rsync on osx hack

Victor Shoup shoup at
Wed Mar 28 21:04:44 GMT 2007

There have been many problems reported with rsync on OSX: the unpatched
version does not preserve extended attributes, and Apple's patched  
version is
buggy, and also does not allow one to backup from OSX to a non-OSX Unix.

I have been interested in a fast and reliable way to backup my files  
from OSX
to a non-OSX file server.   There are some patched versions of rsync  
on the web
that claim to do this, but I have no idea how reliable they are.

Right now, what I do is keep my files that I wish to back up on OSX  
on a UFS
partition, which exposes xattr's at ._AppleDouble files.   This makes  
it trivial
to backup using rsync.  However, UFS  is apparently being deprecated  
in the near
future on OSX, so more as an experiment, I developed a few lines of C  
that do what I want, using an HFS+ formatted partition.
The idea and the code are fairly simple, so it should bee very simple  
to debug and maintain.

If you are interested in the details, see

and if you want to download the source, go to

As I said, right now, it is an experiment.
It needs more testing.
Any feedback is appreciated.

   -- Victor Shoup

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