Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Apple Removes Nearly All Reference To ZFS

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the you-say-technology-i-say-politics dept.

Data Storage 361

Roskolnikov writes "Apple has apparently decided that ZFS isn't really ready for prime time. We've been discussing Apple/ZFS rumors, denials, and sightings for some years now. Currently a search on Apple's site for ZFS yields only two hits, one of them probably an oversight in the ZFS-cleansing program and the other a reference to open source. Contrast this with an item from the Google cache regarding ZFS and Snow Leopard. Apple has done this kind of disappearing act in the past, but I was really hoping that this was one feature promise they would keep. I certainly hope this isn't the first foot in the grave for ZFS on OS X."

cancel ×

361 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Well fuck it, we're going to 128 bits (4, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28275991)

cross-meme joke completed.

Re:Well fuck it, we're going to 128 bits (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28276015)

I rode the goatse [goatse.fr] for over 20 seconds, can you beat that?

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28275993)

n/t

Larry effect again? (4, Interesting)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 5 years ago | (#28275995)

Could this be a Larry effect?

Re:Larry effect again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28276147)

I googled, but couldn't find an answer. What the heck is the Larry effect?

Re:Larry effect again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28276167)

Google 'Oracle CEO'

Re:Larry effect again? (5, Funny)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276227)

No, Google "2 CEOs, 1 filesystem".

mod parent up (5, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276313)

tequila really burns when it comes out your nose.

Re:Larry effect again? (4, Insightful)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276171)

Larry Ellison, the Oracle CEO. Oracle just recently purchased Sun (makers of ZFS), so the OP is postulating whether Apple pulling ZFS is a product of Cisco not working on/opening up ZFS to Apple like Sun did.

Re:Larry effect again? (2, Informative)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 5 years ago | (#28277471)

It's actually more interesting than that.

Oracle currently sponsoring development of Btrfs for Linux, which is equivalent to recently acquired ZFS. I wonder if that played any role.

P.S. Though my personal opinion is more pragmatical. ZFS doesn't seem to be extensible and obviously doesn't support all featlets of HFS/HFS+ (streams, aliases, case insensitivity) which are required for Mac OS and its applications. I guess that should have been a major bummer. Meaning that even if Apple would add ZFS support, it would very likely have different name and it would be incompatible with Sun's ZFS.

Re:Larry effect again? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28277159)

One
Raging
Asshole
Called
Larry
Ellison

Re:Larry effect again? (5, Funny)

ildon (413912) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276179)

I'm thinking Balki effect.

Death knell (2, Insightful)

siloko (1133863) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276011)

I certainly hope this isn't the first foot in the grave for ZFS on OSX.

More like the last nail in the coffin . . .

Re:Death knell (2, Insightful)

Macrat (638047) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276161)

Or it's not ready for a consumer OS yet.

Re:Death knell (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28276839)

What ZFS does have that typical Apple Consumers would like to see it on desktops and not just on servers?

Almost every ZFS oriented discussion, there just comes one point up. ZFS is not miracle what is not possible to gain already with other kind setup with RAID and other filesystem.

Re:Death knell (4, Interesting)

udippel (562132) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276625)

More like the last nail in the coffin . . .

Which is what I hope. Having tried forth and back over the last years, trying to convince myself, that it would fulfill its promises (and it promises a lot! and all beautiful things) one day or another.
It simply didn't. Which is a shame, since if it did, ZFS would be last file system mankind would have ever needed.
But even in 2009, it suffers from serious problems, just read the ZFS list in OpenSolaris. Basic things, that is.
Like boot corruption; like unusable system, if you pull the power, and pull the power again while it is restarting; Like slowness under specific conditions; like rendering the file system unbootable, reproducibly, when using a specific setup of snapshots.
The latter, not addressed on the mailing list, killed our interest immediately.
Not to forget some arrogance of the Sun engineers when it turned out that you cannot simply unplug a USB-drive. And it won't be enough, to umount it, neither. If you want the data to be there, sure, after the removal, you have to export the drive. Now tell this to Aunt Tilly. Or me, when I stumble over a USB-cable and out it is. And my data, as confirmed on the mailing list, potentially gone forever; with, confirmed, no tool available for recovery.

My last hope for it, had been that the engineers at Apple were able to give it the life-line needed to provide reliable Time-Machines (the snapshots of ZFS are just perfect therefore), but obviously, they have given up just as well.

I bet that something like ZFS will resurrect, one day or another. It simply has to. But ZFS as of today is more like Leonardo's drawings of a copter, compared to an Apache.

Re:Death knell (2, Informative)

KonoWatakushi (910213) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276999)

This is almost entirely nonsense. I have been following the zfs-discuss list for years, and almost no one has lost data. There have been a few bugs which could in rare cases render your data inaccessible, but they almost always have workarounds, and do get fixed.

The data loss and corruption that the parent is talking about is the fault of crap hardware. In almost every case, USB is involved, or more rarely the lack of ECC ram. It is true that ZFS is less tolerant of bad hardware. Note, faulty good hardware is not considered bad; that is reserved for garbage which (for instance) lies to the OS about flushing the disk cache. With such hardware, it is impossible for any filesystem to function reliably.

