Mount a Raspberry Pi SD card on a Mac (read-only) with osxfuse and ext4fuse

  1. Plug the microSD card into a card reader connected to your Mac. The

    volume will be automatically mounted, but it doesn’t contain all the files from the Pi’s primary filesystem.

  2. Make sure you have Homebrew installed (instructions here), so you can install the tools you need to mount the filesystem.
  3. Using Homebrew, install osxfuse and ext4fuse (find out more about the tools on the FUSE for macOS website):
    1. brew cask install osxfuse
    2. brew install ext4fuse
  4. Use Disk Utility on the command line to find the Raspberry Pi’s partition ID; run
    diskutil list

    to get output like below:

    $ diskutil list
    /dev/disk0 (internal):
       #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
       0:      GUID_partition_scheme                         500.3 GB   disk0
       1:                        EFI EFI                     314.6 MB   disk0s1
       2:                  Apple_HFS Macintosh HD            499.3 GB   disk0s2
       3:                 Apple_Boot Recovery HD             650.0 MB   disk0s3

    /dev/disk2 (external, physical):
       #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
       0:     FDisk_partition_scheme                        *32.0 GB    disk4
       1:             Windows_FAT_32 boot                    66.1 MB    disk4s1
       2:                      Linux                         31.9 GB    disk4s2

    You should be able to tell which drive is your Pi drive by the description (

    external, physical

    ), the ‘Linux’ partition type, and the size of the disk (e.g.

    31.9 GB

    for my 32 GB card). The ID is the


    in my case, in the



  5. Create a ‘mount point’—a folder on your Mac where you will ‘mount’ the Linux partition so you can read data from it:
    sudo mkdir /Volumes/rpi



    requires you to enter your Mac account’s admin password, since it performs actions with elevated privileges—enter your password when prompted.)

  6. Mount the drive using


    sudo ext4fuse /dev/disk2s2 /Volumes/rpi -o allow_other


-o allow_other

is required to make sure the mounted disk is readable by everyone (and not just the




user). See this issue: Unable to open ext4 mounted partition on El Captain.

Now you’ll see the


volume mounted in the Finder. You can open it and read from it just like any other disk, card, or flash drive you connect to your Mac.

Once you’re finished, make sure you safely unmount the disk, by either ejecting the disk in the finder, or running

sudo umount /Volumes/rpi

in Terminal. After that, you can unplug the card and put it back in your Pi, where it will be ready to do more awesome Pi things!