RsyncGUI is a Sandboxed application and if you plan to use remote servers there are some first start info to read. Also read about the --delete parameter to rsync below. Connecting RsyncGUI to remote servers are normally through ssh. RsyncGUI need permission to read the home catalog and the .ssh catalog. There are more info about that in the first start info.

Some words about RsyncGUI

RsyncGUI is not developed to be an easy synchronize and backup tool. The main purpose is to ease the use of rsync and synchronize files on your Mac to remote FreeBSD and Linux servers. And of course restore files from remote servers. The UI might also be difficult to understand or complex if you don’t know what rsync is. It is not required to know rsync but it will ease the use and understanding of RsyncGUI. But it is though, possible to use RsyncGUI by just adding a source and remote backup catalog using default parameters.

RsyncGUI as your main backuptool
If your plan is to use RsyncGUI as your main tool for backup of files, please investigate and understand the limits of it. RsyncGUI is quite powerful, but it is might not the primary backup tool for the average user of macOS.

The –delete parameter

Caution about RsyncGUI and the --delete parameter. The --delete is a default parameter. The parameter instructs rsync to keep the source and destination synchronized (in sync). The parameter instructs rsync to delete all files in the destination which are not present in the source. Every time you add a new task to RsyncGUI, execute an estimation run --dry-run and inspect the result before executing a real run. If you by accident set an empty catalog as source RsyncGUI (rsync) will delete all files in the destination.

Rsync version 2.6.9

The default version of rsync in macOS is old, version 2.6.9, protocol version 29 released in nov 2006. This version of rsync does not support snapshot tasks. If you want to utilize snapshot tasks or scheduling of tasks please use RsyncOSX instead.

Where to start?

You can get up and running in just a few clicks. Open RsyncGUI and select the Add tab. Use the GUI to select any local and attached volumes. If not RsyncGUI will ask for permission to access these catalogs after entering.

In the Add tab, as an example, add the Documents catalog as source and the /Volumes/backup/Documents catalog as remote. This will setup a task to synchronize (backup) all content of the Documents to the attached backup volume in catalog Documents. Use drag and drop from Finder to add data.

Select Add button to add task.

Go back to the Execute tab, select the task and you are ready to go.

Type of tasks

There are two types of how to synchronize source and destination (backup):

(1)synchronize source and backup location, any changed and deleted files in backup location will either be overwritten or deleted

  • this is the default synchronize task in RsyncGUI, after execution source and destination (backup) is 100% in sync if there are no –exclude parameters to rsync
  • an –exclude parameter instructs rsync to disregard files, catalogs and patterns included in the parameter

(2) syncremote which synchronize a remote source to your local Mac.

  • please pay attention before using this task, if you syncremote an empty source it will delete all local files

Snapshot tasks is not possible in RsyncGUI, see the RsyncGUI Changelog.

How to execute tasks

Tasks can be aborted at any time by selecting the stop button.

  1. a double click on a task executes first a test run, the next double click executes the real run
  2. ⌘Rshortcut for immediate execute the selected task (no test run)

  1. ⌘B shortcut for automatic synchronizing

  1. ⌘T shortcut for quick synchronizing

  1. execute the selected tasks (one or more)

Verify a task

Before a real execution of a task, please execute an estimation run. An estimation run is started by selecting a task and the stat light is yellow. A double click on the task does a simulated run and displays which files to be transferred. Please pay attention to the info in the display when the simulate run is completed. A drop down display presents the result.

Ready for an estimation run. A double click on row executes the estimation run.

Estimation run completed, dropdown presents result.

Ready for real run. A double click on row actually executes the task.