How To Preserve Timestamps When Using Rsync in macOS Ventura

TechHow ToHow To Preserve Timestamps When Using Rsync in macOS Ventura

Apple macOS Ventura is the next generation of software that is designed to meet the rapidly changing needs of users. From features like Stage manager, and continuity camera, to desk view and center stage, the all-new Ventura is set to reinvent the way Apple users view their mac.

However, with every upgrade also comes a series of bugs and errors that technicians and developers at Apple are unable to comprehend. Similarly is the case with macOS Ventura which has been modifying timestamps while transferring files using the rsync.

In this article, we have gathered all possible hacks and solutions suggested by users on the Apple discussion forum. Read further to know how to troubleshoot the rsync issue if you too are facing the same problem.

What is the problem with rsync in macOS Ventura?

Users complain that the rsync command took them somewhat thirty seconds to run. However, after the Ventura upgrade, the command you will notice the command break and so does the workflow. Further, each of the command’s invocation transfers all the files individually. Thus, a file transfer that would normally take around thirty seconds now takes more than thirty minutes. For more information, you can also visit this apple support forum thread.

The user has mentioned an example:

rsync -ap --modify-window=1 $HOME/usbfiles//Volumes/usbstick/usbfiles

Reason: As per the user, invoking the “i” option with rsync triggers a mismatch in time during the transfer of each file from its source directory. Once they are transferred, they do not show their original timestamps and instead modifies it to the current time.

What is the solution in the macOS Ventura?

According to the user, the cause behind this are the bugs in the Ventura kernel and its way of handling dos filesystem timestamps. The system is not obliging to the time update by the rsync. However, one can correct the timestamp manually using the -r switch on the Unix command.

To do that:

Step 1: Create an arbitrary test file and shift rsync from HPFS to USB/msdos.

Step 2: Furthermore, ossicilate detection of timestamp and transfer.

Step 3: Go to user@Ventura-13.0.1 # touch testfile.txt

Additionally, user@Ventura-13.0.1 #rsync -aPi –modify- window=1 testfile.txt/Volumes/CURATE/testfile.txt sending incremental file list >f++++++++++ testfile.txt 0 100% 0.00kB/s 0:00:000 (xfr#1, to-chk=0/1).

How to solve for exfat on macOS Ventura?

Another user suggests that during the syncing of exfat disk, the timestamp did not get touched correctly. Thus, one may find a mismatch in file copying which they can transfer to the next set of files leading to modification of timestamps. The deciding factor for this mistake was the permission from the original file.

For example, in the case of permission of 644, you cannot copy mtime at all but execute the rsync. Similarly, the case permission for 700 is the same permission as of any files on exfat and msdos. If you can copy these correctly, the next set of rsyncs will be identical and will not produce any copy.

Here is what you can do in macOS Ventura

If you suspect a bug in your new macOS Ventura 13.0.0 as well as 13.0.1 where it does not maintain the correct timestamp, follow this:

Predecide the destination file for every source with the command touch -r {src} {dest} right after the rsync operation. When you do this, the rsync operation will recognize the file size and the timestamps. In addition, add another command –modify-window=1 for msdos file systems.


If the above mentioned solution did not work for you, wait till we find more ways from Apple specialists. Further, to solve more issues with in macOS, you can directly follow these steps:

  1. According to Apple support, you can shut down or restart your device.
  2. Check if your macBook is using the latest version of software and you are regularly updating it.
  3. Go to the page, then contact the chat support staff for additional help.

Let us know in the comment below if this article was helpful in solving your problem.

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