Friday, November 1, 2013

Installing gnutar on Maverick

Unfortunately Apple decided to remove /usr/bin/gnutar from Maverick (Mac OSX 10.9). This is a pain because most of the tarring I do on my mac is to transfer the file to a GNU based linux (e.g. Debian/Ubuntu). Apple's bsd-tar is not compatible with gnu-tar.

This is my solution:

brew install gnu-tar cd /usr/bin sudo ln -s /usr/local/opt/gnu-tar/libexec/gnubin/tar gnutar


  1. Hi,
    I have the problem that Get Backup Pro doesn't work on my MacBookair with Maverick. Since I'm not a Hard Core programmer I don't understand your solution. Could you please give me some simple specific help how I can get gnutar installed on my mac?
    Thanks a lot. Rgds

  2. Hi Wolfram,

    No problem. You will need to install quite a few things. You will need to be able start a terminal and copy/paste commands to it. (For safety, you should always first paste commands to a text editor before pasting them in a terminal window.)

    Here is all the steps you need to take:

    -1- Install Apple's "Command Line Tools (OS X Mountain Lion) for Xcode - October 2013". You can download those from You will need to enter your apple id (or create one) and agree to some terms before you can download it. This package contains programs that can compile programs from source code.

    -2- Install Home Brew. Please find the instructions at the bottom of Home Brew is the package manager with which volunteers manages a huge amount of recipes. Each recipe tells Home Brew how to download, compile and install programs.

    -3- Install git. In a terminal type: brew install git

    -4- When this is completed continue with the instructions in the article above.

    Q: Why bother?
    A: You get easy access to a huge stack of easily installable tools. Many of these tools are essential for developers. For regular users much less so.

  3. Thanks for this post, it worked perfectly!