USB and Firewire bridges are notorious for this. If you care about your data, you should run the other way if you happen upon one. ZFS works great on good hardware though. With directly attached disks and ECC ram, there is no cause for concern.

Re:Death knell (5, Insightful)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 5 years ago | (#28277073)

The data loss and corruption that the parent is talking about is the fault of crap hardware. In almost every case, USB is involved, or more rarely the lack of ECC ram. It is true that ZFS is less tolerant of bad hardware.

What good is a fault tolerant file system if it isn't tolerant of faults?

With such hardware, it is impossible for any filesystem to function reliably.

Quite incorrect.

USB and Firewire bridges are notorious for this. If you care about your data, you should run the other way if you happen upon one.

Well, golly, those only happen to be the way 99.999% of Apple's customers attach exernal drives, not to mention 99.9% of all of the rest of the world.

Re:Death knell (2, Insightful)

KonoWatakushi (910213) | more than 5 years ago | (#28277467)

What good is a fault tolerant file system if it isn't tolerant of faults?

This is not about faults; ZFS handles those fine. This is about hardware which behaves badly.

You should not talk so authoritatively when you are so obviously ignorant of the subject. What you are implying, is that a filesystem does not care about the ordering of writes, and that is absolutely absurd. The ordering of writes is more critical for copy on write filesystems like ZFS, but in neither case is your data safe on bad hardware.

Like you point out, there is lot of bad hardware out there. What you overlook is that existing filesystems have no facilities to catch, much less correct such errors or corruption; that is why it is called silent data corruption. Even filesystems like HFS+ only journal metadata, so this is a lot more common than you realize.

ZFS can be improved on misbehaving hardware, but that still won't fix bad hardware. Those improvements will only allow the possibility to recover to a consistent state, but data will still be lost.

Re:Death knell (4, Insightful)

udippel (562132) | more than 5 years ago | (#28277383)

I have been following the zfs-discuss list for years, and almost no one has lost data.

That's not good enough for the likes like me.
For the rest of your post, I am simply too lazy to prove you wrong. For a beer each I could fiddle out those that were confirmed to lead to data loss, including unrecoverable data loss, as I mentioned in my post.
But I won't do this (except for that beer each), because you know that best yourself:
The data loss and corruption that the parent is talking about is the fault of crap hardware. In almost every case, USB is involved, or more rarely the lack of ECC ram
Because this is exactly, word for word, the usual excuse given in the mailing list.
And I didn't add the one in my original post, when it was 'confirmed' that you need RAID if your data are valuable to you; and now, read this in bold: irrespective of hardware failure. I for one accept the need for RAID, in case of a hard disk really and effectively dying. Not for manhandling the data. Read the postings carefully.

Of course, the other person answering your flawed arguments about 'crap hardware' is right to the point: What good is a fault tolerant file system if it isn't tolerant of faults?
May I remind you, the premise and promise of ZFS was the atomic write, the always consistent state on the drive. I do think and believe this is true, and all blocks are either written and confirmed or just not. As far as I can make out, the problem has only been shifted: to the problem of metadata. Again, refer to the mailing list. Those exist in four-fold. Why? It seems the consistency of blocks on the drive being guaranteed, the layer of actually having the links to those correct data is more vulnerable. Think of a pool: if you jank the structure of a pool by janking a USB, you have 100% correct data (contrary to any other file system, I agree), but alas no more structured access to reassemble them (compared to inodes).

(The mods opting for 'informative' of your post obviously don't read the ZFS mailing list, and nobody blames them.)

Re:Death knell (0)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 5 years ago | (#28277069)

Which is a shame, since if it did, ZFS would be last file system mankind would have ever needed.

Well, there is always software that promises a lot and crumbles under its own weight, and then there is software that promises little and delivers a bit more. Windows and Solaris fall into the first category, UNIX and Linux into the second. Worse really is better.

Re:Death knell (2, Funny)

ishobo (160209) | more than 5 years ago | (#28277165)

Windows and Solaris fall into the first category, UNIX and Linux into the second.

Are you sure you do not want to correct that statement?

Err , Solaris == Unix (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 5 years ago | (#28277243)

Or at least , its one of the operating systems certified to follow all the unix requirements and hence Sun can use the unix name if they want. In fact many moons ago you'd see "SunOS Unix" at the login prompt.

Re:Death knell (1)

ishobo (160209) | more than 5 years ago | (#28277141)

We run ZFS on every FreeBSD server and a few desktops. Mostly 64bit. It requires tuning. I have a laptop with 1GB running FreeBSD and ZFS has been rock solid. The instant volume and snapshots creation has me hooked. I could never go back. I wish ZFS existed for Windows.

ZFS development is not over; it is still being actively maintained.

