Thursday, December 3, 2009

NTFS-3G for Mac OS X 2009.11.14

What's new:
  • All in the NTFS-3G release notes.

  • The 'legacy' build is now definitely dropped.

  • The user can now choose at install time whether or not caching should be enabled, with a brief explanation of the benefits and drawbacks of using the ublio caching layer.

  • Bugfix: Firefox was unable to save files to an NTFS-3G mounted volume because of missing 'setchgtime' implementation.

  • Bugfix: Mounting an NTFS volumes with a non-ASCII volume name led to an error message when mounting (though mounting did complete successfully).

  • Bugfix: Formatting internal volumes didn't work because of Mac OS X shell script suid limitations.

  • Snow Leopard fix: Uninstalling now works properly.

  • Snow Leopard fix: Preference pane now has 64-bit code compiled into it, so that 64-bit Mac users won't have to restart the System Preferences application in order to use NTFS-3G's preference pane.

  • Change: The log file has been moved from /var/log/ntfs-3g_util.log to /Library/Logs/ntfs-3g_util.log.

  • Many smaller fixes that result from merging the Tuxera NTFS and NTFS-3G brances of several utilities.

The development of this new Mac version was funded by Tuxera Ltd.

Many of you have probably noticed that we have launched a commercially supported counterpart to NTFS-3G this fall, Tuxera NTFS for Mac.
Tuxera NTFS for Mac builds on the reliable NTFS-3G code base, but has several premium enhancements. The most important one is the new high performance caching layer which makes Tuxera NTFS at least twice as fast as cached NTFS-3G, but in many cases boosts performance even more (see: performance comparison).
The Tuxera NTFS for Mac caching layer also eliminates the need to choose between safety (in the event of a power outage or system crash) and performance, which is a choice you'll have to make in NTFS-3G.

Download:System requirements:
  • Mac OS X 10.4/10.5/10.6 (10.6 requires that you do not use the 64-bit kernel), running on an Intel or PowerPC computer.
The package has been tested with Mac OS X 10.4.11/PowerPC/Intel, Mac OS X 10.5.8/PowerPC and Mac OS X 10.6.2/Intel/64-bit Intel.
NTFS-3G includes and depends on MacFUSE.

Information on how to install and use NTFS-3G for Mac OS X can be found in the User Guide.
If you are having problems with NTFS-3G, then please write a forum post explaining your problems in the Tuxera Forums (or post the question as a blog comment if you're just unsure of how things work).

Known issues:
  • After installing ntfs-3g, all NTFS drives will disappear from the "Startup Disk" preference pane. Disabling or uninstalling ntfs-3g brings them back. It seems that this issue can't be solved, but only worked around since the Startup Disk preference pane doesn't recognize file system drivers that are not provided by Apple.
    Possible workarounds:
    • Holding down the Option key during boot (or Alt for non-Apple keyboards).

    • Intel users only: Install the rEFIt boot manager for better control of the boot process.

    • Using the command line utility bless (see man bless for more information)


Anonymous said...

Sweet. Just got me a 2TB drive that needs to be shared between mac and a pc and here you are with the release. Sweet.

SJM said...

I'm a Mac user and I believe this update has caused my currently formatted to NTFs-3d External Hd to become Windows NT file system (NTFS) and I can no longer write to it (It has become read only). The update was downloaded and installed with the external HD mounted. Is there a way of changing BACK to NTFS-3D without formatting?

Erik said...


Please check your drive for any problems using 'chkdsk /f' in Windows. See the FAQ for more information.

If after that procedure, NTFS-3G still doesn't mount the drive, then please post a problem report in the forum.

lilskaterpunk said...

Does this version of NTFS-3G for MAc OS X 2009.11.14 install MacFuse too?

I noticed the NTFS-3G v2009.4.4 says it installs MacFuse with it.

Whats the differences between these releases?

Erik said...


Yes, MacFUSE is included in the package, and installed if needed.

The differences... well, read the blog post, and you'll find out. :) (See: "What's new")

lilskaterpunk said...

Thanks for the reply!
Yes I noticed once installing, it mention MacFuse is included. Sweet!

Ya I kinda thought afterwards summiting my comment about my 2nd question. I read the new features added and bug fixes haha

Works great, thx!

