Introducing Apple File System (APFS)

robE89

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 9, 2011
166
58
"The Apple File System (APFS) is the next-generation file system designed to scale from an Apple Watch to a Mac Pro. APFS is optimized for Flash/SSD storage, and engineered with encryption as a primary feature. Learn about APFS benefits versus HFS+ and how to make sure your file system code is compatible."

Source

Finally a new(modern) filesystem!
 

Brad9893

macrumors 6502
Feb 8, 2010
493
1,444
Hiding Under the Genius Bar
Yes, but it's not coming to OS X until 2017, so users won't benefit until 10.13 probably. For now Apple will be limiting it to developers and there are restrictions. I think it said that it could not currently be used for a startup volume or for Time Machine backups, for instance.
 
  • Like
Reactions: KingOfStuff

donlab

macrumors 6502
Jun 3, 2004
293
84
USA
Just wanting to get a thread started on APFS which in my opinion is the most important announcement today.

APFS New features:

Flash / SSD Optimisation
Space Sharing
Cloning of Files and Directories
Snapshots
Fast Directory Sizing
Atomic Safe-Save


Apple's documentation
https://developer.apple.com/library...roduction.html#//apple_ref/doc/uid/TP40016999

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Apple-File-System-APFS
"APFS is scheduled to ship as a tech preview feature in macOS Sierra later this year while its official debut doesn't look like it will happen until at least 2017."
 
  • Like
Reactions: grahamperrin

pmau

macrumors 68000
Nov 9, 2010
1,555
831
None of that is new. Apple already tried to port ZFS once. Now after years they finally have something.
Most volume management software and modern filesystems already have these features.
 

Jyby

macrumors 6502a
May 31, 2011
543
413
I hate Apple creating its own standards/technologies that relate to computing these days... I honestly believe Metal is the nail in the coffin for AAA gaming on the Mac.
 

/V\acpower

macrumors 6502a
Jul 31, 2007
552
381
I hate Apple creating its own standards/technologies that relate to computing these days... I honestly believe Metal is the nail in the coffin for AAA gaming on the Mac.
How is Metal relevant ? It's not like app need to be adapted to the new filesystem. (apart from the "case sensitivity").
 

jameslmoser

macrumors 6502a
Sep 18, 2011
553
330
Las Vegas, NV
Yes, but it's not coming to OS X until 2017, so users won't benefit until 10.13 probably. For now Apple will be limiting it to developers and there are restrictions. I think it said that it could not currently be used for a startup volume or for Time Machine backups, for instance.
Its good to know that its actually coming though... and I'm glad they are actually doing it this way instead of all of a sudden dumping it on us without it being available to developers for an extended period of time. My guess is that all the OS level changes to take advantage of it (Time machine, versions, etc) won't be ready until the next version of macOS anyways.
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,461
4,965
Yep, all we get now is an early beta for testing. I assume it will become a startup volume FS for 10.13
 
  • Like
Reactions: grahamperrin

bladerunner2000

Suspended
Jun 12, 2015
2,511
10,460
We need an open source filesystem. exFat is unreliable (constantly screws up). 4gb files are becoming common and sharing them is becoming a pain in the ass.

Perhaps Apple should make HFS an open filesystem once thew new one is released?
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,461
4,965
There are plenty of open-source filesystems, but the problem is that neither OS X nor Windows supports them. Limitations of exFat are known, that FS is not suitable for any serious purpose.
 
  • Like
Reactions: grahamperrin

hiddenmarkov

macrumors 6502a
Mar 12, 2014
685
364
Japan
None of that is new. Apple already tried to port ZFS once. Now after years they finally have something.
Most volume management software and modern filesystems already have these features.


read somewhere this is still case sensitive as well still. Tin foil hat says they are "borrowing" tech from BSD/Linux side since I think without taking a poll case insensitive would be most common install and how'd they'd do it from ground up more likely based on that.

Still a good sign though. they seem to at least be caring about raising the bsd side of the house of the OS to current levels of bsd/linux. Would seem to indicate they realize new graphical doodads to the gui side of the OS....not the big draw it used to be.
 

