Tested: FUSE for macOS, ext4 storage, and macOS Sierra Part 1

Although ext2 and ext3 may no longer be the filesystem of choice for some Linux users, there are still plenty of Linux installs that use ext2/ext3. FUSE for macOS was designed to allow users running macOS to access storage devices formatted using EXT via the FUSE method. The utility is useful if you're a macOS user and occasionally maintain Linux systems or pull data from hard drives that were originally installed on a Linux PC.

As of this writing, FUSE for macOS is at version 3.5.6 and is available from the developer’s GitHub page. This article was tested with FUSE for macOS 3.5.6 installed on a MacBook Air running macOS Sierra 10.12.4. The utility was used to read a KingSpec 120 GB SSD drive formatted to ext4 using Fedora 25 Gnome 3's GParted utility.

Note: I also attempted to access data from an ext4-formatted hard drive that was originally used for a Debian 8 Jessie system. However, due to additional encryption and specific parameters previously set on the original Linux machine, FUSE for macOS failed to access the drive.

Setting up FUSE for macOS

Setting up access to EXT drives on macOS using FUSE is a two-step process. The first step is to install FUSE using the .dmg file generously provided by the developers.

Unpacking the software package and going through the setup screens should be familiar to macOS users. The only step to take note of is to select the MacFUSE Compatibility Layer on the Installation Type window. By default, the Compatibility Layer box is unchecked.

Once installation is complete, FUSE is added to System Preferences, which can be used to update or remove the utility.

Users are also provided an external Uninstaller in the Extras folder in the DMG file.


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