What is the difference between Macfuse and NTFS-3G? What do they do?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by kristenanne77, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. kristenanne77 macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2009
    I have just installed fusion and have a virtual windows machine on my minimac.

    What I am thinking of doing is to take the "virtual" windows file and put it on a usb hard drive, and let Fusion work on it from that location. This will free up more space on my minimac.

    When I tried to copy the "virtual windows file " that fusion made over to the usb drive, it wont go because the usb drive is formatted as NTFS.

    So i am starting to learn about macfuse and NTFS 3g (and even a better version of NTFS 3g called Tuxera). Anyway, what do these programs do? I don't quite understand. Do i need both of them just to make the mac write to the usb drive?

  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    MacFuse allows you to install drivers like NTFS-3G to have expanded file system capabilities, the NTFS-3G driver for example, just like Tuxera, allows you to write to NTFS formatted volumes. NTFS is a format/file system used in Windows NT environments like Windows 2000, XP, Vista and 7/8.


    Overview of the four major file systems (called "Formats" in Mac OS X) used on Windows and Mac OS X, compiled by GGJstudios. You can use Disk Utility to format any HDD to your liking.

    Any external hard drive will work with PCs or Macs, as long as the connectors are there (Firewire, USB, etc.) It doesn't matter how the drive is formatted out of the box, since you can re-format any way you like. Formatting can be done with the Mac OS X Disk Utility, found in the /Applications/Utilities folder. Here are your formatting options:

    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended (Journaled) Don't use case-sensitive)

    NTFS (Windows NT File System)
    • Read/Write NTFS from native Windows.
    • Read only NTFS from native Mac OS X
      [*]To Read/Write/Format NTFS from Mac OS X, here are some alternatives:
      • For Mac OS X 10.4 or later (32 or 64-bit), install Paragon (approx $20) (Best Choice for Lion)
      • For 32-bit Mac OS X, install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free) (does not work in 64-bit mode)
      • For 64-bit Snow Leopard, read this: MacFUSE for 64-bit Snow Leopard
      • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx $36).
      • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard and Lion, but is not advisable, due to instability.
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support NTFS
    • Maximum file size: 16 TB
    • Maximum volume size: 256TB
    • You can use this format if you routinely share a drive with multiple Windows systems.

    exFAT (FAT64)
    • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
    • Not all Windows versions support exFAT. See disadvantages.
    • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support exFAT
    • Maximum file size: 16 EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB
    • You can use this format if it is supported by all computers with which you intend to share the drive. See "disadvantages" for details.

    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
      [*]Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    • You can use this format if you share the drive between Mac OS X and Windows computers and have no files larger than 4GB.

    You could also just format the USB flash memory thumb drive to HFS+ (Mac OS Extended) if that thumb drive is only used on Macs.

    Also know, that most USB flash memory thumb drives have slow read and write speeds and thus you might have a slower Windows VM experience.

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