Perhaps it will BE ZFS just not BE CALLED ZFS (2, Insightful)

KenCrandall (13860) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276019)

WIth the impending purchase of Sun by Oracle, I'm thinking it could be one of 2 things:

1) ZFS will be killed and/or de-emphasized and/or re-licensed in such a way that Apple is not comfortable/happy with putting it into Mac OS

2) It will still be ZFS just not called ZFS anymore (either re-branded or forked by Apple or re-named by Oracle/Sun)

Re:Perhaps it will BE ZFS just not BE CALLED ZFS (5, Insightful)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276063)

1) Oracle hasn't publicly said anything of that nature, nor is even any rumors to that effect.
2) They aren't mentioning the features that zfs provides under any kind of name

Most likely, they've been focusing too much on the embedded space with the iphone and didn't have the man power to integrate a complex third party FS into their OS. As it was only going to be for the OSX Server for "production servers", they probably thought that was the easiest thing to drop. I mean, lets be honest no one really uses OSX Server for anything really mission critical that relies on it for the kind of storage capabilities ZFS would provide. Do they? Feel free to correct me with real world usage senarios of OSX Server ( I haven't heard of much).

Re:Perhaps it will BE ZFS just not BE CALLED ZFS (2, Interesting)

isorox (205688) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276309)

I mean, lets be honest no one really uses OSX Server for anything really mission critical that relies on it for the kind of storage capabilities ZFS would provide. Do they? Feel free to correct me with real world usage senarios of OSX Server ( I haven't heard of much).

I guess XSans may use it. I don't know much about them to be honest, another department at work has a small one for FCP editing. Seems to me that it's the same as any old san.

Re:Perhaps it will BE ZFS just not BE CALLED ZFS (1, Troll)

Divebus (860563) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276391)

o one really uses OSX Server for anything really mission critical that relies on it for the kind of storage capabilities ZFS would provide. Do they?

Just the iTunes store. Millions of people beat on it every day. However, the insane demands of simultaneously activating a gazillion new iPhones has brought the iTunes servers down with essentially a DDoS attack.

Re:Perhaps it will BE ZFS just not BE CALLED ZFS (4, Informative)

prockcore (543967) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276707)

The iTunes store uses Akamai. So it uses Linux, not OSX at all.

Re:Perhaps it will BE ZFS just not BE CALLED ZFS (3, Informative)

LKM (227954) | more than 5 years ago | (#28277111)

Apple uses Akamai for mirroring some of their stuff. They use Xserves as the main source.

Re:Perhaps it will BE ZFS just not BE CALLED ZFS (3, Informative)

totally bogus dude (1040246) | more than 5 years ago | (#28277197)

I wouldn't think Akamai would be doing any of the actual work behind the iTunes store. I seem to recall they do have that capability, but it would be really hard to take advantage of unless you designed for it from the start, and even then I doubt anyone, especially a company as large as Apple, would be happy to give their content distribution network access to any of their actual user data.

Our website is served by Akamai as well, but nearly all the content is served by Windows web servers. If you do a simple GET and the page is in the cache of the Akamai server you're using, then you could maybe say it was served by Linux or whatever. If you do a search or anything that requires actual work, your request will be getting funneled back to our Windows servers.

I would say it's extremely unlikely iTunes works any differently.

Re:Perhaps it will BE ZFS just not BE CALLED ZFS (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28276457)

Mac OS X Server has a few features that are hard to replicate well on other servers, basically coming down to specific Mac management (Open Directory, NetBoot, Software Update), and in particular AFP file services. There are a lot of design/production companies out there with a lot of Macs who need a reasonable amount of storage, and AFP still tends to work better for Mac clients than things like SMB. We've got a few clients with a few hundred Macs and and ZFS would have been a good additional option to have for backend storage. The snapshot and scrub features alone would be a big benefit.

Xsan is great for certain situations but Apple's tools tend to target that towards video production, and not everyone needs or can afford a full SAN.

Re:Perhaps it will BE ZFS just not BE CALLED ZFS (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28276605)

Well, that and ZFS doesn't provide a whole lot of new, unique capabilities. Don't get me wrong -- ZFS is not a bad idea -- but 96% of what people are excited about can already be done in BSD/linux, and to a lesser degree even with Windows and OS X, with existing technologies like LVM, softraid, and the creative use of mount points. So if you have a real need for the sorts of things ZFS does it's probably not that interesting because you're already doing something similar and there's a high cost and risk involved in switching.

In general though I think you're right about OS X Server -- it gets used in the same sorts of cases where Windows Server does, and for the same sorts of reasons, but it's probably not what you'd pick outside of those scenarios. OS X Server is probably not the right choice if your requirements are just "we want a mail/whatever server" but it makes sense with arguments like "we're supporting desktops with the same family OS" or "this program requires to run", and to a lesser degree "we're mostly a shop, so it's easier to keep everything the same".

We do (4, Informative)

theolein (316044) | more than 5 years ago | (#28277091)

We use Mac OSX Server for our infrastructure. It's a royal PITA and I now wish we hadn't done it, but there have been a number of media companies in recent years that have moved to Mac OSX Server because all their clients are OSX.

My view is that Apple is just jealous of Microsoft and said to itself that if Microsoft can drop promised new features in Vista like the DB based file system, then why can't Apple drop ZFS? ;-)

Re:Perhaps it will BE ZFS just not BE CALLED ZFS (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276103)

either re-branded or forked by Apple

Well, I hope they work something out. I've been looking for a good cross-platform filesystem to work between my Mac and Linux boxes; at the moment I'm using HFS+ but am not entirely happy with the way it u/mounts on Linux after having been written by OS X. I've seen suggestions to use NTFS, but that doesn't do proper *nix permissions.