KALLT

macrumors 603
Sep 23, 2008
5,068
3,084
We need an open source filesystem. exFat is unreliable (constantly screws up). 4gb files are becoming common and sharing them is becoming a pain in the ass.

Perhaps Apple should make HFS an open filesystem once thew new one is released?
Seemingly, Apple plans the make the file system open source at some point, but the wording is ambiguous (could mean that it will just be documented for interoperability):
An open source implementation is not available at this time. Apple plans to document and publish the APFS volume format when Apple File System is released in 2017.
 
  • Like
Reactions: grahamperrin

Mac 128

macrumors 603
Apr 16, 2015
5,360
2,927
This news probably scares me more than anything. I'm still not over MFS to HFS. ;-)

Glad to see it coming, but yikes. I'm afraid they will push it out faster than it's ready. A file system is the last place I want bugs. There is something to be said for stability in some areas.
 

KALLT

macrumors 603
Sep 23, 2008
5,068
3,084
This news probably scares me more than anything. I'm still not over MFS to HFS. ;-)

Glad to see it coming, but yikes. I'm afraid they will push it out faster than it's ready. A file system is the last place I want bugs. There is something to be said for stability in some areas.
That is probably why they did not mention it at the keynote. It probably isn’t nearly ready for deployment and does not even warrant a beta tag.
 
  • Like
Reactions: NetCatman

MikhailT

macrumors 601
Nov 12, 2007
4,394
973
I hate Apple creating its own standards/technologies that relate to computing these days... I honestly believe Metal is the nail in the coffin for AAA gaming on the Mac.
So, you must hate every tech company then since Apple isn't the only one doing this. This is how technology/standards progress, based on prior works. Vulkan is inspired by the work of AMD's standard, Mantel. DirectX is Microsoft's specific closed-source standard and DX 12 came out to be great because of AMD's work on Mantle and so on.

So, you hate Apple's projects, Webkit, Swift, LLVM, CUPS and etc as well? These are standards that did get open sourced and worked out well.

The wording in their docs suggests that APFS might actually be an open source standard.

No, Metal isn't the nail in the coffin. Metal isn't the problem, Apple is. Apple's refusal to adopt modern fast GPUs for their hardware over the past several years is the reason AAA gaming is never going to happen. Apple's continuous demand of light weight and thin designs is what killed AAA gaming.

By the way: some of the graphics engineers said that Metal is actually more friendly to develop with compared to Vulkan but Vulkan is more powerful. Apple has added more features to Metal such as tessellation and so on in Sierra and iOS 10 that should help a bit.

If Apple could just take the stick out of its butts and add TB3 support across all Macs and allow eGPUs, we might actually see AAA gaming return by using dedicated standard GPUs with normal drivers from AMD/nVidia without any interference from Apple.
 
Last edited:

grahamperrin

macrumors 601
Jun 8, 2007
4,942
642
Introducing Apple File System - WWDC 2016 - Videos - Apple Developer

– video available soon.

Boot environments


… I assume it will become a startup volume FS for 10.13
+1
and it may make sense for Apple to follow the boot environment (BE) approach that's exemplified in ZFS-oriented systems such as PC-BSD.

A recent milestone for FreeBSD, upon which PC-BSD is based: The ZFS Boot Environment Menu is now connected to the UEFI Loader. …; ZFS Boot Environment support added to the FreeBSD bootloader - FreeBSDNews.com (2016-01-27)

Technical: [PC-BSD Testing] ZFS boot environments and untouched directories/paths in PC-BSD and prerelease http://web.pcbsd.org/doc/11/html/sysadmclient.html#boot-environment-manager

Creating, Administering, and Booting From ZFS Boot Environments (Task Map) - Booting and Shutting Down Oracle Solaris on x86 Platforms

.DS_Store and ._ files

They're not a feature of HFS Plus. Please see http://apple.stackexchange.com/a/51147

HFS Plus and open source

… Perhaps Apple should make HFS an open filesystem once thew new one is released?
Technical Note TN1150: HFS Plus Volume Format was openly

… directed at developers who need to work with HFS Plus at a very low level, below the abstraction provided by the File Manager programming interface. This includes developers of disk recovery utilities and programmers implementing HFS Plus support on other platforms. …​

In the Internet Archive Wayback Machine: Data Organization on Volumes

Also:
– and so on. I doubt that Apple will make open all of its source code relating to HFS Plus. In any case there will be be relatively little incentive for file system developers to begin, or continue, investment in an approach that is essentially more than three decades old.
 
