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How to upgrade rsync in macOS

rsync is an open source utility that provides fast incremental file transfers and is freely available under the GNU General Public License. By default macOS ships with rsync 2.6.9. This version was last updated on November 6th, 2006 (!). The latest version is at the time of writing 3.2.3. We will in this guide show how you can update your version of rsync on macOS.


Installing Homebrew

The first thing that we need to do is to install Homebrew which acts as a third party installer for packages that do not normally ship with macOS. In a Terminal, type the following command and press return when prompted.

/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install.sh)"

Your output should look similar to the screen below.

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Turning Off Analytics

If you would prefer to not share any analytics with the developer, you can disable this option by executing the following command:

brew analytics off

After a short delay you will see the prompt again.

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To confirm that analytics have been turned off, type:

brew analytics

A confirmation that analytics are disabled is shown.

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Installing rsync

With the Homebrew installation out of the way, let us go ahead and install rsync. In the same terminal window, type:

brew install rsync

Homebrew will download rsync and install all required dependencies.

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To verify that you are now running the latest version of rsync, type:

rsync --version

We can see that rsync is now version 3.2.3 (in September 2020).

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Summary

We have shown how rsync, an open source utility for fast incremental file transfers, can be upgraded to the latest version on macOS with Homebrew, a third party package installer.

Further Information

For more information about rsync, visit their official website at:

https://rsync.samba.org

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