OSX - How to retrieve files on external hdd with HFS+ file system

HFS+ => Hierarchical File System Plus

Apple's OS X uses HFS+ (HFS plus) file system. It is the default file system since OS X Tiger (10.4). 255 characters can be used in file name. It can support up to 8 million terabytes and yes, that's huge!

I've just got a external hard disk and decided to format it using HFS+ file system as it is more efficient when mounted on the mac, which I used it most of my time. One concern though, should the mac die suddenly, how can I retrieve the files while getting a new mac?

Here's how to retrieve the files on the external hard disk on Linux?

  1. Boot into Ubuntu Linux 9.10 live CD (no need to install it) and choose "Try Ubuntu without any changes to your computer" instead of the usual "Install Ubuntu".
  2. Once the Ubuntu desktop is presented, plug in the external hard disk.
  3. Check the /var/log/messages and the log should show that the hard disk with HFS+ (or HFS plus) file system is plug in. Read-only though.

At this point, the files can be retrieve using rsync, to other computer or hard disk. This serves a good plan B in the situation I need to copy the files out from the HFS+ file system. Best of all, it also recognize GUID partition table, a much more modern partition scheme.

Das Vidanya !!!

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