I did it!!! I'm right now writting from Ubuntu 11.10 installed in my MacBook Pro using Dual Boot!!!

THe only thing is, how can I now access my Mac folders? From Ubuntu if I try to open Music, Documents or any of those folders related to the Mac user I get the following:

[The folder contents could not be displayed. You do not have the permissions necessary to view the contents of "Music"]

I can access them if I run Nautilus from root (gksudo nautilus), but I would like to just be able to browse those folders.


3 Answers 3


just launch nautilus as root :
gksudo nautilus

this will give you access to osx files from ubuntu or from a terminal open up a root shell :

sudo -s; cd /media

enjoy - Scott Stensland

  • That was easier than I thought. Thanks.
    – Hellreaver
    Sep 4, 2019 at 21:32

One solution is to use the command line in OS X and chmod the directories to 777 (or 755 if you just want read permissions).

Open the Terminal in OS X. Type ls and you should see a list of your folders like Music, Documents, etc. Now say you want to change the permissions on Music so you can read and write to it in Ubuntu. Type:

chmod -R 777 Music

The -R is there to recursively change permissions on everything contained within Music. You would use 755 if you are fine just accessing Music, but didn't want to be able to add or delete files to the Music directory from Ubuntu.

That works for reading and accessing them. You will not be able to write to them however unless you disable journaling on the OS X partition, which you can do either from the command line or in Disk Utility (click on the OS X partition, then hold down option key while clicking "File" menu to enable "disable journaling" option). The reason for this limitation is explained in this other thread.

Actually there is a way to keep journaling on and write to that partition, but you would need to install hfsprogs, see this for further details.

If you're feeling overwhelmed, I guess I would say there's no urgent need for the journaling. It's good to have it, but it wasn't even introduced into the consumer version of OS X until 10.3. Were Mac users using 10.2 in great danger? If you experience frequent unexpected shutdowns or power losses, then I'd definitely turn it on though.

Also, you might wonder why people bother changing the UID instead of just changing permissions. This is because changing permissions allows other users on your computer to now access those folders. If you're on a personal laptop where you're the only user, this shouldn't be an issue (unless you let other people log in remotely for some reason). If you do let other (untrusted) persons use your computer and you don't want them to access the information in those folders with the changed permissions, you should consider the UID route.

  • Could you give me the line to write in terminal? I'm really not that familiar with it. I also found this instructions to change the UID and GDI of the Ubuntu user so it matches the MacOS one: jfdesignnet.com/?p=2083. If the chmod thing doesn't work, I'll try that.
    – dresde
    Feb 13, 2012 at 3:07
  • Ok, I updated my answer. I hope it is more helpful this time around. Also, if you're going to access your OS X partition a lot, then you should have it mount automatically. I'm sure there's an Ubuntu thread on that.. but you could also post another question (they discourage answering of multiple questions in one question thread). Feb 13, 2012 at 5:26
  • Thaks a lot! Actually I tried again with just changing the permissions and this time it worked, I just had to do it to the whole home folder and apply it to all the subfolders. My fault, but now I know the other way around. Seriously, much appreciated.
    – dresde
    Feb 13, 2012 at 16:31

I'm assuming it has to do with permissions. Boot into OSX and go to the folders that you want access to and allow r/w access to any user. I'm not positive this will solve it, but it might.

  • Thanks. I have tried it and that doesn't work. I have been Googling it and apparently is a problem with the user ID, since Mac is 501 and Ubuntu is 1000. Apparently there is a way to change Ubuntu's UID and GID so you can access the folders in the Mac partition, but I haven't been able to find easier instructions than these ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1502964
    – dresde
    Feb 13, 2012 at 1:00
  • cyberciti.biz/faq/howto-change-rename-user-name-id These are much better instructions
    – BretD
    Feb 13, 2012 at 1:13

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