Apple Shuts Down Open Source ZFS Project

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by Small White Car, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    So, goodbye ZFS support:

    I say, oh well. It sounds great, but if Apple's working on their own file system for the future I'm willing to bet it will be just as good, if not better. It might take longer, but hopefully it will be worth it.
  2. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001
    Apple Shuts Down Open Source ZFS Project


    A notice posted today on Apple's ZFS open source project page indicates that the project has been terminated.
    ZFS is an advanced file system developed by Sun that had been ported to Mac OS X and released as an open source project on Apple's Mac OS Forge collaboration site in 2007. ZFS had been rumored to become the default file system for Mac OS X Leopard, but ultimately appeared with only limited read-only capabilities.

    Apple's continued interest in ZFS was indicated by inclusion of the technology in its early product description pages for Snow Leopard Server, although the information was subsequently removed from Apple's site and support for ZFS was not included in either Snow Leopard or Snow Leopard Server upon release.

    Several sources later indicated that the lack of ZFS support in Snow Leopard was due to licensing issues with Sun, leaving the future of ZFS uncertain, although Sun's pending acquisition by Oracle left open the possibility that the issue could be revisited in the future.

    The apparently complete cessation of Apple's support for the ZFS open source project, however, suggests that the company may have given up hope of achieving satisfactory licensing terms for the technology and redirected its resources elsewhere.

    Apple yesterday also posted a new job listing for a file system engineer. While the description includes duties related to "maintenance of existing file systems", it also specifies work in the "design, implementation and support of future file system technologies", suggesting that the company may be expanding its in-house team to develop its own file system technologies rather than pursuing ZFS.

    Article Link: Apple Shuts Down Open Source ZFS Project
  3. Small White Car thread starter macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    At first this sounds bad, but then it seems like Apple is working on their own next-generation file system.

    One would presume, this being Apple, that they're going to make sure it has all the advantages of ZFS plus a few more goodies. This might take longer but I'm betting it will be worth it.

    Could be the biggest feature of 10.7. :)
  4. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3


    Apr 6, 2007
    Portland, OR
  5. nuckinfutz macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2002
    Middle Earth
    I'd rather have Apple custom developer their own Filesystem.

    ZFS is nice but many of the features it offers are for Enterprise. Apple need only support the really good features and keep their FS light and for speed and functional for their area of computer (consumer, small biz)
  6. Mattie Num Nums macrumors 68030

    Mattie Num Nums

    Mar 5, 2009
    This is interesting. This at first seems like a major step back. Though if Apple develops anything close to ZFS we could see another lawsuit.
  7. vertgo macrumors member

    Dec 18, 2006
    ZFS was my most anticipated feature of Snow Leopard

    I've been dreaming of ZFS for some time, and compared to all of the other features originally promised with Snow Leopard, ZFS was the most interesting from what it could promise to an user.

    I hope that this isn't really the end, as I do think HFS+ should be end of life, and putting more lipstick on it is a clunky solution. Apple has had a way of dragging legacy people kicking and screaming into the future, but letting people languish under HFS while ZFS is out there? It's like Microsoft.
  8. seashellz macrumors 6502

    Nov 18, 2004
    i remember that MS had to junk ZFS being included VISTA;
    Anyone know if they have it yet-and does it make any real difference in making it a reliable stable system?

    also if this is open source-why would SUN be of any concern ?
  9. zombitronic macrumors 65816


    Feb 9, 2007
    This is sad, but if Apple can create something even better, please do!

    I really hope so. AFS? MFS? XFS?
  10. Krevnik macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2003
    Uhm... I'm not aware of any plans MSFT had of ZFS ever being included with Windows by default. You might be mistaking it for the WinFS project which still would have used NTFS on the bottom while providing a more user-centric view of their data.

    And no, Windows is still using good ol' NTFS.
  11. AidenShaw macrumors P6


    Feb 8, 2003
    The Peninsula
    Well, you can look forward to Microsoft's 128-bit filesystem.... ;)
  12. exscape macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2008
    Nooooooo :(
    Well, there goes a major part of my plan to have my MBP backed up using zfs send/recv on my to-be FreeBSD server (currently just a testing box). :(
  13. Morky macrumors regular

    Jul 8, 2002
    No, MS builds or buys its own technologies. They would never license something like ZFS. However, you're right in that MS axed their hotly-anticipated WinFS file system from Vista, which is may be a similar scenario to what we are now seeing with Apple and ZFS. We don't really know whether the Apple/ZFS issue is technical or with licensing.
  14. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
  15. macduke macrumors 604


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    Haha, you guys are funny. If they just now trashed ZFS and had no backup plan and are starting fresh with these new job postings, then there is no way that 10.7 will have this new FS.

