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Context

There is a similar question here, however I feel the answer does not expand on how to "invoke the user environment profile from the launchd script"; and the alternative solution of identifying differences in the user and launchd environments shouldn't apply since I am running a launchd agent (run within user context) and not a launchd daemon (run within system context).

My setup

I have a run_rsync_back.sh file in my home directory with the following (note that this script runs sucessfully when manually run from the terminal):

date >> ~/.cron.log && rsync --stats -hai --delete /Users/username/Documents/ username@server.net:/home/username/Documents_MacbookPro/ >> ~/.backup.log 2>&1 

I have ensured the above file is executable with chmod +x And created a launchd Property List file for my agent: ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.rsyncbackup.plist

with the following:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple Computer//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">
  <dict>
    <key>Label</key>
    <string>com.rsyncbackup</string>
    <key>ProgramArguments</key>
    <array>
      <string>/Users/username/.run_rsync_backup.sh</string>
    </array>
    <key>RunAtLoad</key>
    <true/>
    <key>StartInterval</key>
    <integer>7200</integer>
  </dict>
</plist>

After starting the daemon (launchctl load ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.rsyncbackup.plist), I can confirm that nothing was transferred to the server, and the following error appears in the ~/.backup.log file:

Sat Aug 29 17:19:16 CEST 2020
rsync: [sender] opendir "/Users/username/Documents/." failed: Operation not permitted (1)
IO error encountered -- skipping file deletion

Number of files: 1 (dir: 1)
Number of created files: 0
Number of deleted files: 0
Number of regular files transferred: 0
Total file size: 0 bytes
Total transferred file size: 0 bytes
Literal data: 0 bytes
Matched data: 0 bytes
File list size: 0
File list generation time: 0.015 seconds
File list transfer time: 0.000 seconds
Total bytes sent: 67
Total bytes received: 70

sent 67 bytes  received 70 bytes  274.00 bytes/sec
total size is 0  speedup is 0.00
rsync error: some files/attrs were not transferred (see previous errors) (code 23) at main.c(1307) [sender=3.2.2]

I have also tried the above on an out-of-the-box Mac, with exactly the same result!

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