked (colors are funky and the fonts are nearly impossible to read). it permeates every application…oh yeah, and just prior to all of the icons coming onto the screen, my wallpaper looks normal and then switches to the disaster i have now…any suggestions?

  21. aristotlebyday says:

    i tried this and now my display is completely jacked (colors are funky and the fonts are nearly impossible to read). it permeates every application…oh yeah, and just prior to all of the icons coming onto the screen, my wallpaper looks normal and then switches to the disaster i have now…any suggestions?

  22. marcaurel says:

    Here is what I did and it worked !!!

    I had a EXT HD formated Windows NT. I was able to mount it but with read only permissions. I wanted to erase the drive but could not. I downloaded Macfuse and Fink, checked in the Fink’s pref pane-(under “fink”) “unstable packages”.
    But i couldn’t find the ntfs-3g. I went with solution of raphzahn who created a droplet to ease the process. (download it above in his message).

    I dropped my mounted EXT HD on the dropplet of raphzan. I got a message saying something like everything is ok (mkdir….etc), clicked OK. The EXT HD was ejected. so I launched disk utility, saw my unmounted WIN NT EXT HD. But this time I had access to the erase options. So I could erase it and reformat it in MAC OS journaled extended.

    This was simple. Thank you RaphZan.

  23. marcaurel says:

    ane more thing, you need to have apple dev tools installed for the dropplet to work…

  24. kotmotroskin says:

    Hi,
    I have an external HDD (400GB Hitachi, NTFS). It’s used as external hdd between pc and mac by lan. I’m stocked at the last step. I got next message “Failed to mount ‘/dev/disk1s1′: Resource busy
    Mount is denied because the NTFS volume is already exclusively opened.
    The volume may be already mounted, or another software may use it which
    could be identified for example by the help of the ‘fuser’ command.” Yes, Hard is busy couse I can mount it only thru HDD utility (NDAS utility). Disc Utility doesn’t see it if isn’t mount by NDAS utility. May I will ask an advice?

  25. saurabh76 says:

    @Sinak
    To download and install ntfs-3g which is the heart of this blog :
    You dont need to download XCode 2.4.1 from ADC (which is around 900 MB of download), rather just download the latest package of ntfs-3g as a binary from http://www.daniel-johnson.org/ and install the same. Everything works perfectly then!

    I didnt download any Xcode, and I was able to connect my external USB 160 GB Hard disk and copy stuff from my Mac to USB Disk.

    Cheers,
    Saurabh

  26. Axeltra says:

    hi i have a lacie xtreme 1TB formatted in NTFS and i downloaded and installed both mac fuse and fink but then i don’t know how to open a terminal and execute the rest of the commands.
    Can somebody help please?

  27. URFLiX says:

    Aloha everyone,

    Can someone please list the exact installation directions for getting all this to work?

    Purpose: To be able to read/write to my external ntfs hard drive. That’s all!

    I’m getting so many mixed stories and directions on installing all these different programs it’s confusing as heck!

    What I have so far is the latest MacFUSE and ntfs-3g. That’s all I need correct?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  28. Dijama says:

    Just tried this out and it works perfectly. Great article, I wouldn’t have figured this out on my own.

  29. Tassos says:

    Hello,

    Can someone please recap the whole process since I am a new Mac user and I am quite confused.

    Thank you!

    Tassos

    (I have a 320GB External Hard disk (NTFS) that I would like to use with my MacBook (intel) and my PC)

  30. rp_praveen says:

    Got it working for me
    Mac PowerBook G4 , OS X 10.4

    Might need to have your OS X install CD handy

    If you don’t have Xcode Tools installed -Do it on your OS X install disc is the folder contains- XcodeTools.mpkg <– install that takes a good few mins

    Also on the OS X disc also find the Optional Installs package(looks like a box icon) and install X11 – at the Install selection screen look under Applications check off & Install.

    Now – disconnect the external hard drives.

