How do I read (mount and access files) ext3 / ext4 external hard disk partition under Mac OS X?
Apple Mac OS X cannot directly mount and use ext3 and/or ext4 file systems. In other words, you need to use 3rd party driver or application to access ext3 / ext4 file systems. Another option is to use Oracle VM VirtualBox application which is an x86 virtualization software package for OS X. You can use any guest os like Debian, Ubuntu or Fedora Linux to access ext3 / ext4 file systems.
Configure VirtualBox To Access External USB Device
Open the VirtualBox app but do not start Linux guest operating systems. Do not attach external USB hard disk. First, select guest operating systems and click on settings (Machine > Settings).
Click on Ports tab. Do not click on add button which shows all USB devices as follows:
You need to add a new usb filter so that Virtualbox grabs external hard disk before Apple OS X:
The new empty string (new filter 1) will match to any attached USB disk. Now, start your Linux guest and wait till you see Linux console or GUI login window. Connect your USB hard disk to Mac OS X (usb device detected as /dev/sda):
Login to Linux guest using ssh or console. You can see your external hard disk details using any one of the following commands under Linux:
tail -f /var/log/messages
You can mount it as follows:
mount /dev/sdd1 /media/usb
Replace /dev/sdd1 with actual device name.
How Do I Copy Files To Apple OS X?
You can install samba on Linux and share file with Apple OS X. Another option is to use rsync or scp / sftp client from Apple OS X:
rsync -av firstname.lastname@example.org:/media/usb/datadir1/ ~/Desktops/datadir1/
scp email@example.com:/media/usb/data/sales.dat /path/to/dest