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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ZFS has a lot to offer over HFS+
by bousozoku on Mon 8th Oct 2007 23:13 UTC
bousozoku
Member since:
2006-01-23

When HFS+ was introduced with Mac OS 8.x around 10 years ago, it was rather impressive that it supported up to 10 TB drives. Of course, the B-Trees that keep track of information were less of a big deal than they were in the mid-1980s and even less so now. HFS+ has received incremental improvements since Mac OS X with journaling and case sensitivity, although it always preserved case.

ZFS is a logical way out of what's now a rather old file system.

Improved problem recovery would be the greatest advantage as HFS+ looks more fragile every day and the Disk Utility/fsck doesn't seem to handle the worst of the errors. I wonder the effect on third party disk repair and recovery software.

Improved capacity would mean a one time shift from HFS+ to ZFS and a lack of meaningful limits to file size. Of course, applications will continue to grow files to take advantage.

What kind of machine will be needed? It's obviously a lot of data to manipulate, regardless of how clever the designers and programmers have been in making ZFS efficient. When HFS+ was introduced, the PowerPC 601 and 604 were common in Apple machines and the Pentium II and Pentium III in other desktop machines. Will a PowerPC G5 processor be the minimum or will it be a Core 2 Duo? Apple have been recently moving away from the G4 processors and rumours say that an 867 MHz G4 is required for Leopard to run at all.

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