Mount OS X on the Fly

While OS X is mounted, you’ll be able to drag files from Ubuntu to Panther (OS X) and vice versa to the ‘Shared’ OS X folder (/home/USER/macOSX/Users/Shared). Other recommendations have you mount OS X under /mnt/ (in gnu-linux), but I find permissions problems with this that do not even allow access to the Shared folder.

To figure out the designation of OS X’s partition, pass:

sudo mac-fdisk -l

The output will say something about HFS. Mine says:

/dev/hda3 Apple_HFS Apple_HFS_Untitled_43 41680896 @ 262208 ( 19.9G) HFS

So this tells you that /dev/hda3 refers to the OS X partition you’re going to mount.

Then pass:

mkdir /home/USER/OSX

You’ve created a directory called OSX; Where USER is your user.

sudo mount -t hfsplus /dev/hda3 /home/USER/OSX

To unmount, simply add an ‘u’ to the start of the above mount command such as in:

sudo umount -t hfsplus /dev/hda3 /home/USER/OSX

Or just log out if the command does not work. Sometimes, terminal will ‘complain’ that OS X is not mounted having just unmounted it. At other times logging out will unmount it because term complains that OS X is busy, and therefore cannot unmount. It might be better to wait when term tells you it is not busy because of important processes that might need resolution.


sudo mount -t hfsplus -o rw /dev/hda3 /mnt/macos

allows you to mount OS X to /mnt/macos without the permissions problems. Create /mnt/macos if it doesn’t already exist with

mkdir /mnt/macos

Apparently, setting fstab with your OS X user’s UID and GID solves permissions problems, but this does not offer on-the-fly functionality. Furthermore, I wouldn’t want OS X mounted during the entire time I run Ubuntu. Besides, if you really want OS X access, there is Mac On Linux (MOL).

Contributed by Maurice Cepeda
a.k.a. Chascon

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