/ Hacks

Making your external harddrive from Mac readable on ubuntu

I recently replaced my old harddisk in the Mabbook with an SSD. I decided to put the old hard disk into a USB casing and start using an external drive. I formatted the drive to NTFS with MBR hoping to make it readable across my Mac and Ubuntu systems.

Everything worked smoothly, except that for some reason the harddrive wasnt mounting in a readable mode on the ubuntu system! I looked around for solutions and this finally worked for me!

cd /etc
sudo cp fstab fstab.bak
sudo nano fstab
sudo mkdir /media/macHDD

Add the following line in the fstab

# line for mounting the external drive
UUID=11EA49415BFAE58 /media/macHDD  NTFS   rw,uid=1000,gid=1000,user,exec,umask=003   0   0

The UUID can be got from the properties of the harddisk. Right-click and check properties on the harddisk

Get the UUID of the harddisk in Ubuntu

Now, I hit a new roadblock! I could read and write from the NTFS drive on Ubuntu. But on my Mac it was read-only! Damn! With further research, I was able to fix as follows!

  • Install osxfuse from the Releases · osxfuse/osxfuse page
  • Install ntfs-3g using brew
    brew install homebrew/fuse/ntfs-3g
  • Next we need to disable System Integrity Protection. Reboot the Mac and hold Command+R while it’s booting. It’ll boot into a special recovery mode environment. Launch a terminal from the Utilities menu in recovery mode and run the following command: csrutil disable
  • Reboot to normal mode
  • Open a Terminal window again and run the following commands to make ntfs-3g function:
sudo mv /sbin/mount_ntfs /sbin/mount_ntfs.original

sudo ln -s /usr/local/sbin/mount_ntfs /sbin/mount_ntfs
  • Lastly, re-enable System Integrity Protection. Reboot your Mac and hold Command+R while it’s booting to enter recovery mode. Launch a terminal in recovery mode and run the following command: csrutil enable

That's it! NTFS-write should be enabled! :-)

Reference: How to Write to NTFS Drives on a Mac