Add rsync to Windows git bash

Rsync

Remote sync or most known rsync is one of the most popular tools among linux/unix community for copying and synchronizing files and folders remotely as well as in local systems. This is a trusted tool for mirroring data, backups, copy files in between many distributed systems, mainly because rsync offers features like greater transfer speeds, incremental updates, and preserved attributes.

Recently there was a specific requirement to synchronize one of the local git repositories to a special backup folder in another server in a windows environment. Even though this is a perfect job for rsync, it's not available for git bash environment in windows unlike curl, vim, ssh, git, grep orfind commands.

rsync is not available with default git bash

Adding rsync to Windows git bash is not very straight forward. Especially since, it does not come with a package manager. Hence thought of sharing my experience which might make life easier for few who travel down the same route.

Prerequisites

  1. Git for Windows v2.28.0 or higher

Download rsync

First requirement is to download a compatible rsync package. Git for Windows is based on MSYS2 and hence a compatible rsync package can be downloaded from MSYS2 package repository.

https://repo.msys2.org/msys/x86_64/rsync-3.2.3-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.zst

However this package uses ZStandard compression algorithm. This will require zstd command line utility to decode the rsync package.

zstd -d rsync-3.2.3–1-x86_64.pkg.tar.zst
Decrypt rsync package using zstd utility

Copy the rsync package to Git for Windows

Copy the rsync.exe inside the package from rsync-3.2.3–1-x86_64.pkg\usr\bin\ to C:\Program Files\Git\usr\bin\

Copying rsync.exe to C:\Program Files\Git\usr\bin

Now rsync can be accessed from Windows git bash. However there are still few dependent packages are needs to install using the same mechanism.

Missing dependencies for rsync

Download and copy the dependent packages

Following are the dependent packages required for the rsync package to work within Windows git bash.

Package: libzst

https://repo.msys2.org/msys/x86_64/libzstd-1.4.7-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz

Package: libxxhash

https://repo.msys2.org/msys/x86_64/libxxhash-0.8.0-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.zst

.. and Voilà— Now rsync can be used from Windows git bash

rsync successfully added to the Windows git bash
Sample rsync file transfer in Windows git bash

Please let me know if this post is helpful or how this can be improved further.

Merry Christmas and happy coding!

 by the author.

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Prasanna Wijesiriwardana

Prasanna Wijesiriwardana

Software Engineer | Asst. Director at Acuity Knowledge Partners | Specialized in Data & Cloud Solutions | AWS Certified | Linkedin - www.linkedin.com/in/prasas