Making ExpanDrive Work On New Macs

Note: Obsolete Now

Version 2.2 of ExpanDrive now works on 64-bit OS X.

You can use the notes below to reset OS X back to 64-bit mode and reboot.

I really like the ExpanDrive product. It makes mounting an arbitrary directory on a remote machine accessible only via SSH a trivial process.

The new generation of MacBooks complete Apple’s transition to a 64-bit operating system, meaning that OS X is running in 64-bit mode rather than 32-bit mode. However, this move breaks ExpanDrive. This is because it relies on a toolkit called MacFUSE, which has no 64-bit OS support.

The compromise is to force OS X to run in 32-bit mode. This can be done by setting the following parameter via the command line, then rebooting the machine.

sudo systemsetup -setkernelbootarchitecture i386

64-bit mode can be forced by:

sudo systemsetup -setkernelbootarchitecture x86_64

The default can be restored by:

sudo systemsetup -setkernelbootarchitecture default

Remember to reboot the machine after making the change.


Tomas Carnecky has an experimental version of MacFUSE that reportedly does work on 64-bit OS X, but others caution that this removes safeguards that were purposefully in place, and thus may cause serious problems. The recommended experimental version is here.

It appears that a new maintainer needs to step to the plate and resume MacFUSE development.

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