Contributing author

This is one of a series of posts contributed to by guest authors. Click here to learn more about Joel.

Out of the box, Mac OS Mojave ships with a 12 year old version of Rsync. The reason for this is that Apple doesn’t include anything released under GPLv3 or similar licenses.

Luckily, it’s relatively quick and simple to update Rsync using Homebrew.

Homebrew is a package manager not dissimilar to Yum on Redhat or Apt on Debian. You can follow the instructions in the above link, or just copy and paste the commands documented as follows.

Open the terminal and paste the command:

/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"

Homebrew will link most software to /usr/local/bin. However, the terminal may be looking in other folders first, so lets make sure that /usr/local/bin is the first line in our path list.

sudo nano /private/etc/paths

Now you are ready to install the new Rsync version, and can do so as follows:

brew install rsync

Once completed, you should sign out and back in to MacOS.

When entering the command below, you will see now that you are using rsync 3.1.3 (at time of writing), instead of rsync 2.6.9. You are no longer running a 12 year old version of Rsync!

rsync --version
rsync  version 3.1.3  protocol version 31

As simple as that.


  1. Adam says:

    Do you have any post at all regarding the use of rsync versus scp? what are the common uses and info on how you use rsync?

  2. No I’m afraid not, but I’ll use rsync over scp if I can, it’s far more powerful IMO.

Something to say?