rsync keeps writing files over

McDowell, Blake McDowellH at
Wed Jun 8 23:18:26 UTC 2016

Thanks for that info Simon.

The files system is Journaled HFS+ and I¹m running rsync  version 3.1.2
protocol version 31.

I run rsync exclusively through the CLI/Terminal, so I¹m not sure what the
version that comes with OSX is, but it is not the GUI version.

On 6/3/16, 5:17 AM, "rsync on behalf of Simon Hobson"
<rsync-bounces at on behalf of linux at> wrote:

>"McDowell, Blake" <McDowellH at> wrote:
>> The storage is just an regular HDD in a mac pro tower.
>Ah, is this the version of rsync that comes with OS X ? Are these HFS+
>filesystems ?
>I vaguely recall that the OS X version is "hacked" to handle the file
>semantics of HFS+ filesystems. Hopefully someone else actually knows the
>details, I could be a bit wrong here, but IIRC it's something like :
>On a "*nix" filsystem, a file is a file - a chunk of data and some
>filesystem metadata. On HFS+, a file is comprised of up to 3 parts - the
>data fork, the resource fork (I don't believe this is widely used these
>days), and a chunk more metadata. "Regular" rsync only copies the data
>fork and that part of the metadata that maps to *nix filesystem
>semantics, the OS X version of rsync copies the whole file by way of
>quite a kludge - can't remember if it needs an extra cmd line switch to
>do this.
>The kludge is to treat the data fork as one file, and the resource fork
>plus metadata as another file. I vaguely recall that this means it does
>something like :
>1) copy/sync data fork as one file
>2) copy/sync resource fork as another file - put the bits together at the
>From memory (it's a while since I last used rsync for doing backups), in
>step 1 the files don't match because the destination file was modified
>during step 2 of the last copy - thus the file gets synced again. Again
>from memory, I think I used to see that every file with a resource fork
>would be copied in it's entirety every time.
>This could be a complete red herring of course, but it's something I've
>come across in the past/
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