I am hoping to preserve the created time in my files at migration, and came across the patch files that will do the magic. I configured the paths on my Ubuntu machine. However it doesn’t recognise the -N when I tried rsync -aN <file> <output path>. Would be great if anyone points out what’s missing here.

I performed these steps in /usr/share/. to install the patches. I already had rsync installed on my ubuntu machine before.

sudo curl -O https://download.samba.org/pub/rsync/src/rsync-3.1.3.tar.gz
sudo curl -O https://download.samba.org/pub/rsync/src/rsync-patches-3.1.3.tar.gz
sudo tar -xvf rsync-3.1.3.tar.gz 
sudo tar -xvf rsync-patches-3.1.3.tar.gz

cd rsync-3.1.3

patch -p1 < patches/fileflags.diff
patch -p1 < patches/crtimes.diff
patch -p1 < patches/hfs-compression.diff


It looked like the configuration was successful despite seeing the rm: conftest.c: resource busy messages.

checking whether -c -o works... rm: conftest.c: Resource busy
rm: conftest.c: Resource busy
checking for stunnel... stunnel
checking for stunnel4... stunnel
checking for _acl... rm: conftest.c: Resource busy
checking for __acl... rm: conftest.c: Resource busy
checking for _facl... rm: conftest.c: Resource busy
checking for __facl... rm: conftest.c: Resource busy
checking whether to support ACLs... Using OS X ACLs
checking whether to support extended attributes... Using OS X xattrs
configure.sh: creating ./config.status
config.status: creating Makefile
config.status: creating lib/dummy
config.status: creating zlib/dummy
config.status: creating popt/dummy
config.status: creating shconfig
config.status: creating config.h

    rsync 3.1.3 configuration successful

    Note that yodl2man was not found, so pre-existing manpage files will be
    used w/o change (if available) -- no .yo file changes will be used.

rm: conftest.c: Resource busy

I’ve also tried the following but didn't manage to apply the patch settings.

sudo systemctl start rsync
sudo systemctl enable rsync
  • The resource busy is really unusual. Are you building on an NTFS filesystem? – roaima Jul 17 '20 at 21:01
  • Where's your make install, and to what destination has it installed? – roaima Jul 17 '20 at 21:02
  • they are both installed to /usr/bin/ and the install files are kept in /usr/bin/share/. And yes, I'm building on an NTFS filesystem. I've also used exactly the same steps to install patches on my macbook. The installation was fine, I can run the -N command and haven't come across the resource busy issue. – byc Jul 19 '20 at 16:16
  • You probably need to run make install to install the binaries into /usr/bin. Or add the source tree bin to your $PATH – roaima Jul 19 '20 at 16:18
  • hm I ran make install after make but it still didn't recognise the -N – byc Jul 20 '20 at 8:46

One thing to note is IF your file system stores the created on stamp.

Run this to see if your files even have a birthdate stamp. My Ubuntu 18.04 is not setup with birthdate file stamps. (wrong filesystem format to support born on date)

Run this if you get a date it is doable. If you get a - then there is no born on date and rsync will not transfer it as it is not there.

stat -c '%w' fileName. 


I get no stamp on this machine as noted by the - on last line.

$ stat -c '%w' foo/foo1.txt
  • you are right. I don't have birthdate stamps on my machine. How did you get round with this problem on your Ubuntu? – byc Jul 19 '20 at 16:24
  • You don't get around this w/o changing filesystems. If your filesystem doesn't support creation Date I don't think there is a work around. You could add a new volume and format with a FS that supports the creationDate and copy the files to that volume. Then the creation dates for those files would be the day you copied them over. I am pretty sure EXT4 and ZFS support create date. There are others too. After the initial copy the new files will have the new creation dates. – Mark Stewart Jul 20 '20 at 15:59
  • I'm using NTFS and it supports create date too. Though like you said the create date will be the day when I copied the files not the original ones. There may be a way to retrieve the dates...askubuntu.com/questions/918300/… – byc Jul 20 '20 at 18:43

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