Anonymous said...

So does this new release include the ublio patch? That was the best part about your old releases!

Erik said...

Anonymous, December 7, 2009 4:49 AM:

Yes, of course. You can choose whether or not to activate it at install time.

Anonymous said...

I just want to say: Thank you!

UsurpadorFerengi said...

Hi, i,m using the 2009.4.4 with macfuse 2.1.5 in snow leopard 32bits kernel, how i can update. Manualy deleting the old versions? or a "update" is suported


Erik said...

You can upgrade by downloading and running the newer installer, it should work well.

If you're using MacFUSE 2.1.5 (or any version > 2.0.2/2.0.3), make sure to uncheck MacFUSE when installing ("Customize" button). Otherwise the install process may fail.

UsurpadorFerengi said...

thank you so much Erik!


Anonymous said...

Just wanted to mention that Amit re-compiled the MacFuse prefpane a while ago to include a 64bit version so that system preferences doesn't have to restart in 32bit mode:

This should be included in the NTFS-3G for OSX Package in my opinion.

AirmaxAndy said...

A friend visited yesterday with an NTFS formatted USB HDD, so having read about NTFS-3G I decided to try it out, as I needed to copy some files from my Mac onto his NTFS disk.

It seemed to work, but when my friend got home, he reports that the NTFS disk is no longer recognised at all by either of his Windows 7 computers. He has managed to get an old computer running XP to recognise it and spent most of Christmas day copying data off the disk, reformatting it and copying it back on again.

Based on this experience, I would not risk using this software again, unless someone can explain what happened, why and how to resolve it.

In the meantime, remember to always keep two separate copies of anything important.

Erik said...


Which caching mode did you choose when installing NTFS-3G?

If using UBLIO cached mode, which is faster, you always have to make sure that you unmount NTFS drives properly before disconnecting them from the computer. Otherwise some data will still be in memory and not flushed down to disk.

You should also wait a few seconds more after the NTFS volume has disappeared from Finder, since Mac OS X tends to remove the disk icons before the unmount procedure has completed.

Kiwi-HeffeQue said...

Just wanted to say... I was trying to copy a 4.5 GB file from a 400 GB NTFS hard drive connected by USB to an 8 GB NTFS pen drive also connected by USB and... NTFS-3G failed to complete the task :-S

It started out at 9 MB/s but little by little it started to slow down and when the transfer was 60% done it was so slow that when I checked the Disk Activity in the Activity Monitor it was barely doing 5 or 6 KB/s.

I rebooted in BootCamp WinXP and the problem didn't occur.

I hadn't had problems with NTFS-3G for a looong time.
There has to be a bug somewhere that made it slow down that much.

The rest of the system was perfectly responsive.

Anyone with this problem too?

Unknown said...

I need help with this error:
Disk Erase failed with the error: File system formatter failed

I get this error when I attempt to erase/reformat an external USB drive to NTFS.

I've reinstall NTFS-3G with MacFuse twice and still get the error.

Erik said...


See this forum thread for an updated version containing a fix for a problem that sounds just like yours.

Anonymous said...

I installed this version "NTFS-3G for Mac OS X 2009.11.14" recently, and overall, it appears to work quite well. However, I had problems when I attempted use UserMapping in order to map file permissions better. After copying the file to .NTFS-3G/UserMapping (which I created using the ntfs-3g.usermap utility) in the root of the ntfs disk (a Windows partition for a dual boot MacBook Pro), I then dismounted the disk to enable UserMapping. But attempts to mount this disk again (using the Mac Disk Utility) gave the error message:

"NTFS-3G could not mount /dev/disk0s3 at /Volumes/Untitled because the following problem occured:

mount_fusefs: 'default_permissions' can't be used with 'defer_permissions'
Did not receive a signal within 15.000000 seconds.


I eventually found the following workaround, based on some hints I found at

The workaround was to edit the file /System/Library/Filesystem/ntfs-3g.fs/ntfs-3g.util

and make the following one line change:

$ diff ~/ntfs-3g.util.orig ntfs-3g.util
< NTFS_PERMISSIONS_OPTIONS="defer_permissions"
> NTFS_PERMISSIONS_OPTIONS="default_permissions"

This fixed the problem.

