read BSD format disk from Mac OSX

Polytropon freebsd at
Mon Mar 2 17:56:43 PST 2009

I don't want to be impolite, but your solution suggestion is
unneccessarily complicated, involving something that isn't
needed at all.

Let me explain:

On Mon, 2 Mar 2009 08:41:10 -0600, David Kelly <dkelly at> wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 02, 2009 at 09:16:02AM -0500, Tsu-Fan Cheng wrote:
> > Hi all,
> >     I format a ext disk (UFS) and transfer some files into it, hand it
> > over to my friend who has a macbook. He complained the macbook can't
> > read it. I don't have a mac on hand, I wonder if there is any utility
> > that will help a mac to read a BSD, thanks!!
> The easiest way to do what you are attempting is to format the disk FAT.
> Then to preserve file attributes write your files in a tar archive.

Hey hey, not so complicated. :-)

The easiest way is to follow this advice WITHOUT the FAT part.
The tar "filesystem" has been serving as the best data exchange
format among UNIXes and Linusi over the years. The only thing
needed on the Macbook is the tar utility.

So, on the FreeBSD machine, you first put the files onto the 
external HDD using tar - note that you're using it DIRECTLY,
you're NOT creating any files on a file system:

	% tar cvf /dev/da0 <files>

Then, on the Macbook, you simply extract from the external disk,
using MacOSX's tar command:

	$ tar xvf /dev/da0


Usually, tar will preserve your file names and file attributes.
No need to look for character translation tables, no need for
chmod -x for the files, no need for the uppercase / lowercase

Of course, you cannot read such a hard disk with "Windows", but
this wasn't part of the question anyway.

There is no need to pollute a hard disk with MICROS~1 FAT when
you're using UNIXens only. And yes, it is that simple. :-)

Simple. Useful. UNIX.

>From Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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