    1st – Downloaded & Installed MacFUSE

    2nd Downloaded & Installed Fink – for me it was the:
    Fink 0.8.1 Binary Installer (PowerPC)

    Fink will ask you if it should append a file, I forget the exact name, just say Yes
    Remember to drag Fink Commander over into your Applications folder -its there in a folder within the mounted image.

    If you were following the Above instructions you probably ran into trouble here like me. I opened terminal and ran the commands – after selfupdate, index, scanpackages -after install ntfs-3g command failed ‘no package found’

    IF THIS IS YOUR FIRST TIME

    Don’t be alarmed if you dont see the question about ‘unstable tree’ I never saw it either.
    Go to Applications/ Utilities / open Terminal and type /sw/bin/fink configure
    Run configure, and use the defaults (just press enter when it asks you a question)

    run selftupdate /sw/bin/fink selfupdate (Update from CVS)
    run index /sw/bin/fink index …then scanpackages

    If like me /sw/bin/fink install ntfs-3g fails
    No package found, the instructions above dont list anything about getting ntfs-3g manually anywhere.

    So I went out on a limb did a google search- came up on -
    http://macntfs-3g.blogspot.com/
    Latest post (update) May 30, 2008
    You will find – Download NTFS-3G 1.2531 [ublio] & [Stable] – I chose [ublio]
    Install -this will require a Restart

    Went to Apllications/Utilities/ Disk Utility then turned on my Drive and then connected it to my Mac
    Done – that should do it, toke a few seconds for my Seagate 500Gb External
    Hope this works for everyone who comes forth

    http://www.drupal.org

  31. joe. says:

    I think I figured out my problem (missing ntfs 3g file)—Fink wasn’t actually updating its library.

    Using the commander, I told it to update, it asked for my password, and I think it stalled out there. I did it twice in a row, quickly, and it went and got all the library files I was looking for.

    After that, everything worked according to the steps listed.

    What a stupid problem I’ve spent my night solving. Maybe it’s the problem for some of the other people here too—hope it helps.

  32. pete says:

    Hi,

    For those having trouble getting ntfs-3g installed, there is a .dmg available at http://macntfs-3g.blogspot.com/ – get the patched version as it runs MUCH faster.

    After messing around with fink and getting the “Failed: no package found for specification ‘ntfs-3g’!” error, I resorted to sourcing an easier way out and hey it works great.

    I’m using an external NTFS HDD and when I plug it in it mounts as read/write automatically now. No need to type commands etc.

    Good luck!

  33. simon says:

    I get this error, and I have done all the steps with success apart from the mount

    sh-3.2# /sw/bin/ntfs-3g /dev/disk2s1 /Volumes/ntfsdrive
    $MFTMirr error: Invalid mft record for ‘$MFTMirr’.
    Failed to mount ‘/dev/disk2s1′: Input/output error
    NTFS is either inconsistent, or you have hardware faults, or you have a
    SoftRAID/FakeRAID hardware. In the first case run chkdsk /f on Windows
    then reboot into Windows TWICE. The usage of the /f parameter is very
    important! If you have SoftRAID/FakeRAID then first you must activate
    it and mount a different device under the /dev/mapper/ directory, (e.g.
    /dev/mapper/nvidia_eahaabcc1). Please see the ‘dmraid’ documentation
    for the details.

  34. Jon says:

    Failed to create /dev/fuse: Operation not permitted
    $LogFile indicates unclean shutdown (0, 0)
    Failed to mount ‘/dev/disk1s1′: Operation not supported
    Mount is denied because NTFS is marked to be in use. Choose one action:

    Hi, I followed all the instructions listed on this page to a T (at least I think I did). Initially, I got the following:

    Failed: no package found for specification ‘ntfs-3g’!

    Then when I tried to merely read my NTFS HD, I couldn’t do it because something with the NTFS-3G was messed up. I was forced to fiddle with this some more, and eventually made it past the initial error message, only to be greeted by this little gem:

    Choice 1: If you have Windows then disconnect the external devices by
    clicking on the ‘Safely Remove Hardware’ icon in the Windows
    taskbar then shutdown Windows cleanly.

