Ubuntu Linux unable to mount non-journaled hfsplus drive for write

I have a drive from a Macbook that I made into a USB drive to share files between Linux and Macs. To do this I of course disabled journaling on the drive before removing it from the Macbook, and all was well. Both Linux (a Debian desktop machine) and various Mac machines could both read and write to the drive. However, I got a new notebook, which I installed Ubuntu on, and found it could only mount this non-journaled hfsplus USB drive as read only, though “mount” shows it mounted rw, for read and write. I tried many things and read many blogs and forum posts and decided to try the tools that come with in the “hfsprogs” package, and specifically “fsck.hfsplus” as someone speculated that the drive might have been become corrupt during an unmount.  The command I ran was:

sudo fsck.hfsplus /dev/sdb2

This check did indeed find some errors and report it had correct them and afterwards I could once again write to the drive.

I hope this helps the next person searching for this issue. I tried to get all the terms I was searching for, unsuccessfully, into title of this post to help folks locate it. Searching for this issue seems to turn up 99.9% responses about “You have to turn off journaling before mounting with Linux” which I knew already and was not part of the problem at all.


About Jayson
Father, mountain biker, Software development manager at a wire service, and also work with the IPTC (iptc.org)

7 Responses to Ubuntu Linux unable to mount non-journaled hfsplus drive for write

  1. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for this post!

  2. Pingback: How to mount a HFS partition in Ubuntu as Read/Write? | howard home

  3. Pingback: Montar HFS+ para R/W en Ubuntu « Las Crónicas de LaNtRaX

  4. Pingback: How To Mount A HFS Partition In Ubuntu As Read/Write? | Click & Find Answer !

  5. Thanks for this Jayson, saved me a ton of time..

  6. Also just to add to your article, I had an interesting problem. My mac drive had one journaled partition, on linux it comes out as 2 partitions, namely sdb1 and sdb2. The data lives on sdb2 however when running fsck.hfsplus I had to indicate sdb1, seems the journal info lives on a different device. After that, all mounted up perfectly as rw.

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