    However, I tend to believe that Apple was working on something else in at the same time as a failsafe. It would be pretty dumb to put all your eggs in one basket if you're not even sure you'll get the licensing you need. That said, I give Apple a below even chance of about 40% for including this in 10.7. And yes, I'm mainly talking out my ass but doesn't it make sense??
  16. idea_hamster macrumors 65816


    Jul 11, 2003
    NYC, or thereabouts
    It's kind of sad, but...

    I would be very surprised if this didn't have to do with the purchase of Sun by Oracle.

    Sun needed licensing revenue since their entire business model was built around developing technology (well, not entire, but alot).

    Oracle's business model is about selling ERP solutions to companies' CEOs -- nothing to do with licensing tech. Once Oracle held the keys to ZFS, I think that the deal was a gonner.

    Sun's incentive for cash flow was such that they might have struck a deal that was lucrative enough for Apple's tastes (since Apple has been returning big $$$ to investors). Oracle just isn't hungry enough to sell ZFS at a price that Apple's willing to pay.

    The (almost) saving grace is that the current state of affairs isn't terrible and Apple (probably) won't inflict some POS filesystem on us. If that's good news, then so be it -- it's better news than the next extension of the iPhone/AT&T tie-up that I'm confident is coming down the pike.
  17. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    It took Sun a decade to make ZFS work well. Can Apple, starting over do it any faster then Sun? Sun put a great deal of resources into the project not just one engineer. ZFS is one of the reasons you'd run Solaris. But on the other hand does Apple need something so complex. We don't see Mac OS X used in big data centers so I don't see why Aple needs the full up ZFS, something MUCH simler might serve Apple's needs better.

    I seriously doubt Apple can make something has "all the advantages of ZFS plus a few more goodies." in only a couple years. They have been trying to port ZFS for a couple years already and still were not done. Starting from scratch is a 10X harder problem.

    I've followed the development of several new file systems. Two years is "way not enough" time. Many of the projects fail. You can't even be sure you will finish. I think Microsoft worked for many years on some kind of DBMS based file system to replace NTFS and it seems they just gave up
  18. Zygon Gambit macrumors regular

    May 21, 2006
    Oh well; the hope was nice there. It's a big job to develop their own thing by 10.7.
  19. CFreymarc Suspended

    Sep 4, 2009
    No suprise

    After a long disk crawl on Snow Leopard and not seeing this anywhere on the install got me to wonder what would become of this. This announcement with the launch of all the big new hardware not happening doesn't surprise me at all. Yes, there is something else brewing for sure up Cupertino way.
  20. backdraft macrumors 6502

    Nov 4, 2002
    Well maybe they should just port Aqua and Cocoa to FreeBSD. Release 8 will have ZFS production ready and the FreeBSD team is already at work porting Grand Central Dispatch. On top of that FreeBSD has Jails built right in! :D

    GCD + FreeBSD

    ZFS + FreeBSD

    Jails vs VMware

  21. Small White Car thread starter macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    OS X was secretly running on intel chips YEARS before they decided to switch over. They were working on it in the background, 'just in case.'

    What makes you think they're just starting on their next file system now? Just because they were playing around with ZFS? Apple has never been a company to put all their eggs in one basket.

    EDIT: And by the way, any of you who wanted ZFS for its more consumer-friendly features, you really should look at buying a Drobo drive:

    It has a lot of cool features that will probably keep you happy for the time being.
  22. tofagerl macrumors 6502a


    May 16, 2006
    How far had they gotten on the ZFS dev previews? AFAIK the reading part was pretty much done, and the writing part wasn't half bad either.
    So, if you get one of those, you could still use it...

    Well, far more interesting: which features will be used in HFS(2) or whatever they decide to call it? Or will they use BTRFS? Historically I can't recall any cooperation between Apple and the big O (NOT OPERA), but who knows what the future brings.
  23. nuckinfutz macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2002
    Middle Earth
    Apple hired Dominic Giampaolo years ago folks. Dom wrote the FS for Be OS.

    Apple was mainly kicking the tires with ZFS but they in now way ever told anyone that they planned on making ZFS their default FS.

    I expect the next FS to boost Time Machine and go to lengths to clean up and preserve metadata handling.

    I wouldn't be surprised if it is delivered on 10.7.
  24. Blaat Mekker macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2008
    The main and really good features (volume management, filesystems, snapshot management) are the very useful for enterprises. If you have any things that are only useful for enterprises, please enlighten me.
  25. SurfSpirit macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2006
    At least future plans are more concrete!

    I have exactly the same opinion!

Share This Page