Access Raspberry Pi Files in your OS X Finder

This tutorial will show you how to access your Raspberry Pi files from the Finder application on your Mac running OS X. This project assumes you are connecting to you Raspberry Pi through ssh. If you do not know how to do this, please make sure you have complete this short tutorial first.

Video Tutorial:



1. Update the Raspberry Pi (connected via ssh)

At the start of every project you should make sure you have updated your raspberry pi. I use this script, but you can also just copy and paste each command.

#!/bin/bash -e

# First do apt-get update
/usr/bin/sudo apt-get update

# Then the upgrade
/usr/bin/sudo apt-get -y upgrade

# Finally rpi-update
/usr/bin/sudo rpi-update

# Trigger a reboot
/usr/bin/sudo shutdown -r

Upgrade your setup

2. Install Netatalk on Raspberry Pi

This allows you to connect from your Mac with a simple command.

sudo apt-get install netatalk

It should take a few minutes to install and once you it has completed you should be able to move on. Raspberry-Pi-Finder-Tutorial-5

3. Get IP Address of the Raspberry Pi

The ifconfig command allows you to see what the IP address is of the Raspberry Pi on the local network. I have highlighted where you can find the ip address in the image below.



4. Run afp command (on your Mac) to connect to the Rasbperry Pi

You now should have two terminal windows open. One on connected via ssh to your Raspberry Pi, and the other just a local shell on your Mac. Run the command below. It should prompt you for a username and password. Enter the credentials you use on your raspberry pi

open afp://


  • Username: pi
  • Password: YourPiPassword (use your own password of course)


5. Test it out!

You should now see the raspberrypi in your finder and should be able to access the files on it. I created a test file on my desktop, and then dragged and dropped it in the finder area of the Raspberry Pi. You can now transfer files much easier than using an FTP client or using the SCP command.

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 1.25.00 PM


Please comment any questions below!

14 Responses

  1. Thomas says:

    Worked on first try as described, but I am stuck in the home directory and don’t seem to be able to cd to the root directory. Anybody knows how to enable that? Thanks.

    • garrett says:

      Did you ever find the answer to your question? I too am having this problem.

      • RPi Admin says:

        I believe that you can cd into the root directory once you are in the home directory, and then running the command cd ../../

        This should put you in the root directory. If not, just keep doing the command cd ../

        until you are in the highest directory possible.

        Let me know if you have any other questions!

      • James Graham says:

        edit /etc/netatalk/AppleVolumes.default

        at the bottom you’ll see ~/ “Home Directory” where ~/ is the path and whatever in quotes is your label.

        I added /mnt/media with label “Media (4tb)” which is then what appears in the finder.

  2. Joerg says:

    How do you think you can perform a cd ../ ../ in the finder? If you set it up like described, you can access the home of the pi user with mac finder, but not the directories above (root). So here is my question: how can I access root if I integrate the raspberry pi like described above?

    • Jared says:

      I am wondering the same thing. If it is possible. I have a plex server setup and an external hard drive mounted to something in the root directory. I wanted to be able to view and edit the metadata for the movie files I have there from my mac, but if I can’t access the root directory then this doesn’t really help. I have nothing on the user that I really care about that I can’t update from the command line.

  3. Wilbert says:

    Shortcut, you don’t have to get the IP address from your PI, just do:
    open afp:raspberrypi.local

  4. Jay says:

    I am getting “couldn’t get a file descriptor referring to the console.” Anyone seen this?

  5. Josh Gold says:

    Can I do this over bluetooth?

  6. Johnathan Smith says:

    If I wanted to change the user it is logged as how do I do that…

  7. Niklas says:

    Thank you for this nice tutorial!
    However, I have one question regarding the mounting of the pi. Is there a way to automatically mount the network volume on mac startup without having to open the terminal every time?

  8. Very good tutorial. Thank you.
    At the same time I’ve upgraded my Pi firmware.

  9. Garion Bracken says:

    For those trying to reach mounted external drives. Rather than trying to reach the root directory, just mount the drive in the home directory. I’m able to use it as a server for movies, but unfortunately haven’t been able to change the permission to write yet. Stuck on read.

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