Re:Perhaps it will BE ZFS just not BE CALLED ZFS (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276859)

Well you can just use UFS :-) An oldie but still works. ZFS would be nice but it is a little bit obscure for mainstream use. I can just imagine a whole bunch of Mac users or Linux users deciding to use the other platform and wondering how to share a filesystem. "Dude make that array ZFS", "What's ZFS?". FAT32, NTFS and UFS are pretty much universally supported because of the fact that they are historically the dominant filesystems. Going out of your way to get a new filesystem compatible with everything else is less likely than sharing things on a service level (a la, samba, NFS). One chooses the filesystem that everything uses (with the requirement of rebuilding on the new filesystem if you didn't choose the right one back in the day), the other just requires installing and setting up a program on the system. Philosophically I prefer to chose the filesystem, RAID level, stripe size etc, based on the data that is going to be stored without worrying too much about how to get the data on and off disk from a remote client. For personal use I think FAT32/NTFS is going to be the standard for a long time. You might not like Windows, you might not use Windows, but chances are somebody is going to want to borrow your external drive/get data off of it that is a Windows user and the easiest way to make that happen is if the drive is something that windows can understand. Lowest common denominator.

Re:Perhaps it will BE ZFS just not BE CALLED ZFS (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 5 years ago | (#28277113)

...but chances are somebody is going to want to borrow your external drive/get data off of it that is a Windows user

That is one circumstance I do not want to see. If any Windows users are trying to get data off my drives, I'm being hacked.

But getting back to your earlier point, UFS is more problematic than HFS+, because it only has read-only support on Linux. FAT32/NTFS are useless because they trash any Unix permissions.

Re:Perhaps it will BE ZFS just not BE CALLED ZFS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28277305)

You can't chkdsk an NTFS volume on linux. Other than that, it's a good FS.

Re:Perhaps it will BE ZFS just not BE CALLED ZFS (4, Informative)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276129)

I'm fairly confident of what it is, having actually used zfs on OS X.

  1. The implementation still has some major bugs -- I managed to get a kernel panic with it just by writing to a raid-z.
  2. There are some unresolved issues just with the way zfs behaves, for example, pulling a USB device with a zfs volume on it *must* cause zfs to shit its pants, because it's guarenteeing that writes to it will work.

Re:Perhaps it will BE ZFS just not BE CALLED ZFS (4, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276143)

At my workplace we migrated to a brand new sun NFS server with ZFS and hit a critical bug in the first two weeks. If Sun can't get it right I don't expect others to.

Re:Perhaps it will BE ZFS just not BE CALLED ZFS (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276281)

Can you reveal what sort of critical bug it was?

Re:Perhaps it will BE ZFS just not BE CALLED ZFS (2, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276369)

Its an nis + automount + zfs + nfs problem. I am a user of the system (not an administrator) so my information is incomplete. Basically we lost the ability to export deep subdirectories (say /path/to/user) from our zfs file system (which is physically on a raid array) via nfs.

We retained the ability to export /path/to as a workaround. The way nis (yp) works in our setup is that it exports individual user directories as required.

Re:Perhaps it will BE ZFS just not BE CALLED ZFS (1)

MShook (526815) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276967)

Don't sweat too much, at work we're still hitting some serious UFS bugs on patched Solaris 10 (mainly FS corruptions, huge slowdowns like a fstat taking 20 real minutes, ...). That said we're a little bit shy of 2000 Sun SPARC servers so that's why we "often" see these bugs...

Re:Perhaps it will BE ZFS just not BE CALLED ZFS (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276977)

There are some unresolved issues just with the way zfs behaves

This is a lot like XFS on Linux. There were some very nice qualities to XFS, but at the end of the day, it wasn't designed for desktops, and would happily hose the entire partition if the underlying hardware didn't have enterprise-grade reliability.

Re:Perhaps it will BE ZFS just not BE CALLED ZFS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28277395)

If you are using ZFS via FUSE then it's something else. Apple has not implemented WRITE ability in their ZFS "port", they only support READING, so I'm not sure what you used to write ZFS from OS X, but it wasn't anything Apple coded.

Re:Perhaps it will BE ZFS just not BE CALLED ZFS (2, Informative)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 5 years ago | (#28277437)

Sure they have http://zfs.macosforge.org/trac/wiki#ZFSDocumentation [macosforge.org] you just don't know where to get apple's current head of their zfs implementation.

Re:Perhaps it will BE ZFS just not BE CALLED ZFS (1)

jipn4 (1367823) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276691)

Why would Oracle want to make it hard to use ZFS? ZFS has an uphill battle to gain acceptance anyway.

For those who are wondering: (0, Redundant)

wolf12886 (1206182) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276037)

ZFS [wikipedia.org]

Re:For those who are wondering: (1, Redundant)

wolf12886 (1206182) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276079)

ZFS: [wikipedia.org]

In computing, ZFS is a file system designed by Sun Microsystems for the Solaris Operating System. The features of ZFS include support for high storage capacities, integration of the concepts of filesystem and volume management, snapshots and copy-on-write clones, continuous integrity checking and automatic repair, RAID-Z and native NFSv4 ACLs. ZFS is implemented as open-source software, licensed under the Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL).

