OSXFuse + MacFUSE Compatibility Layer + Fuse-ext2 = ext[23] on OS X (ro)

I was hoping to be able to at least read (though writing is always nice) ext3 filesystems on external drives from OS X, without having to start up a virtual machine. This page suggested I use OSXFuse and Fuse-ext2.

It turns out OSXFuse is the actually-maintained descendent of MacFUSE, but that it includes a “MacFUSE Compatibility Layer” (just a checkbox during install; no need for a separate download) that can handle the Fuse-ext2 module (which apparently hasn’t been updated in several years). Nonetheless, these things worked pretty seamlessly for me. I installed OSXFuse, then installed Fuse-ext2, then rebooted. The next external USB storage device I connected with an ext3 filesystem was successfully mounted read-only. Various other places on the web suggest that really slow writing should be possible, but I have not explored that option.

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OS X Mountain Lion does not include X11

Just spent way too long thinking it was something wrong with my SSH configuration. Ugh. The former X11.app is now an open source project that needs to be independently installed. Once installed things Just Worked the way they used to. An example error message that is resolved, that I encountered when trying to run gitk:

$ gitk
Application initialization failed: no display name and no $DISPLAY environment variable
Error in startup script: no display name and no $DISPLAY environment variable
while executing
"load /usr/lib/libtk8.5.so.0 Tk"
("package ifneeded Tk 8.5.11" script)
invoked from within
"package require Tk"
(file "/usr/bin/gitk" line 10)