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My MacBook's HD started failing recently. Fortunately most of the data was properly backed up and most of the other important data could be retrieved by hooking up the drive with the help of an external USB enclosure, but the problem is that my home directory has been encrypted with FileVault and I currently don't have easy access to a Mac.

So can the FileVault sparsebundle be somehow decrypted and read with Linux?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Apparently Catacombae (aka "DMGExtractor") can read encrypted sparse images if you have the password.

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Sounds promising! Maybe I'll check that one next time I have the need to hack SparseBundles open. –  Eemeli Kantola Feb 22 '11 at 22:19
    
Nice find André! I'll have to check that out. –  Josh Mar 2 '11 at 14:34
    
AFAIK DMGExtractor is a windows program -- though it might work in Linux under the wine windows emulator (the question was if a sparsebundle could be decrypted and read with Linux). –  Marnix A. van Ammers Nov 28 '13 at 20:14

Apparently DMGExtractor only reads sparseimages and NOT sparsebundles. See this for a kind explanation of the differences: http://www.ehow.com/info_12228366_difference-between-sparse-sparse-bundle.html

The read/write speed on encrypted sparseimages is even below EncFS. However the read/write speed on encrypted sparseimages is 10x - 20x times faster.

If there would be someway to read this sparsebundles outside a mac os x system.

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Sorry... there's no way. SparseBundles are Mac OS X Only. You could boot your Mac from an external USB or FireWire drive and access the files that way.

EDIT: Things have changed since I posted this answer years ago and now, apparently Catacombae's DMGExtractor can do this. Thanks to André for mentioning that, it's new to me!

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Yeah, that's what I came to think of, too. It would be nice, though, if there was a way to manually hack the SparseBundle open in a non-OSX system... –  Eemeli Kantola Nov 18 '09 at 11:04
    
I agree, it would! But at this time, there isn't. Maybe in the future! If I ever hear of anything I'll change my answer... –  Josh Nov 18 '09 at 13:54

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