 

(sorry for the double post, should have included the quote from the beginning)

Re:For those who are wondering: (4, Funny)

Omestes (471991) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276221)

Hmm.. karma whore much?

I'm sure 99.9% of the people on Slashdot, who care enough to open the discussion know what ZFS is, and those who don't are perfectly capable of entering the term "ZFS" into Google.

But hell, lets see if I can do this too:

Apple [wikipedia.org] :

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is an American multinational corporation which designs and manufactures consumer electronics and software products. The company's best-known hardware products include Macintosh computers, the iPod and the iPhone. Apple software includes the Mac OS X operating system, the iTunes media browser, the iLife suite of multimedia and creativity software, the iWork suite of productivity software, and Final Cut Studio, a suite of professional audio and film-industry software products. The company operates more than 250 retail stores in nine countries[2] and an online store where hardware and software products are sold.

Sorry for trolling, have a six pack and a day off.

Re:For those who are wondering: (2)

wolf12886 (1206182) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276345)

I'm sure 99.9% of the people on Slashdot, who care enough to open the discussion know what ZFS is, and those who don't are perfectly capable of entering the term "ZFS" into Google.

Alright fair enough, I mean that's what I did, but alot of slashdoters like myself whould first grumble about there not being a link to said article in the story. So I figured near the top of the comments was the next best thing.

Also, I've already got excelent karma. Once they come out with a +2 Godlike-Karma-bonus you can legitimatly troll me for karma-whoring.

Re:For those who are wondering: (4, Funny)

porl (932021) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276541)

Slashdot [wikipedia.org]

Slashdot, sometimes abbreviated as /.,[1] is a technology-related news website owned by SourceForge, Inc. It features user-submitted and editor-evaluated current affairs news with a "nerdy" slant.

(for those that got here by accident... you can't leave them out).

Re:For those who are wondering: (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28277341)

Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]

Wikipedia is a free,[5] multilingual encyclopedia project supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Its name is a portmanteau of the words wiki (a technology for creating collaborative websites, from the Hawaiian word wiki, meaning "quick") and encyclopedia. Wikipedia's 13 million articles (2.9 million in the English Wikipedia) have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world, and almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone who can access the Wikipedia website.[6] Launched in January 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger,[7] it is currently the most popular general reference work on the Internet.

(for those who got freaked out and wondered were they were after they clicked your link).

Re:For those who are wondering: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28276741)

Hmm.. karma whore much?

I'm sure 99.9% of the people on Slashdot, who care enough to open the discussion know what ZFS is, and those who don't are perfectly capable of entering the term "ZFS" into Google.

Was helpful for me, I had no idea what ZFS is. And if I'm not going to RTFA, I'm sure as hell not going to Google it.

One less "feature" (2, Interesting)

Lank (19922) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276097)

With most of the emphasis on performance and stability, this was probably the one "feature" I was looking forward to with Snow Leopard. At $29 I'll still upgrade. Grand Central and OpenCL sound fairly impressive but I was really looking forward to a file system that never needed to be upgraded... I guess I'll keep on waiting.

Re:One less "feature" (2, Interesting)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276153)

I was really looking forward to a file system that never needed to be upgraded...

ZFS might be the holy grail of filesystems in terms of capacity, flexibility, and data integrity, which have traditionally been the limiting factors for filesystems. However, it's not particularly fast, and I'm sure that we'll come up with better ways to store data in the future.

If Apple have their own "ZFS killer" in the works, and choose to release it under a permissive license that's compatible with the GPL, they might very well be able to displace ZFS, given that the Linux community's refusal to support it has been an enormous thorn in its side.

Re:One less "feature" (1)

isorox (205688) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276293)

given that the Linux community's refusal to support it has been an enormous thorn in its side.

Unfortunately it's incompatable with the linux kernel license (not to claim which is more free, or who's to blame). There's a fuse project, but fuse projects don't tend to go in places where zfs does.

Re:One less "feature" (1, Insightful)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#28277209)

Unfortunately it's incompatable with the linux kernel license (not to claim which is more free, or who's to blame). There's a fuse project, but fuse projects don't tend to go in places where zfs does.

Given how 90% of the comments on here are about how many problems there are with ZFS I don't think "unfortunately" is the correct word.

Re:One less "feature" (1)

AccUser (191555) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276191)

I was really looking forward to a file system that never needed to be upgraded... I guess I'll keep on waiting.

Heck, if it really never needs to be upgrades, I would say hang on in there until it works. It will be worth the wait. ;-)

I want a universal filesystem (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28276109)

Which one can you mount on Linux, MacOS and maybe even Windows without precarious hacks, and with journaling, long filenames, and maybe extended attributes? So far FAT and HFS+ without journaling seem to be about the only choices. ZFS would have been it if MacOS and Linux both ended up supporting it, but now neither of them do (without precarious hacks!)... so Solaris is off in the corner by itself again. Bah humbug.

When I dual-boot my Mac (Linux & Leopard) I'd like to have the same partition for home directory on either system. A better FS for thumb drives than FAT would be nice, too.

The situation is utterly pathetic.

