Apple Looking To Port ZFS for Mac OS X?

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
49,952
11,231
https://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogodarkd.png

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.
 

Doctor Q

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 19, 2002
38,261
4,683
Los Angeles
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.
 

Superdrive

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2003
762
26
Dallas, Tx
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.
 

jjmaximum

macrumors member
Apr 8, 2004
94
0
Gainesville, FL
So what you would end up with is one little, two little, three little endian?

Sorry...

Doctor Q said:
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.
 

longofest

Editor emeritus
Jul 10, 2003
2,849
1,398
Falls Church, VA
Doctor Q said:
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.
HFS+ can do this too, if I'm not mistaken... The Macintels are still using HFS+, right? Can't you still interchange them?

Stridder44 said:
Apple's changing their file system with 10.5?
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.
 

mackeeper

macrumors regular
Feb 3, 2006
100
0
Ummm....in English please?

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

DTphonehome

macrumors 68000
Apr 4, 2003
1,781
2,347
NYC
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.
 

Stridder44

macrumors 68040
Mar 24, 2003
3,971
138
California
longofest said:
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.


Ah. Good point. Back to writing my paper...
 

Stridder44

macrumors 68040
Mar 24, 2003
3,971
138
California
DTphonehome said:
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.



Thats a 16 billion billion better chance of a BSOD
 

DeathChill

macrumors 68000
Jul 15, 2005
1,662
90
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.
 

cait-sith

macrumors regular
Apr 6, 2004
248
1
canada
mackeeper said:
Who cares about this stuff. The average consumer sure doesn't. Just show us the merchandise!
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.
 

Omni Geno

macrumors regular
Apr 8, 2005
118
1
Los Angeles, CA, USA
mackeeper said:
Ummm....in English please?

Who cares about this stuff. The average consumer sure doesn't. Just show us the merchandise!
Some Mac users are also computer scientists or other such kinds of people. Many of us do care about this stuff.
 

reaper

macrumors 6502
Apr 9, 2004
267
0
19th Hole
So...

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.

-reaper
 

0098386

Suspended
Jan 18, 2005
21,574
2,908
mackeeper said:
Ummm....in English please?

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

0098386

Suspended
Jan 18, 2005
21,574
2,908
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.
 

vaxt

macrumors newbie
Feb 21, 2006
19
0
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.
 

Doctor Q

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 19, 2002
38,261
4,683
Los Angeles
reaper said:
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.
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.
 

longofest

Editor emeritus
Jul 10, 2003
2,849
1,398
Falls Church, VA
mackeeper said:
Ummm....in English please?

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

magi.sys

macrumors member
May 12, 2003
67
0
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.
 

sluthy

macrumors regular
May 13, 2002
180
0
Bundaberg, Qld. Australia
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!]
 

Doctor Q

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 19, 2002
38,261
4,683
Los Angeles
sluthy said:
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:
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.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.