Enable NTFS read and write support in OSX 10.7 (Lion)

13 May 2012

If you require NTFS read and write support in OSX Lion, like you have a portable USB hard drive formatted with NTFS, you can do the following:

  1. Install OSXFUSE
    Download the latest OSXFUSE and install it. The one I tested with is version 2.3.9. OSXFUSE is a drop-in replacement for MacFUSE which is no longer actively maintained and not known to work well with OSX Lion (there might be some versions of MacFUSE that might work with Lion but I didn’t investigate further). When installing, please ensure that the compatibility layer is installed to make it a drop-in replacement for MacFUSE. This will make it work well with file systems that do not have native support for OSXFUSE yet.
  2. Install NTFS-3G
    Download the latest NTFS-3G and install it. The one I tested with is version 2010.10.2. The one I used is the open source version. There are commercial versions if you prefer that.
  3. Fix the timeout issue in NTFS-3G
    There is a bug with NTFS-3G in OSX Lion which will cause a popup message about “15 seconds” timeout error when a NTFS filesystem is being mounted. To quickly fix this, download the following fuse_wait package and install it or you can check the following page for more details.

Once that is done you should have NTFS working on OSX Lion properly.

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