Re:I want a universal filesystem (1)

InterBigs (780612) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276789)

Actually, the latest FreeBSD production releases also support ZFS pretty well. The most important parts of it, at least. So Solaris is not by itself.

Re:I want a universal filesystem (4, Insightful)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 5 years ago | (#28277127)

Why, it's almost as if Microsoft don't want to inter-operate. Ext3 is fully documented with viewable code, yet MS don't implement it. NTFS on the other hand has to be reverse engineered.

Re:I want a universal filesystem (1)

RegularFry (137639) | more than 5 years ago | (#28277139)

In theory, I think UDF should work for this. I've not had much luck in my brief attempts, though.

Re:I want a universal filesystem (4, Funny)

dzfoo (772245) | more than 5 years ago | (#28277313)

What about a pony?

            -dZ.

Integration issues (5, Informative)

henrikba (516486) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276119)

The Known Issues and Features in the Works [macosforge.org] page for ZFS on MacOSforge [macosforge.org] explains the situation pretty well. Integrating ZFS into MacOSX isn't just a matter of creating a device driver. Time Machine, Finder, Spotlight and other core OS products needs to support ZFS features explicitly, since ZFS behaves a lot differently from HFS+.

Re:Integration issues (1)

An dochasac (591582) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276355)

Yes, ZFS is very different from HFS+ (and that's a good thing). But ZFS makes Time machine much easier to implement, maintain and far, far more performant. Sun already had time slider in OpenSolaris last year and the difference between UFS and ZFS is at least as wide. Not to mention the fact that Apple throws heaps of money at its desktop and they only need to deal with drivers from vendors it controls. I have no idea why Apple would excise ZFS from its web exposure except to say that they're extremely good at hiding OpenSource technology under their own brand name. (BSD/OSX, Mozilla/Safari, VNC/Apple Remote Desktop...) Maybe they were unhappy with the patent protection clause in CDDL.

Re:Integration issues (1)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276389)

But ZFS makes Time machine much easier to implement, maintain and far, far more performant.

ZFS and Time Machine may have Snapshots and other similar-looking features, but they are very different codebases. It is probably difficult to adapt existing HFS utilities to a different filesystem.

Re:Integration issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28277439)

Time Machine is a user application, ZFS is a file system.

TimeMachine on HFS+ probably has a load of kruft to try to emulate zfs snapshot/zfs rollback on HFS+ with cp/rsync or some other kludge which is extremely slow vs the ZFS cow equivalent.

TimeSlider (in OpenSolaris) extends the functionality of the nautilus codebase from gnome.org, so the fact that the filesystem and file manager are from different codebases is irrelevant. Filesystems and file managers are always from different codebases.

Re:Integration issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28276549)

i thought safari was konqueror behind the scenes.

Re:Integration issues (1)

A12m0v (1315511) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276795)

Webkit forked from KHTML long ago (2002?), they are now very different.

Re:Integration issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28276609)

These Issues have been resolved in earlier Snow Leopard Builds.

That would be a new feature (3, Insightful)

code4fun (739014) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276125)

Snow Leopard is about performance and optimization. A new file system would fall under new features.

Re:That would be a new feature (1)

zaajats (904507) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276763)

Snow Leopard is about performance and optimization. A new file system would fall under new features.

There are other new features as well. Also, a new file system would be an update to the existing one, no?

(That doesn't mean ZFS will be there)

ZFS still needs more miles under the belt (5, Insightful)

BlackSabbath (118110) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276131)

I've played around [blogspot.com] with ZFS on the Mac a little bit. I've also played with ZFS at work (Sun UltraSPARC platforms) where we went from true believers to backing away rapidly (let's just say that there are certain Oracle workload profiles for which ZFS causes some massive performance hits especially when the disks are close to full).

I'm guessing that ZFS failed to meet at least one of (what I imagine are) Apple's criteria:
1. has to be simple to use
2. has to be rock solid

There's a good chance it failed at both. I'm not saying that ZFS is crap. Personally I think its a brilliant design, however it needs a bit more sunlight before its ready for the Steve.

Re:ZFS still needs more miles under the belt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28276177)

I always assumed ZFS would ship for the Mac right around when Apple decides to ditch platter based hard drives altogether since ZFS can supposedly be better optimized for SSD's and since the approximate timeline ZFS being ship-worthy stable on OS X and SSD's being the #1 choice for new computers would roughly be around the same time.

Re:ZFS still needs more miles under the belt (1)

edmudama (155475) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276183)

Any copy-on-write system needs a scratchpad area to be effective.

Were you unable to scale the disks a bit past your workload size?

Re:ZFS still needs more miles under the belt (3, Insightful)

BlackSabbath (118110) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276265)

We never got a reproducible cause/effect explanation from the Sun engineers (which is one of the main reasons we started backing away).

Our particular problem seemed to occur when free-space shrank to below 20% and we had workloads with large numbers of connections doing lots and lots of very small write transactions in Oracle (using Oracle AQ as the backing store for our ESB/BPEL implementation). It wasn't 100% reproducible but seemed to be linked to those configurations more often that not.

Having said all that, we never used ZFS for production systems (we are far too conservative a company). We used it for dev/test/UAT environments where the ability to clone large numbers of test environments cheaply, quickly and with very little disk space cost was of great benefit. Its still used in some circumstances, just not all of them. Horses for courses.

