Introducing Apple File System (APFS)

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by robE89, Jun 13, 2016.

  1. robE89 macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2011
    "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."


    Finally a new(modern) filesystem!
  2. Hanterdro macrumors regular


    Nov 23, 2014
  3. Brad9893 macrumors 6502


    Feb 8, 2010
    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.
  4. donlab macrumors 6502


    Jun 3, 2004
    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
    Fast Directory Sizing
    Atomic Safe-Save

    Apple's documentation
    "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."
  5. pmau macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2010
    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.
  6. Jyby macrumors 6502

    May 31, 2011
    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.
  7. /V\acpower macrumors 6502a

    Jul 31, 2007
    How is Metal relevant ? It's not like app need to be adapted to the new filesystem. (apart from the "case sensitivity").
  8. jameslmoser macrumors 6502a


    Sep 18, 2011
    Las Vegas, NV
    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.
  9. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Yep, all we get now is an early beta for testing. I assume it will become a startup volume FS for 10.13
  10. bladerunner2000 macrumors 68020


    Jun 12, 2015
    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?
  11. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    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.
  12. hiddenmarkov macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2014

    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.
  13. CyBeRino macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2011
    This is exciting.

    It won't be. Those are created by the finder or other apps on network shares.
  14. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    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):
  15. Mac 128 macrumors 603

    Mac 128

    Apr 16, 2015
    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.
  16. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    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.
  17. MikhailT, Jun 13, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016

    MikhailT macrumors 601

    Nov 12, 2007
    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.
  18. JayKyte macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2014

  19. grahamperrin, Jun 13, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016

    grahamperrin macrumors 601


    Jun 8, 2007
    Introducing Apple File System - WWDC 2016 - Videos - Apple Developer

    – video available soon.

    Boot environments

    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 - (2016-01-27)

    Technical: [PC-BSD Testing] ZFS boot environments and untouched directories/paths in PC-BSD and prerelease

    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

    HFS Plus and open source

    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

    – 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.
  20. thingstoponder macrumors 6502


    Oct 23, 2014
    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...
    --- Post Merged, Jun 14, 2016 ---
    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.
  21. Merode macrumors 6502a


    Nov 5, 2013
    Warszawa, Poland
    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.
  22. grahamperrin macrumors 601


    Jun 8, 2007
    Good question. It's irrelevant to the file system. Equally off-topic:

  23. RichTeer macrumors member


    Aug 13, 2014
    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...
    --- Post Merged, Jun 14, 2016 ---
    Agreed; it's a shame that Apple didn't adopt ZFS. I don't trust my data to ANY other file system.
  24. lederermc macrumors 6502


    Sep 30, 2014
    Maybe the FBI/NSF has a backdoor into ZFS's encryption scheme and Apple wants to ensure this doesn't propagate into macOS.
  25. grahamperrin, Jun 14, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2016

    grahamperrin macrumors 601


    Jun 8, 2007

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

    There are opportunities, but they are not yet perfect. in praise of Apple's pragmatism, from someone with substantial knowledge of ZFS. leads to a 2014 fast file clone design proposal.

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