Apple Looking To Port ZFS for Mac OS X?

Discussion in 'MacRumors News Discussion (archive)' started by MacRumors, Apr 30, 2006.

  1. macrumors bot



    According to an OpenSolaris mailing list, the ZFS team at Sun has been contacted by Apple's Filesystem Development Manager to discuss porting ZFS to Mac OS X.

    ZFS is a relatively new open-source file system backed by Sun. As such, it is included in recent versions of Solaris for SPARC and x86 architectures. A comparison of HFS+ (what Mac OS X currently uses as its default file system) and other file systems including ZFS can be found on this wikipedia page.
  2. Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    One of ZFS's features is "adaptive endian-ness", meaning that you can use a disk with a ZFS filesystem on either a big-endian or little-endian platform and it's portable back and forth.

    With its variable-size adaptive block sizes and constant-time directory operations, it promises great performance too.
  3. macrumors 68040


    Apple's changing their file system with 10.5?
  4. macrumors 6502a


    This could only be a good thing? Perhaps a proverbial slap in the face to MS after their non change with Vista? (j/k) I understand it is much deeper than that.
  5. macrumors member

    So what you would end up with is one little, two little, three little endian?


  6. Editor emeritus


    HFS+ can do this too, if I'm not mistaken... The Macintels are still using HFS+, right? Can't you still interchange them?

    No, this is most likely the next system. If Apple has JUST contacted Sun, it wouldn't be for inclusion in an OS that is probably going to be released near the end of the year or beginning of next.
  7. macrumors regular

    #7 English please?

    Who cares about this stuff. The average consumer sure doesn't. Just show us the merchandise!
  8. macrumors 65816


    So....ZFS can store "16 billion billion times the capacity of current 64-bit systems" (acc. to wikipedia). So I would actually expect MS to integrate this into Vista, which is estimated to be 16 billion billion times the size of XP.
  9. macrumors 68040



    Ah. Good point. Back to writing my paper...
  10. macrumors 68040



    Thats a 16 billion billion better chance of a BSOD
  11. macrumors 68000

    The maximum size of a ZFS file system, file, or attribute is 16 exabytes, just like HFS+. ZFS just has so many different improvements that it's quite neat. I'm looking forward to it being ported over, as I'm downloading Solaris for x86 to play around with ZFS as we speak.
  12. macrumors regular

    Uh.. software developers, the people that make the merchandise you want to be shown?

    Just because you don't understand it doesn't mean it's unimportant.
  13. macrumors regular

    Omni Geno

    Some Mac users are also computer scientists or other such kinds of people. Many of us do care about this stuff.
  14. macrumors 6502


    What does this actually mean? More storage space, faster performance, a whole bunch of other stuff? Would anyone care to elaborate for those of us who have no clue about why something like this is important. Thanks.

  15. hob
    macrumors 68020


    Yes!! ZFS sounds way cooler than HFS!!1!1!!


    those figures are pretty mind-boggling though!
  16. macrumors 601


    What does it all mean Bazzle? :D :cool:

    I want to know, that just doesn't make any sense. :eek:
  17. macrumors Core


    I care about this stuff. I didn't know what it all meant until I read about it. But now I'm that little bit smarter and happier for learning. learndning.
  18. macrumors Core


    Wow, I had no idea Fat32 was so limiting on the metadata front. HFS+ is pretty snazzy but, you guessed it, ZFS is way up there.
  19. macrumors newbie

    Reiser 4?

    I wonder if apple is also looking into Reiser 4, it is also said to be exceptionally fast, and has a wide array of new features. I'm running Reiser 3 right now, damn fine File system.
  20. Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Very large potential storage space. Highly efficient, i.e., fast. And highly reliable against errors and data loss.

    HOW they provide those features is what we bit-counting geeks talk about, but those are advantages from a consumer's point of view.
  21. Editor emeritus


    Which is why we didn't report the REALLY gory aspects of this story, which as you can see is coming out in the forums (like I hoped). File Systems are indeed a very technical thing, so technical people will get excited about this news and see it's significance. Others of us will just wait until it actually practically impacts us.

    My take on this story is that basically, Apple is looking ahead and seeing that HFS+ will eventually run out of breathing room for the developers at apple to build on top of. ZFS has a ton of really nice features already built into it, and it is a 128-bit file system whereas HFS+ is only 32bit. ZFS has more "legs", so Apple is basically looking towards the future.
  22. macrumors regular


    Ah ZFS,
    known to "Zee Germans" as, "Zee File System."
  23. macrumors member

    This is good news for everyone. HFS+ is just an old filesystem that had feature after feature added to it. It'll be good to have a nice filesystem that was build from ground up.
  24. macrumors regular

    So will this require another rewrite of Mac software? "Okay guys, you've rewritten your programs to port from 68k to PPC, then from OS9 to Carbon and then OSX, now could you please rewrite them for another processor again (Universal)? Oh, and after that, could you rewire it for a completely different file system while you're at it?" :confused:

    [Moderator note: This question has now been answered several times in the thread. Thanks to all who replied. We don't need any more, please!]
  25. Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    I'd be quite surprised if current system calls (what software does to access a disk file) weren't provided in an upward compatible way. Disk utility programs would need to be augmented, but there should be little or no impact on almost all software if Apple does what it should. Assuming this story is correct in the first place.

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