I have some ancient files that I need to share between Macs. There are over 100,000 of them. I need to keep the directory containing these files in sync. I thought Git would be a good solution, and it was, until I discovered that Git has stripped the resource fork off of every file on the remote machine(s).

So now I'm looking for another solution. Considering rsync but thought I'd ask here to see if anyone has experience with old Mac OS Classic files in a modern Mac OS X environment.

3 Answers 3


Just in case anyone stumbles upon this in the future: "rysnc -E" as of Version 3.1.0 means "preserve executability". The flag to preserve resource fork / extended attributes is now "-X"

On MacOS / OS X the command line tool "ditto" does copy the resource fork (unless told not to ..).

(I am aware that this is not an "answer" to the asked question. This is meant to be a comment to the answers given for anyone finding this page wondering about rsync -E)


You want to use rsync -E.

$ rsync --help
-E, --extended-attributes   copy extended attributes

On OS X, 'cp' works with resource forks, and rsync is reported to as well. If you run Netatalk on your target server, it will work quite well if you use either of these, since Netatalk preserves the resource fork in local metadata (moving between different installations of Netatalk, though, can be QUITE a headache if they have different resource fork metadata schemes and you don't realize until too late).

Meanwhile, I want to find out how to MAKE git work with resource forks, as I have some classic software to maintain and need to keep the resource forks in the repository. I'm exploring some avenues with metastore, but you're probably looking for a solution more like the ones mentioned above if you're just trying to share files (e.g. a vintage software repository, like I have at home).

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