    Choice 2: If you don’t have Windows then you can use the ‘force’ option for
    your own responsibility. For example type on the command line:

    mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/disk1s1 /Volumes/The_B_Drive -o force

    Or add the option to the relevant row in the /etc/fstab file:

    /dev/disk1s1 /Volumes/The_B_Drive ntfs-3g defaults,force 0 0

    I’ve tried the first part of Choice 2, which didn’t work, and I have no idea what that relevant row business is. Any help? I’m in the middle of Dexter, and can’t watch anymore because all eps are on my HD!

  35. It worked fine up until /sw/bin/fink install ntfs-3g
    “failed: no package found for specification ‘ntfs-3g’!”

  36. It worked fine up until /sw/bin/fink install ntfs-3g
    “failed: no package found for specification ‘ntfs-3g’!”

  37. Karthik V says:

    You’ll need to manually configure Fink to use unstable packages by editing /sw/etc/fink.conf right after the bootstrap step. Make the “Trees” line to be:
    Trees: local/main stable/main stable/crypto unstable/main unstable/crypto

    Now, run the following commands from the Fink directory:
    $> source init.sh
    $> fink self-update (and go with the defaults)
    $> fink -y update-all
    $> fink scanpackages

    Finally (and these URLs I got off a blog called Fauxzen.com), edit /sw/etc/apt/sources.list and add:
    deb http://sage.ucsc.edu/fink_intel_10.6_32bit stable main crypto
    deb http://sage.ucsc.edu/fink_intel_10.6_32bit unstable main crypto

    Now you can run:
    $> fink scanpackages
    $> fink install ntfs-3g

    to get the NTFS drivers.

    Cheers.

    1. james Im says:

      I did what you said and still shows the same message?
      Updating the list of locally available binary packages.
      Scanning dists/local/main/binary-darwin-x86_64
      Scanning dists/stable/main/binary-darwin-x86_64
      Scanning dists/stable/crypto/binary-darwin-x86_64
      Scanning dists/unstable/main/binary-darwin-x86_64
      Scanning dists/unstable/crypto/binary-darwin-x86_64

      hermes-snyder:apt Him2$ fink install ntfs-3g
      Scanning package description files……….
      Information about 3688 packages read in 1 seconds.
      Failed: no package found for specification ‘ntfs-3g’!

    2. james Im says:

      I did what you said and still shows the same message?
      Updating the list of locally available binary packages.
      Scanning dists/local/main/binary-darwin-x86_64
      Scanning dists/stable/main/binary-darwin-x86_64
      Scanning dists/stable/crypto/binary-darwin-x86_64
      Scanning dists/unstable/main/binary-darwin-x86_64
      Scanning dists/unstable/crypto/binary-darwin-x86_64

      hermes-snyder:apt Him2$ fink install ntfs-3g
      Scanning package description files……….
      Information about 3688 packages read in 1 seconds.
      Failed: no package found for specification ‘ntfs-3g’!

  38. Steve App says:

    I get really close here. I get all the way to the very end when I attempt to mount the drive. Then get this error message:

    /sw2/lib/fuse/fusefs.fs/Support/fusefs.kext failed to load – (libkern/kext) requested architecture/executable not found; check the system/kernel logs for errors or try kextutil(8)

    Any help or advice would be very appreciated.

  39. mplsrover says:

    Any one can help ? I also stuck at this step…hv used both rsync and cvs updates and tried reconfiguring.. :
    ————–
    fink install ntfs-3g
    Scanning package description files……….
    Information about 3688 packages read in 1 seconds.
    Failed: no package found for specification ‘ntfs-3g’!
    ————-

    during configure command I also get this note:
    Note: As of the OS X 10.7 distribution, fink no longer has a separate
    “unstable” tree. All development and releases happen in the “stable” tree, the
    only public tree that exists.

    Not really know who to proceed from this step to get the ntfs-3g installed …

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