MacOSX::File and psync

MacOSX::File is a perl module that allows you to get and set HFS+ file attributes. And psync is a perl script that uses MacOSX::File to implement inclemental backup and restore.

To find about MacOSX::File in details, check


/usr/bin/rsync that comes with Mac OS X v10.4 (Tiger) now supports resource fork operation with -E option. You should consider this an alternative to psync.

Installing MacOSX::File

There are two methods to install this module. CPAN is easier and more recommended.

Via CPAN module

  1. Install Developer Kit if you have not. This is needed to compile the perl module below. If you are on Panther, see below
  2. invoke CPAN shell via
    sudo perl -MCPAN -e shell
  3. If this is your first time using CPAN module, It will ask you several questions, mainly about network. Answer them.
  4. type
    install MacOSX::File
    And CPAN module will download, compile, test and install the module all for you.

Manual Installation

If you have a problem using CPAN, you can still install it as follows.

tar zxvf MacOSX-File-x.xx.tar.gz
cd MacOSX-File-x.xx
perl Makefile.PL
make test
sudo make install

Building on Panther

If you are tring to build MacOSX::File on panther AND your perl is pre-installed version (/usr/bin/perl), Make sure you install "Cross-development" when you install Xcode.

Xcode Install

This restriction does not apply when your perl is newer (usually installed as /usr/local/bin/perl)

Binary Package for Jaguar

available here as

Just double-click the .pkg file in the disk image and follow the instruction.

CAVEAT: This package does not work with Panther (Mac OS X 10.3)

PsyncX -- GUI frontend

PsyncX a GUI frontend to psync by David Baker. If you hate terminal but still need what psync (and MacOSX::File) has to offer, go get one!.