Re:ZFS still needs more miles under the belt (4, Informative)

0x000000 (841725) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276217)

Okay, first and foremost it is well known that if you are running a database engine on top of ZFS you have to tune it to that specific database engine. This is well documented, and well described in the ZFS manuals, including steps to be taken to resolve these issues.

As for the performance degradation when the disks are close to full are being worked on, while this can cause issues (especially if you have a lot of snapshots) any IT worth their salt would not have let the disk get that close to full that it causes issues (I've seen this error once on my production servers, when the disk was at 95% capacity, I was brought in as a contractor). Replacing and upgrading disk capacity is as simple as pulling one drive from the RAID Z, placing a new one in, and letting it resilver, then pull the next one, until you have pulled all of them, after which you will get the full space the new disks can provide, so going from 1 TB drives to 1.5 TB drives will at the end of replacing all of them (so that they are now all 1.5 TB or bigger) give you the extra space.

As for 1, ZFS is extremely simple to use. gvinum from FreeBSD, or Linux's LVM are complicated, unnecessarily so, and 2, ZFS has so far proven far more reliable. It has been extremely fast, and has already saved a whole lot of trouble when a disk started failing by giving us a warning that ZFS reads were failing and letting us replace the disk before disaster strikes. Since we started using it in the last year we have had not yet had to resort to finding the backup tapes for a server because a disk went bad in Linux's LVM and bad data was written to other disks and files were lost.

I don't believe the issue is that ZFS is not ready yet, I don't think that Apple has had the time to make sure that everything fits in with their way everything has to work, certain features that HFS+ can offer are not possible on ZFS yet. Certain tools are relying on very specific HFS+ mechanics and workings (Time machine for example) which would complicate work to replicate that on ZFS.

While I was looking forward to seeing ZFS in Mac OS X, I doubted that it would be anytime soon, especially since it is a large undertaking making sure that the various parts of the system are all tuned for ZFS, this includes the way the OS caches, the amount of memory it can use for ZFS arc cache, and things along those lines. FreeBSD has slowly been working through those exact issues.

Re:ZFS still needs more miles under the belt (3, Insightful)

BlackSabbath (118110) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276325)

> you are running a database engine on top of ZFS you have to tune it to that specific database engine

Been there, done that.

> any IT worth their salt would not have let the disk get that close to full that it causes issues

I don't consider 80% a threshold which any FS should start to cause issues

> As for 1, ZFS is extremely simple to use

For unix admins perhaps. For the remaining rather large subset of Mac OS X users perhaps not.

> I don't think that Apple has had the time to make sure that everything fits in with their way everything has to work

Totally, 100% agree.

Re:ZFS still needs more miles under the belt (1)

lauwersw (727284) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276585)

Sun changed to ZFS as the default file system in one of their last Solaris 10 updates. I can't believe they would do that if it wasn't completely ready according to them.

Re:ZFS still needs more miles under the belt (1)

BlackSabbath (118110) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276287)

I should probably expand on criterion 1 ("simple to use"):

ZFS has an absolute ton of features. Providing access to these in a meaningful and intuitive way would NOT have been easy. Its very hard to make a complex tool, "simple to use".

Nevertheless, I found playing with ZFS fun and strongly recommend it to those nerdier than the average nerd.

They're waiting on iProd and iFPGA (0, Offtopic)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276173)

It made sense to pre-announce ZFS to head off the competition, but now that the cards are all face-up on the table, Apple doesn't want to be seen as overpromising and underdelivering. Once iFPGA in particular is out the door, nobody will remember this delay, or any of the other political snafus.

Re:They're waiting on iProd and iFPGA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28276289)

Maybe I'm missing something, but what is iFPGA exactly and how is it supposed to revolutionize the industry?

Re:They're waiting on iProd and iFPGA (1)

argiedot (1035754) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276919)

Nobody knows. See Ars Technica piece mentioning them [arstechnica.com] . Essentially, someone opened up iPhone OS 3.0 and found references to two devices called the iProd and iFPGA in the USB Device Configuration plist, which is used (according to the article) to identify these devices on Mac OS X.

Re:They're waiting on iProd and iFPGA (1)

DES (13846) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276943)

JFGI [justfuckinggoogleit.com]

ZFS? What ZFS? (4, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276269)

There never was a ZFS. And Oceania was always at war with Eurasia.

Why do Apple insist on puling these stunts? (0, Troll)

AnalPerfume (1356177) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276299)

If something they were planning on including changes somehow not to Apples liking, why do the control freakery thing of removing all past references to it in a vain attempt to rewrite history 1984 style? Is it not enough to just say "well, we've decided not to use it anymore, we have other plans we can't discuss yet."

People change their minds, even the almighty Steve Jobs won't get everything right (as it finally gets released) first run out. Think about the image they're trying to sell us on here, and imagine it in other contexts to see how believable it is.

A band writing and recording a song: able to play the whole thing, from start to finish, building riffs, fills, solo etc in one take. Vocals, harmonies etc all done with no practice, all in one take. Instant magic? No, it's shit. ALL bands spend ages refining stuff, getting stuff to work, playing with a riff, altering it slightly, trying variations etc to find a blend that works.

