Tried transfering files from Mac OSX to Linux via external hard drive but its a bit difficult

I am new to librem 14 laptop and it’s a bit difficult, especially if trying to transfer files from Macbook Air to Librem 14 laptop but transfering files without a zip file is a bit difficult cause some files are denied access. To reformat an external hard drive on PureOS is a bit difficult. I’m just practicing the file transfer via zip files from Macbook to Librem laptop. Tried online file transfers via dropbox, wesendit, or wetransfer but they were so tricky.

You could use chown to change ownership of the files to your user on PureOS, or reformat the external drive as FAT so ownership information isn’t preserved between systems. I’m not sure if there’s a way to change ownership on all of the files graphically if you need to move a lot of them.

Have you got iCloud for the file storage? Be careful if you do, because Apple keeps “links” on the local hard drive to the actual file stored in the iCloud. I have noticed that when I bulk copied files from Mac to Linux it was the links to iCloud that were copied, not the actual file.


Should I reformat the external hard drive to FAT or ext4 on PureOS?

I used to have iCloud but not anymore cause for more storage on iCloud, it’s so expensive. I rather try reformatting a hard drive on PureOs via Librem laptop.

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a. Just follow what already adviced:

b. Use PureOS for actual (p)reformat of your external drive:
apt list exfat-utils
sudo fdisk --list
man mkfs.exfat
sudo mkfs.exfat -n transagelessgen /dev/sdx1

I’m confused, which one should i reformat the external hard drive, on mac osx or pure os?

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When you do not have any data to backup on your external hard drive you should use PureOS, and perhaps, before actual reformat, you might want to create brand new partition (or two) there as well.

EDIT: For example and at this point, you might want to learn something more from/about this external hard drive through PureOS CLI: sudo fdisk --help, etc.

File transfer using drives with non-user-friendly* systems such as Mac (and sometimes Windows too) is a pain. If you use FAT you will most probably have trouble with files >4Gb (a movie or something else which is big). The best thing to do (to my opinion) is forget about the drive and use network. Install openssh-server on PureOs and use the terminal on the Mac or an sftp application.

  • Yes this is correct for me and not a typo. Not user friendly.

Reformat it to FAT on PureOS. Note that this will destroy all data on the hard drive; you will want to back up your files to something else first.

Only if you use FAT32, FAT16, etc. exFAT can handle any size file. If OP just needs to move over some pictures and text documents, FAT32 would be fine. Either way, managing and securing an SSH server is way more advanced and less user friendly than just formatting a hard drive with something that will automatically drop ownership/permissions info.

@transagelessgen if you want to get deeper into this, read and If not, just follow @Quarnero’s instructions.

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What do you mean by OP? I’ll just give reformatting an external hard drive a try but I doubt if ssh servers will work or not. Still in the process of transfering files from MacOSX to Linux PureOS or whatever the Linux operating systems were.

What do you mean by sftp application?

OP == Original Post / Original Poster

In this case, the latter i.e. you.

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If not, I can get a new external hard drive instead of just the existing external hard drives and reformat it to EXFAT if transfering files from MacOSX to any linux operating systems.

“SFTP” is a protocol for securely transferring files over a network / the internet.

In this context, “SFTP application” means any software that implements the client end of SFTP.

Warning: What I know about MacOS comfortably fits on the back of a postage stamp.

You could try FileZilla. That is an SFTP client that works well on Linux (hence why I am familiar with it) but seems to be available for MacOS.

@jt0 is probably right that moving files via a portable disk (external disk) is easier than using SFTP - but it depends on your level of expertise and your specific existing experience.

Maybe step back for a moment and specify:

  • what amount of data you have to move? 100 MB? 1 GB? 10GB? 100GB? More?
  • what types of content?

@irvinewade, I am transfering almost any data that is at least 40 GB from my mac to any linux os via external hard drive or what have you.

One reason for asking what types of content you need to move across is that … even once you get the file moved across, there is no guarantee that Linux can do anything with the file or that it will be easy to get Linux to do something with the file. If MacOS is using some proprietary undocumented format then the file might not be usable on Linux.

From that perspective, it might make sense to move over one representative file of each type of content and see whether Linux is capable of doing anything useful with the file.

@Jt0 and you do know that Macs support exFAT !?

you do not need to do anything with ssh server. You can start it and stop it at will.
sudo systemctl disable sshd

and when needed:

sudo systemctl start sshd
sudo systemctl stop sshd

What is the difficult management needed?

Personally I never disable it. It is always running and I never had to manage anything except changing the port in the config file from 22 to something else (OK you need to know what not to select). Then I forget about it, it is always there and works.