Mac OS X Lion and Backing up the Rascal ext3 microSD card

I hadn’t had much experience with Linux so when my Rascal arrived, I thought I ought to back up its microSD card. I inserted the card into my iMac and got the message “The disk you inserted was not readable by this computer.” with the options Initialize (No…!), Ignore or Eject. What to do? Googling for “Mac OS X and ext3” mostly returned old links. There was a something called MacFUSE but development stopped before Lion was released. To cut a long story short, there does seem to be a recipe that works well – you insert the Rascal microSD card into the reader and it appears on the Mac desktop, just as it should.

The Recipe
Before starting, it is worth reading this recent blog entry which provides an overview.

  1. Install OSXFUSE (FUSE for Mac OS X), a replacement version of MacFUSE that does work with Lion and is being maintained. IMPORTANT In the initial installation dialogue you must tick “MacFUSE Compatibility Layer”. According to the developer, installing it afterwards won’t work! OSXFUSE v2.3.8 can be downloaded from here
  2. Install FUSE-EXT2 which runs on top of MacFUSE to provide support for ext2 and ext3 filesystems. You can read about it here and download from here.

It is probably a good idea to restart your Mac after the installation.

After this, when you insert the Rascal microSD card, it should appear on the desktop. You can then back the card up by following Brandon’s recipe for archiving a file system. Note that the location of the card will be /Volumes/rascal-beta/.

The SD card has to be unlocked to allow it to be mounted. However this recipe always mounts the filesystem as read only.

First posted in the Rascal hardware and software forum.

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