Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

It appears that not all files are copying over when using rsync to copy files from a mac to a FAT formatted external drive.

I'm copying over 45 files and the 43 file looks like it's missing and there's a cached version of the missing file. However, when I hook up the external drive to a linux machine or a windows machine all of the files are present and none are missing. I wonder if this is just an issue with OSx 10.5 and if there's another alternative to copying the files on the external drive via the command line? I know there's cp but is at good as rsync? command: rsync -ruvWP

share|improve this question
Give an example of the file/path names that are not copying. What do you mean by a "cached version"? – David Schwartz Nov 10 '11 at 20:46

If I understand your question correctly you're rsyncing to an external drive and expecting to see every file in the source directory listed in rsync's output, but some of the files aren't showing up.

rsync synchronizes data between two locations -- If the contents already match it doesn't waste time copying it again.
If it's not copied rsync doesn't output it in the list of files it sent/received.

It sounds like rsync is working as designed -- see the rsync manpage and the associated links for more info..

share|improve this answer
Hi, That's correct. Rsync is writing all files to the drive. I can see all the files when the drive is mounted on my linux machine or when it's mounted on my windows machine. However when I mount the drive on my Mac machine, it shows that a file is missing And there's also a weird file with a Tilda in the name. – SotC Nov 15 '11 at 20:39
I'm only seeing this issue on Mac 10.6 using rsync. For now I'm going to use cp or python's shutil? – SotC Nov 16 '11 at 17:15

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.