By Jack Szwergold • September 13, 2015

This tutorial explains how you can install rsync directly from source code on macOS. Tested on macOS 10.9.5. Note that macOS 10.9.5 already has a version of rsync installed, but it’s a bit out of date; macOS rsync version is “2.6.9 protocol version 29.” This tutorial is intended to allow one to install a newer version of rsync but only be able to call it explicitly if/when it’s needed.

First grab a compressed archive from an official rsync source site:

curl -O -L

Next, decompress the archive like this:

tar -xf rsync-3.*.tar.gz

Now go into the decompressed directory:

cd rsync-3.*

Run this configure command:


Once the configure process completes, run make:


Finally install it by running sudo make install:

sudo make install   

And once it’s installed, run the command with --version to do a simple check to see it’s working:

/usr/local/bin/rsync --version

Note how I’m invoking the rsync command with the full binary path of /usr/local/bin/rsync instead of just rsync. This is because macOS already has a built-in—but out of date—version of rsync.

On macOS 10.9.5 the version info is “2.6.9 protocol version 29.” While it’s nice to have a newer version of rsync on the system I prefer not to use it unless I explicitly call it; let the older macOS version have priority when rsync is being invoked just as rsync.