Ext2/3 Partitions - Mounting them on the Desktop
- If you need GUI-based access to the contents of a hard drive, or if you need to mount an ext2/3 hard drive on a computer running Windows or OS X, this page may have an answer for you. The process outlined here is useful for someone rescuing data from a backup USB hard drive, or from a data partition in a Linkstation.
- Why would you want ext2/3 format anyway? Well Windows formats (FAT, FAT32, NTFS) have some serious limitations to them, namely filesize. For FAT the filesize limit is 2GB, and for FA32 or VFAT is it 4GB. OS X doesn't have these limitations for its HFS+, but it is a proprietary format and is not readable to many computer systems. Therefore, ext2/3 is a viable alternative. With drivers, it is readable by nearly all OS's, and it has a filesize limit that runs in the terabytes.
- a hard drive formatted in ext2 or ext3
- a computer running OS X (10.3-10.4.x are currently supported), Windows or Linux/Unix
- for OS X - ext2fsx driver from SourceForge.net
- for Windows -
Connecting and Determining disk info
Unmount cleanly from current mount point. Check w/ df -Th
Connecting and Determining diskMsN
sudo -s mkdir /Volumes/linux mount_ext2 -o rdonly -x /dev/disk2s1 /Volumes/linux
Finder Menu Go->Go To Folder
Check w/ df -Th
Error messages and their possible causes:
- Invalid argument
mount_ext2: /dev/disk3s1 on /Volumes/linux: Invalid argument
If you are using a USB drive, this may mean that you forgot to unmount (see the Unmount section above) before physically disconnecting your cable.
- No such directory
/dev/disk3s1 on /Volumes/linux: No such file or directory
You may have forgotten to create the mount point directory in /Volumes.