How do you mount -bind a local directory?

In linux, one of the great things you could do (for developers, in particular) was to mount a folder and locally bind it to another folder on the system.

This had the advantage over symlinks due do the fact tools like Git didn't detect it as being a different type of node, and you didn't need to remove the original contents. When you were done, you could simple unmount and you were left with the original filesystem contents.

However, mount -bind or mount.local don't seem to exist on Mac (as of OS X 10.10.2, Yosemite).

As mentioned by another user on StackOverflow, you can use an NFS mount do to this. However, it requires a little bit of one-time setup.

First, you'll need to set up an /etc/exports file (if you haven't done so already).

$sudo tee -a /etc/exports <<< "/ -alldirs -mapall=$USER localhost"


Secondly, you'll need to start the rpc and nfsd services.

$sudo launchctl start com.apple.rpcbind$ sudo nfsd start


From there, give NFSd a little bit to wake up and get breakfast, and you should be good to mount:

$sudo mount localhost:/path/to/target ./mnt  To restore the original contents, just do $ sudo umount ./mnt

• I tried to mount my exfat usb drive \$ sudo mount localhost:/Volumes/Aren/Movies /Users/me/Movies/ – Necktwi Feb 11 '17 at 17:19
• mount_nfs: can't mount /Volumes/Aren/Movies from localhost onto /Users/me/Movies: No such file or directory – Necktwi Feb 11 '17 at 17:20
• Its working good If I do it the other way! – Necktwi Feb 11 '17 at 17:21
• If you get "No such file or directory", try making a folder to mount to on the destination first. If you get a "Permission Denied" error, try "sudo nfsd restart" (for me, nfsd was already started, so it needed restarting to pickup the new exports line, I think) – Nick Oct 3 '18 at 10:09
• @JayGee I am OP. It worked for me at the time, what error does Git have? Have you cded out and then back in before using Git? Shells tend to work with file descriptors which are tied to inodes, not full string paths - so if you mount and stay in the "same" directory, the shell will still operate using the underlying directory instead of the mounted one. There's no reason Git should see anything as mounted - mounting doesn't work like that. For all intents and purposes it's the same type of filesystem. – Qix Jul 10 at 8:26

There is another option - bindfs. It requires you to install FUSE but provides an alternative to using NFS.

You may need to compile from source but I see it's available in MacPorts too.

• Homebrew: Install osxfuse, then brew install homebrew/fuse/bindfs (Tested on El Capitan; no need for sudo before bindfs for user-oriented mounts) – dhchdhd Mar 5 '16 at 1:05
• Disadvantage of fuse is that it do not support inotify events. If source updated, while App watching for updates in destination, it will not receive updates. – diimdeep Apr 25 '18 at 12:18
• Also it's a bit wonky for me when compiling things inside a bindfs volume. In particular I consistently get "too many open files" for one particular project in Xcode for no apparent reason. If I just copy the contents without mounting, it builds fine. – Grishka Dec 12 '18 at 17:02