Last edited:

thingstoponder

macrumors 6502
Oct 23, 2014
354
338
I hate Apple creating its own standards/technologies that relate to computing these days... I honestly believe Metal is the nail in the coffin for AAA gaming on the Mac.
Final nail? Gaming was never going to take off on the Mac.

Games will continue to be written for DirectX. The open source dream is a fantasy.

Besides, this new file system will be open source. Not that it matters anyways for a file system...
[doublepost=1465892407][/doublepost]
So, you must hate every tech company then since Apple isn't the only one doing this. This is how technology/standards progress, based on prior works. Vulkan is inspired by the work of AMD's standard, Mantel. DirectX is Microsoft's specific closed-source standard and DX 12 came out to be great because of AMD's work on Mantle and so on.

So, you hate Apple's projects, Webkit, Swift, LLVM, CUPS and etc as well? These are standards that did get open sourced and worked out well.

The wording in their docs suggests that APFS might actually be an open source standard.

No, Metal isn't the nail in the coffin. Metal isn't the problem, Apple is. Apple's refusal to adopt modern fast GPUs for their hardware over the past several years is the reason AAA gaming is never going to happen. Apple's continuous demand of light weight and thin designs is what killed AAA gaming.

By the way: some of the graphics engineers said that Metal is actually more friendly to develop with compared to Vulkan but Vulkan is more powerful. Apple has added more features to Metal such as tessellation and so on in Sierra and iOS 10 that should help a bit.

If Apple could just take the stick out of its butts and add TB3 support across all Macs and allow eGPUs, we might actually see AAA gaming return by using dedicated standard GPUs with normal drivers from AMD/nVidia without any interference from Apple.
External GPUs will be incredibly niche. devs won't focus on Mac for a 10,000 people who have a dGPU setup. Gaming support is about market share.
 

Merode

macrumors 6502a
Nov 5, 2013
529
336
Warszawa, Poland
Games will continue to be written for DirectX. The open source dream is a fantasy.
Meanwhile id Software releases Doom (2016) using OpenGL (currently porting to Vulkan, which will come as a patch). Just like their every other game ever released (in modern times).

It's just that Apple doesn't care about gaming community. It's nothing new and nobody should be surprised.
 

RichTeer

macrumors member
Aug 13, 2014
93
188
Kelowna, BC, Canada
A new filesystem is loooong overdue, bit of a shame Apple chose to reinvent the wheel rather than adopt ZFS. This was the perfect opportunity to switch to ZFS, and it looks like they're gonna blow it. Arrogance and NIH syndrome. Kinda sad, really...
[doublepost=1465917294][/doublepost]
None of that is new. Apple already tried to port ZFS once. Now after years they finally have something.
Most volume management software and modern filesystems already have these features.
Agreed; it's a shame that Apple didn't adopt ZFS. I don't trust my data to ANY other file system.
 

grahamperrin

macrumors 601
Jun 8, 2007
4,942
642
ZFS

… ZFS's encryption scheme …
There's no single scheme. Please see:
Apple's choice

… perfect opportunity to switch to ZFS …
There are opportunities, but they are not yet perfect.

https://twitter.com/ahl/status/742767661977763841 in praise of Apple's pragmatism, from someone with substantial knowledge of ZFS.

https://twitter.com/mahrens1/status/742735432257961985 leads to a 2014 fast file clone design proposal.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: hobowankenobi

Similar threads

  • zoran
9
Replies
9
Views
565
  • 4jasontv
1
Replies
1
Views
336
  • h4lp m3
10
Replies
10
Views
817
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.