Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 7th Oct 2007 23:01 UTC
Mac OS X Developers have received from Apple a 'ZFS on Mac OS X Preview 1.1' package, which offers preliminary support for the ZFS file system, originally developed by Sun Microsystems for their Solaris OS. Currently, the Mac OS is based on the HFS+ file system, but leaked screenshots of earlier versions of Leopard showed options for formatting hard drives for ZFS. Reportedly, this preview allows full read and write capabilities with the latest developer build of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, Apple's upcoming version of its OS X operating system.
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John.Gustafsson
Member since:
2005-08-08

ZFS might be useful on a huge SUN server system, but I do fail to see what it could do for my laptop or desktop. I just can not see what is so "good" about it. Doesn't at all make my computer faster, safer, or give me more useful (yes, useful, it has to do something for *me* as a *user*) features.

I would much rather see Apple use the meta-data capabilities of the HFS+ filesystem more. That would create more usefulness to me. I am banking on solid state disks to take care of speed for me:)

Reply Score: 2

chekr Member since:
2005-11-05

ZFS might be useful on a huge SUN server system, but I do fail to see what it could do for my laptop or desktop.
Your lack of insight is not a justification or an argument.

I just can not see what is so "good" about it. Doesn't at all make my computer faster, safer, or give me more useful (yes, useful, it has to do something for *me* as a *user*) features.
Go and have a read; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zfs educate yourself.

I would much rather see Apple use the meta-data capabilities of the HFS+ filesystem more. That would create more usefulness to me. I am banking on solid state disks to take care of speed for me:)
Can you please expand on this, I fail to understand what it is you are trying to say.

Reply Parent Score: 14

PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

HFS is not a very modern filesystem. From what I've read, its internal data structures are not conducive to parallel create/delete/resize operations because all files are stored in a single B-Tree that was not designed with multiprocessing in mind. Then again, OS X was a really poor multiprocessing OS in general until Panther and it is still a work in progress after that.

Moving to ZFS will remove another bottleneck in the OS X kernel. HFS+ is a really old filesystem design and while replacing it, Apple is smart to pick the best new alternative in the non-GPL open-source world.

Reply Parent Score: 8

tyrione Member since:
2005-11-21

HFS+ since 10.4 has ACL built in. It's journal capabilities aren't up to snuff, but clearly ZFS will change all of this and then some.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

checksumming all your data is good enough to sell me on it. It's a bit like free ECC memory!

Reply Parent Score: 5

mbot Member since:
2007-09-18

HFS+ is not the most reliable file system. If you don't have enough free space, then you might have some problems.

http://www.macfixitforums.com/printthread.php?Board=xutilities&main...

My personal experience with OS X confirms what the tech says. I've had file corruption, but nothing that Diskwarrior couldn't fix. fsck is not enough.

ZFS is going to be great and welcome addition to OS X. I just hope read/write is not pushed aside until 10.6.

Reply Parent Score: 2

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""

ZFS might be useful on a huge SUN server system, but I do fail to see what it could do for my laptop or desktop.

"""

Don't let the 128 bitness fool you. It's full of common sense goodness that applies to us real world folks. The checksumming. Fantastic administration utilities. There is no reason that we Linux guys couldn't achieve the same level of administration ease, but given years and years... we haven't.

Back to 128 bits, though. 16+ million terabytes, the limit for a 64 bit filesystem, really *should* be enough for anyone for a long while. And anyone who can afford more hardware than that would also benefit from writing an application specific layer to handle a greater amount of storage. The 128 bit part was pure marketing.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Mark_Round Member since:
2007-07-27

Assuming you're not trolling here, this pretty much sums it up :

http://uadmin.blogspot.com/2006/05/why-zfs-for-home.html

I can thing of plenty of uses at home where snapshots, end-to-end error detection and recovery, simple administration, on the fly compression etc. would be useful.

So yes, it would make your computer faster (ZFS can offer blazing performance), safer (snapshots so you keep point in time copies of your important files, end-to-end data protection) and more useful (compression, easy administration, pooled storage).

Reply Parent Score: 7

FunkyELF Member since:
2006-07-26

Nice article.
It would be nice if Apple created a nice GUI for ZFS administration.
Would would be _real_ nice is if that GUI were called Time Machine. Is seems all time machine features are fast and cheap with ZFS.

Reply Parent Score: 1

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

ZFS might be useful on a huge SUN server system, but I do fail to see what it could do for my laptop or desktop.

Understand you point of view. Changing filesystems is never trivial. However, Apple really do need to update HFS or get a modern filesystem that is going to grow with future development.

ZFS would make things such as backups a whole lot easier and more reliable with snapshot, you've got built-in free compression and encryption and it would help Apple's new backup thingy no end.

Reply Parent Score: 4

FunkyELF Member since:
2006-07-26

you've got built-in free compression and encryption

Didn't think they had encryption working with ZFS yet.

Reply Parent Score: 1

FunkyELF Member since:
2006-07-26

I just can not see what is so "good" about it. Doesn't at all make my computer faster, safer, or give me more useful

Built in compression makes your computer faster. Even though it takes more processing, the bottleneck is the hard drive. If you have less reads it will be faster.

Reply Parent Score: 1

whartung Member since:
2005-07-06

Why you as a user should care about ZFS.

1) Checksumming -- ZFS will know about your bad drive before you, and hopefully you data, does. This alone is a good thing.

2) Snapshots. "instant" backups before you go running that large batch process on all of those files. Push a button so you can easily go back after you discover that missing parameter that corrupted the entire batch. When working with things like Video, large images or audio files, there is no such thing as a "quick backup". With Snapshots, backups are instant and you can recover your work if you (or, say, your cat -- they get in to everything) accidently destroys something.

3) Seemless space. Drives are enormous today out of the box, ZFS makes them even moreso. When your video folder fills up, no longer do you have to come up with contrived partitioning schemes to put some videos on drive A versus drive B. Just slap a new drive in to the machine, ZFS will fuse the two together and now you instantly get "more space", and it's all effectively continuous space rather than partitioned space. So, your "My Videos" folder can just grow seemlessly. Hello 1Tb video directory splattered across a that old 250G, a 400G and that new 750G drive you just got. This is all transparent to you, of course. All you do is add the drive. A quick format, no copying, no moving crap around, no links, just more drive -- just like a stick of new RAM.

I'm not going to mention ease of administration, striping, raiding, sub volumes, etc. Those are most likely transparent to the end user. A slick Apple GUI will hide all of that mundane stuff that makes ZFS Very Nice for the Drive Array folks out there, but not really related to the end user.

So, safety with checksums, instant "just in case" backups, and painless new storage are all fruits that ZFS bring to the table for the single user.

Reply Parent Score: 2