Sunday, June 19, 2016

How to mount NTFS filesystem on OS X

I have a Dell backup drive and would like to backup some of my files on OS X to it. But unfortunately it is formatted as NTFS, by default it is mounted read only on OS X.

Searching around, I found someone mention about the NTFS-3G, that is the tool I am using for Linux. It seems the fastest access is NTFS for Mac from Tuxera.com, it is also the sponsor of the open source project NTFS-3G. At first, I try to see if I could order it, but it has a price tag of $36.33, well, if it were below the $10 mark I will buy it, this price is a little pricy.

Next I try to find if any ntfs-3g binary package is available, the latest I could find is from 2010, a little bit out dated. Then I came across this OSXFuse's project wiki about NTFS-3G. I install the latest 3.4 OSXFUSE. Then the package manager "Homebrew".

Follow the procedure from the wiki, I issue the command

brew install homebrew/fuse/ntfs-3g
Then it starts to download and compiling ... After a few minutes, I got ntfs-3g install.

Then I try the commands from a command shell.

mkdir /Volumes/ntfs 
ntfs-3g /dev/disk1s1 /Volumes/ntfs
Hooray, I got a writable NTFS disk mounted! I did not try to replace the system's mount_ntfs for automount NTFS to read/write. The current form works for me.

PS. Of course, in order to compile all related programs, you need to have Xcode installed.

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