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Old 03-13-2013, 12:15 PM   #1
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Force Mount HFS+ Risk


Short version: is it risky to force mount HFS+?

Long version: I've recently installed Kubuntu 12.10 for dual boot with OSX Snow Leopard on my Macbook Pro 5,1 (2009). Initially, in order to read and write on the HFS+ hard drive in Kubuntu, I deactivated journaling on the HFS in Snow Leopard, then used the following in Kubuntu's Konsole:

sudo mount -t hfsplus /dev/sda2 /media/MacHD
Where /dev/sda2 clearly is the HFS and /media/MacHD is the folder I created for browsing.

Then I put the following at the end of my /etc/fstab:

/dev/sda2 /media/MacHD auto rw,user,auto 0 0
This worked marvelously to have Kubuntu mount my drive on startup and allow me to use my OSX home folder basically as a normal home folder (cautiously, of course!).

I'd also changed my UID in Kubuntu to match my OSX UID for permissions, etc.

I'd read many times, however, that disabling journaling is very risky in case my data becomes corrupted. That's no good, to say the least.

So I looked for a work-around, and found that you can force mount HFS+ to be rw, and so I reenabled journaling and added "force" to the /ect/fstab like this:

/dev/sda2 /media/MacHD auto rw,force,user,auto 0 0
Again, this works without a hitch, but my intuition as a semi-newb is that it's a sloppy way of getting what I want. I did some googling and found this page, which led me to install "hfsplus", "hfsprogs" and "hfsutils". Then I unmounted and mounted again. However, I didn't notice a difference, even after startup. Force mount was working before that, so I don't know what difference it should make.

Anyway, I like that I can now rw my Mac HD, and would like to know if this solution might be risky, besides the obvious part that I could accidentally change something in my OSX system, or do something else stupid. If so, are there any better solutions to what I want to do?

Thanks for your answers!

PS Sorry if I've posted this in the wrong section, or if there's already a thread on this that I haven't found. I did some searching but didn't find any results. Please let me know what other information I can give.

Last edited by yanque; 03-13-2013 at 12:17 PM.
Old 03-14-2013, 09:26 AM   #2
Registered: May 2008
Location: France
Distribution: Ubuntu, Debian
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I remember having to force rw for an external drive (seagate) that was ro for apparently no other reason than it was previously used to backup stuff from a macbook. Apple weirdness really...

I don't think it's risky although I can't give you any warranty
Old 03-14-2013, 09:40 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I'm taking it that the lack of information out there is a good sign.
Old 03-14-2013, 01:47 PM   #4
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my one and only experience with trying to get an HFS drive working in CentOS 6.3 was a disaster. I had a major kernel panic that crashed the server. I had to remove the drive from the system, then get the data off via my LAN using the Mac. This was just a few months ago. Once I had that drive's data copied off, I formatted it ext4 and put it back in the server. It is not part of my NFS shares

good luck with the dual boot, Ubuntu might be more friendly to the HFS system then Cent was.
Old 03-14-2013, 02:46 PM   #5
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I had a kernel panic when I initially began installing Ubuntu on my Mac from USB. It was due (so I've read) to the partition tables not being synchronized. Piecing together advise across several forums, I tried various combinations of F8 and F10 at strategic moments, and one of them worked (sadly I've forgotten which). Admittedly, the partition I was installing to was unformatted "free space" I had made with Disk Utility, so I guess that wasn't really HFS. For now I think as long as I keep regular backups everything should be fine.

This guy has done more or less the same thing I have but with Natty.

I guess a follow-up question would be whether it's sufficient to use OSX once in a while in order for the HFS drive to be journaled properly?

Thanks again for your replies.


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