Unknown said...

@Erik: thanks! That solved my issue and now works great! Happy New Year!

Erik said...


This could be related to some kind of hardware error, i.e. bad sectors, bad USB cable, etc.

If you can reliably reproduce this problem on hardware that you know to be working properly, then it would be helpful if you created a metadata image of your NTFS volume (follow instructions here) and sent it to us so we can attempt to reproduce it ourselves and trace NTFS-3G's execution.

Carlos Fonseca said...


I'm having issues with this driver… it keeps using 30-40% CPU after boot… and I don't have a NTFS disk plugged in in awhile…
It stopped now but it comes back sometimes… i haven't figured out what exactly makes this happen…

Erik said...



My best bet would be that it uses a lot of CPU because Spotlight is indexing one of the connected NTFS drives.
You can google for instructions on how to disable Spotlight indexing for individual drives.

You could sample the process using the "Sample Process" feature in Activity Monitor and save the output so I can analyze what it's doing.

Please start a new thread in the forum and paste the sample process output there.

If you don't have any NTFS volume on your system, then ntfs-3g should definitely not be running. However, I assume that you do, because it's virtually impossible for ntfs-3g to get invoked otherwise.

Carlos Fonseca said...

yeah… i had forgot about bootcamp's partition… if i see something strange, i'll post…

Peter said...

Hi. I have a silver mac laptop running 10.5.8, and yesterday I installed ntfs-3g and macfuse so that I could write to a 2 tb WD external hard drive via usb 2.0. I tried to backup 100 gb of data using the "wd smartware" software, but it was super slow and then crashed (not responding according to activity monitor) after about 7 gigs. Last night I tried again, this time selecting only 25.3 gigs worth. After about 16 hours it had written 14 gigs of data to the HD. At that point I finally found this page ( and turned on the caching option in system preferences and it appeared to pick up a lot more speed, verified by activity monitor. But after a half hour, it appears to be back to super slow mode again. Activity Monitor shows it currently reading around 2 mb per second, and writing about 150 kb per second.

MY QUESTION (finally, sorry) is - Is this normal? If so, fine, I'll make decisions based on that (get 2 different HDs, one for win, one for mac, or something else). Or if not normal, what am I likely doing wrong? I'm sure you get sick of clueless people like me getting on here with questions like this. Any help would be hugely appreciated. Thanks! -Peter in AK

Kiwi-HeffeQue said...

@Peter: No, it's not normal. This didn't happen to me when I had the 2009.4.4 version. With the newer ones it crashes when writing big files or a big amount of files.

Erik said...


I have not heard any report of a crash for ntfs-3g. If you have any such report, please post it in the forum.

You also didn't reply to my last request for a metadata image of your NTFS volume.

In any case the forum is better suited for discussions such as bug reports.

Erik said...


The reported behaviour is not normal. Your problem report matches the kind of behaviour that you would get when attempting to use a drive with bad sectors (hardware error), as the drive will slow down while trying to access these bad sectors.

Please verify that you have performed a complete disk scan to check for bad sectors in Windows, using 'chkdsk /f /r' (see chkdsk usage information here. If bad sectors are found, then you should replace your hard disk immediately.
This should be covered by the warranty, if still valid.

If your drive seems to be fine (i.e. no bad sectors), then please start a new thread in the forum where we can discuss your bug report in a more structured way.

Peter said...

Thanks Erik. I will attempt the disk scan when i can get it hooked up to a windows machine. It is a brand new hard drive, took it out of the box the day I tried to use it as described here. But maybe I got a lemon. I'll do the scan and report my results. It might take me a while.

toothpehs said...

Good Day Erik

Does this means that this is the last free version of ntfs-3g? i've been using it since 2008 i think =)

Erik said...


Of course not. We have no plans to stop releasing free and open source versions of NTFS-3G for Mac OS X.
In fact this release isn't the latest one. Here's the latest release of NTFS-3G for Mac OS X:

Anonymous said...

Many thanks for the default_permissions within ntfs-3g.util, that solved my problem too :))

Unknown said...

fLibrary not loaded; Reason: Image not found. My flash drive disappeared following the installation of NTFS-3G. Plz help. Should i remove the software using a particular method?