rsync 2.5.5 w/ HFS+ support for OS X

Kevin Alexander Boyd kboyd at
Sun May 19 11:09:02 EST 2002


As of this release, HFS+ filesystem support for rsync is provided only
when the client and server are HFS+ volumes.  Apple ships all of its
machines by default with its OS on top of HFS+.  Apple also recommends
only running its server products on top of HFS+ volumes.

In order to support non-HFS+ volumes, the machine that would potentially
send files across the network (from HFS+) would need to first encode the
file into '.applesingle' format.  Also, a receiving machine (to HFS+)
would need to detect incoming '.applesingle' files and decode them.

Interesting concepts, and this form of cross-platform support of rsync for
HFS+ volumes could be implemented.

Kevin Boyd
OS X Deployment Coordinator
Sys Adm UMIT Contract Services

On Mon, 13 May 2002, Joseph Annino wrote:

> Date: Mon, 13 May 2002 17:55:30 -0400
> From: Joseph Annino <jannino at>
> To: Kevin Alexander Boyd <kboyd at>, rsync at
> Subject: Re: rsync 2.5.5 w/ HFS+ support for OS X
> This is great!  Is it possible for this to work in such a way that HSF+
> information can be preserved when syncing to a non HFS+ system if a special
> command line flag is given?  Something like what hfspax allows.  That way
> incremental backups of HFS+ volumes can be easily made to other unix servers
> and moved to tape, which is something I do via hfspax currently.
> On 5/13/02 3:33 AM, "Kevin Alexander Boyd" <kboyd at> wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > I'd like to either supply binaries or add source to the rsync tree.  The
> > source is located here:
> >
> >
> >
> > It cleanly compiles for all supported platforms, and adds HFS+ filesystem
> > support for OSX.  All HFS+ specific code is noted, and 'ifdef'ed where
> > needed.
> >
> > I will set up a CVS tree here at umich for rsync eventually, should the
> > need arise.  If this tarball is not sufficient, please let me know.
> >
> > Thanks for maintaining this code, our university has found it to be
> > invaluable.
> >
> > Kevin Boyd
> > OS X Deployment Coordinator
> > Sys Adm UMIT Contract Services
> >
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