22 April 2010

Mounting TrueCrypt Ext3 Volume on Mac: Fail

 I had a TrueCrypt encrypted Ext3 formatted volume in a file on an external hard drive hat is also Ext3 formatted.  I wanted to mount the hard drive on a Mac, then mount the TrueCrypt volume.  The first part is easy, the second part proved impossible for me.

(2013-07-30:  Read the update, Mounting TrueCrypt Ext2/Ext3/Ext4 Volume on Mac: Read Only Success.)

Mounting Ext3 Volume on Mac OS X
You need just two things:
  1. MacFuse
  2. fuse-ext2
Install those in that order. I plugged in my FireWire external hard drive and the Ext3 formatted volume mounted auto-magically.

You should check which version of Mac OS X you need, etc, and use latest versions of everything, and so on, of course.

Other pages of info that were helpful, for my reference here:

Mounting Ext3 TrueCrypt Volume on Mac OS X: Didn't work...
I opened up TrueCrypt and did the straightforward select file and mount (type in password, etc), it then said to me something about hdutil couldn't find a volume to mount. Whatever. The volume is Ext3 formatted so the standard utilities packaged with my Mac here wouldn't help.

But TrueCrypt has an option to indicate that the filesystem should not be mounted.  Click on Mount, then click on Options in the Enter password for "file-to-be-opened" window.  Look for the Do not mount option.  With that enabled, enter password and click Ok. The disk can then be found in /dev/.

I figure, in theory, I should be able to use fuse-ext2 manually from the terminal.  So if the disk is at /dev/disk3, make a directory (say  target) in /Volume/target, then fuse-ext2 /dev/disk3 /Volumes/target/ should mount the file system.  Well, it didn't work.

If you're reading this, and you figure out how to make this work, please let me know.

In the mean time, another option is to use a virtual machine on the Mac to boot up to a Linux distro and run TrueCrypt in the Linux based OS.  Some useful information for my reference:


DrTebi said...

Thank you, that helped, on a Mac Pro:
on Ubuntu:
- booted into Ubuntu 10.04
- installed TrueCrypt on Ubuntu
-- created 300GB partition on second disk (with gparted)
-- made that partition a TrueCrypt partition with ext3 file system
-- created a mount and unmount script, everything worked like a charm

on Mac OS X 10.6.5 (64bit):
- installed TrueCrypt
- installed MacFuse beta version (see http://groups.google.com/group/macfuse/browse_thread/thread/9e5ec92932f27f46)
- installed fuse-ext2-0.0.7
- ran TrueCrypt and mounted the encrypted partition.

I first couldn't get it to run on Mac OS X because I didn't have fuse-ext2 installed, thanks for that hint! Not sure if the MacFuse beta version is necessary, or if it would have worked with the regular release as well.

mlsci said...

I appreciate your letting me know about the beta of MacFuse! I think that might've made a difference as to being able to mount the ext3 formatted TrueCrypt partition, but I can't be sure. Or maybe I was using an older version of TrueCrypt at that time.

Thanks for sharing.