Mount ext3 VMDK in VMWare Fusion using VMDKMounter

VMWare Fusion 3 comes with a tool called It allowed you to simply double-click NTFS or FAT32 VMDKs and they would be mounted on your desktop.

VMWare Fusion 4 dropped this tool, but you can download version 3.1.3 and extract /Library/Application Support/VMware Fusion/ from the package using Pacifist (just make sure that has the sticky bit set and is owned by root:wheel after you extract it).

Next, install OSXFUSE (the successor to MacFUSE) and fuse-ext2 if you don’t already have them installed.

VMDKMounter attempts to mount EXT2 using /System/Library/Filesystems/ext2.fs/Contents/Resources/mount_ext2, so we need to create two symlinks:

cd /System/Library/Filesystems
sudo ln -s fuse-ext2.fs ext2.fs
cd ext2.fs/Contents/Resources
sudo ln -s ../../mount_fuse-ext2 mount_ext2

Now we’re all set, you can simply open a VMDK by double-clicking it, or you can right-click a VMWare VM and open it with and automatically have all its VMDKs mounted.

If you are receiving an NTFS-3G error message when mounting a non-NTFS VMDK: that’s perfectly normal, so you can just click OK. The error message is due to VMDKMounter simply trying a bunch of file system mounters until it finds one that doesn’t fail. As far as I can tell, it tries (in that order) ntfs, msdos, ntfs-3g, hfs, ext2, ext3.

6 thoughts on “Mount ext3 VMDK in VMWare Fusion using VMDKMounter

  1. frage

    i get this error msg:

    MacFUSE ist nicht installiert. -> in english: MacFUSE is not installed.

    please help me…

  2. Michael Kuron Post author

    When/where are you getting this error message? Make sure that you selected the MacFUSE compatibility layer when you installed osxfuse.

  3. frage

    i get this error message when i try to open the vmdk by dopple-clicking.

  4. Michael Kuron Post author

    Make sure you have the latest version of osxfuse installed (and check the MacFUSE compatibility layer option while installing). If it still doesn’t work, uninstall osxfuse and try the last version of MacFUSE (which I believe only runs on 32-bit Snow Leopard).

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