A writer sitting down to write a novel, and creating a masterpiece on the first draft. Any writer will tell you the first draft is ALWAYS very rough and will often only bear a small similarity to the final work.

By trying to rewrite history to remove all references that they were planning to use ZFS in some way and now won't is like trying to fool the world into thinking what they use instead was plan A, when it wasn't. Are Apple really this petty and small minded? Are they really so desperate to control their image of "perfection on every try"? Do they have any idea how these stunts just make them look like asshats?

I'm really not trying to flame here, but we ALL know that end products come from a LOT of ideas, some work, some don't, some work in theory until some other requirement kicks in and makes that part not work. This is a long process of trial and error, this is very natural; it happens on EVERY project, from EVERYONE ELSE, except apparently Apple.

In this case IT people will remember this latest purge of anything the Apple hierarchy have decided never happened as it is, and not IT people have no clue what a file system is, or that ZFS is one of them.

It's not as if it's an open source project where a vocal minority of IT skilled people can fork OSX and implement ZFS if Apple don't. What's the worst that can happen? Some will be disappointed until they see what Apple have up their sleeves as an alternate to ZFS which they may or may not know themselves yet. Will they abandon Apple? Not likely, Apple people tend to be very loyal and will continue to throw money at Apple for stuff. They will already have spent a fortune buying vendor locked Apple stuff, so switching to Windows or Linux will be harder. In all likelihood they wouldn't touch Windows with a barge pole as it's what sets them apart from regular PC users, and they won't have heard of Linux. So what have Apple got to lose by leaving the decision / thought processes as they happened?

Where does Slashdot get it's information? (0, Troll)

Suiggy (1544213) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276303)

Guys, ZFS is currently in the Snow Leopard Server preview, it's just not in the main desktop version of Snow Leopard yet (it'll probably come in a few months). Not only that, but there are HFS+ and ZFS drivers for bootcamp. My friend just installed Windows 7 RC on a ZFS partition with Bootcamp on Snow Leopard Server. The following screenshot is SFW http://i40.tinypic.com/xdumw0.jpg [tinypic.com]

Re:Where does Slashdot get it's information? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276413)

Where does Slashdot get it's information?

From the firehose... which is filled by user contributions... like every other social news site.

I see no problem with that (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276305)

If something isn't "good enough" to make a solid product, then don't include it. This is how Vista got whittled down the way it was. The list of features that were pulled is longer than those remaining by my estimation.

Re:I see no problem with that (1, Redundant)

AnalPerfume (1356177) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276337)

Then delay it, mark it as a target for the next release after this one. Review it closer the time to see if it is technically ready, if not, repeat the delay process.

Re:I see no problem with that (1)

profplump (309017) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276697)

That's quite possibly what they've done -- you're confusing the marketing-controlled website with their internal development processes. Open-source projects post giant lists of milestones going years into the future because they're marketing to other developers (if they're thinking about marketing at all) -- but Apple follows a more traditional marketing plan and rarely publishes even vague feature lists before a product is launched, and certainly not more than one revision out. So while they may have removed ZFS from all future versions of the product I wouldn't take the removal from the website as direct evidence of that.

2009: (1)

s1lverl0rd (1382241) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276319)

The Year of the ZFS Desktop! Oh, wait...

But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28276419)

ZFS can store more than 2^128 different files! That is more than the particles in the entire universe! Please put back the specs apple; think about God for christ's shake

No longer a trace. ZFS is an unfilesystem... (-1, Redundant)

Helix666 (1148203) | more than 5 years ago | (#28276689)

It looks like they've completely scrubbed all references out of the site now. ZFS never existed, as far as Apple's site is concerned. And Oceania was always at war with Eurasia. In other news, the chocolate ration was increased today...

I could go on like this forever... =p

VERY, VERY SAD!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28277115)

This is VERY, VERY SAD!!! I had been comtemplating the thoughts of buying Mac OS X Server (since everyone thought it will only be on OS X Server) for my desktop/MacBook just because I want to use ZFS. Now that ZFS is no longer the reason, the price for $29 for Mac OS X will be the attractor factor to use OS X, not OS X Server.

Kevin Pan.

rebranding? (1)

dirtyhippie (259852) | more than 5 years ago | (#28277133)

Is it not possible that apple is getting ready to rebrand ZFS as iFiles or something?

Perhaps Apple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28277289)

...are use ZFS on their web server?

KILL HFS+ WITH FIRE (4, Funny)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#28277377)

OK, when they updated UFS in Panther I was all ^_^ because I was tired of HFS+ turning up x_x, and then they decided to make Spotlight dependent on HFS+ and I was all o_O and half the guys on Slashdot were telling me that UFS was -_+ and ZFS was coming and they were all :) over that, well guys, what kind of emoticon are you mainlining now?

It's about time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28277419)

ZFS is not it.

Look at its requirements. Look at the things you have to do to keep it running efficiently. Look at the memory footprint.
Of course, when you read newsgroups about any technology, you always get a negative view, because all you're seeing are the problems. And the ZFS fanboys love to point that out. Fine.

BUT, I know of no other filesystem that has the kind of problems that this one does.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>