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Apple Discontinues ZFS Project

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the stick-a-fork-in-it dept.

Apple 329

Zaurus writes "Apple has replaced its ZFS project page with a notice that 'The ZFS project has been discontinued. The mailing list and repository will also be removed shortly.' Apple originally touted ZFS as a feature that would be available in Snow Leopard Server. A few months before release, all mention of ZFS was removed from the Apple web site and literature, and ZFS was notably absent from Snow Leopard Server at launch. Despite repeated attempts to get clarification about their plans from ZFS, Apple has not made any official statement regarding the matter. A zfs-macos Google group has been set up for members of Apple's zfs-discuss mailing list to migrate to, as many people had started using the unfinished ZFS port already. The call is out for developers who can continue the forked project." Daring Fireball suggests that Apple's decision could have been motivated by NetApp's patent lawsuit over ZFS.

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Got a pussy in my panties (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29853041)

She got a pussy in her panties
She wore a pussy thong

Re:Got a pussy in my panties (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29853137)

Heheheheheheeheh That's funny!

wait Lemme squeeze this zit.

OK. Shhh! My parents are upstairs. Ok, do you like to jerk off to doggy pron too?

Heheheheheheheheh.

I'm in Jr. High. How about u?

Great (5, Funny)

tjones (1282) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853065)

Now if you're using zfs on Mac OS, you can't complain if it loses your data. You already knew it was forked.

God forbid... (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29853073)

God forbid the summary tell us what ZFS is

Re:God forbid... (5, Funny)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853079)

Please hand in your geek card as you leave.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZFS [wikipedia.org]

Re:God forbid... (5, Funny)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853153)

Holy shit!

All this time, I thought folks were talking about file management with a phony French accent!

Save zee file to zee FS and you will see that zee bytes go ...

Re:God forbid... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29853223)

All this time, I thought folks were talking about file management with a phony French accent!

Well, that explains your UID.

Re:God forbid... (3, Funny)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853399)

I thought it referred to "Zaphod, For Sure!" which is Zaphod Beeblebrox's Re-election slogan.

Re:God forbid... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29853085)

Link [tinyurl.com]

Re:God forbid... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29853115)

My sense of entitlement demands that everyone hand everything to me on a silver platter as well! I shouldn't be required to click on a link, much less do a Google search. You and I are in agreement. BTW, you owe me for that.

Please mod this up (3, Funny)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853201)

THIS is an example of what deserves to get a "+1, Funny" mod, not the ten thousandth retelling of an "in Soviet Russia" joke or some other tired meme.

Of course, there's also no better way to prove his point than to get offended by it.

Re:Please mod this up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29853413)

Aggressive sarcasm is nice and appropriate in this case, but no, it isn't funny.

Re:Please mod this up (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29853689)

Yeah, well.. in soviet russia the anonymous cowards think you're Funny.

Re:God forbid... (3, Informative)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853121)

God forbid the summary tell us what ZFS is

It is a filesystem, available in (Open)Solaris and at least FreeBSD, possibly other BSDs as well. It has some interesting features, which you can check out here [wikipedia.org] . I have heard it claimed that ZFS has good performance, but I have not evaluated any of those claims.

Re:God forbid... (1)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853191)

God forbid the summary tell us what ZFS is

It is a filesystem, available in (Open)Solaris and at least FreeBSD, possibly other BSDs as well. It has some interesting features, which you can check out here [wikipedia.org] . I have heard it claimed that ZFS has good performance, but I have not evaluated any of those claims.

It's a complete and total coincidence, but I just remembered a humorous Web site. [justfuckinggoogleit.com]

Re:God forbid... (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29853393)

Yeah that site is pretty good. Not as good as this one [lmgtfy.com] , though.

Correction (4, Informative)

toby (759) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853515)

A lot of confusion has resulted from labelling ZFS a "filesystem". It actually combines both volume management and filesystem layers to achieve unique levels of performance, manageability, and data protection. Merits close study, as the concepts of ZFS overtake current best practices, conventional filesystems and RAID. You can get this taste of the future today, if you're using Solaris 10/OpenSolaris/FreeBSD.

The straight dope (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29853107)

Posting anon, lest someone guess who my sources are.

The long and short of it was, Apple and Sun couldn't come to terms on the licensing. Sun wanted a lot of money for giving it to Apple under different terms and the amount they wanted was in the range of "hell, we could do it ourselves for that".

Add to that, the Oracle buyout and Sun going into management paralysis, and Apple decided to go it alone.

Apple's CoreOS team includes several of the lead engineers from the ZFS project (who fled the remnants of Sun in the Schwartz melt-down), and the architect of the BeFS. I'm expecting Apple to do their own next-generation file system, probably in the 10.7 timeframe.

Re:The straight dope (1)

Lemming Mark (849014) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853187)

Posting anon, lest someone guess who my sources are.

The long and short of it was, Apple and Sun couldn't come to terms on the licensing. Sun wanted a lot of money for giving it to Apple under different terms and the amount they wanted was in the range of "hell, we could do it ourselves for that".

That sounds odd to me. Why would they need different licensing terms? Especially as they apparently had a port that was already somewhat distributed, at least in developer builds - presumably they thought that the license allowed them to do that at the time?

Re:The straight dope (5, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853269)

Why would they need different licensing terms?

They probably wanted to rename it without changing it. Apple likes renaming things. Microsoft OTOH, loves using the same name as everyone else, and changing stuff to break interop.

Re:The straight dope (1)

Lemming Mark (849014) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853341)

Haha, that did make me laugh :-) You compressed quite a lot of truth into a very small amount of text. There is a certain elegant symmetry to the two companies when you put it like that.

Re:The straight dope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29853685)

I thought MS just added 'active' or 'direct' as a prefix and 'X' as a suffix and just hawk the same old shit.

Re:The straight dope (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853307)

I don't know why they'd have a problem with the CDDL... they have support for dtrace, which is also CDDL. The CDDL only applies to the contents of the original files, and zfs is down in the darwin level where most everything is already open source. Maybe they wanted more explicit patent protection/indemnification given that they're becoming a patent troll magnet.

Re:The straight dope (1, Insightful)

adolf (21054) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853289)

Dear AC,

Why should we place any higher value on your particular commentary, than all of the other rampant speculation which will be posted below by additional ACs?

Best regards.

Re:The straight dope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29853317)

Why should we place any higher value on your particular commentary, than all of the other rampant speculation which will be posted below by additional ACs?

Believe it or don't. No skin off my nose either way.

Re:The straight dope (4, Interesting)

segedunum (883035) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853301)

The long and short of it was, Apple and Sun couldn't come to terms on the licensing. Sun wanted a lot of money...

That doesn't make any sense. I fail to see why Apple should agree licensing terms for a CDDL licensed open source project or how Sun could demand money for the privilege. Sun were positively overflowing with love towards Apple (as they usually are) when they heard that anyone would actually be interested in their uber new filesystem.

Re:The straight dope (3, Interesting)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853561)

Probably because Apple hadn't felt like supporting an FS on its own?

Mac OS X already includes pile of licensed technologies. The sole purpose of that is to offload work from R&D so that they can do something more useful than reinventing a wheel.

Licensing deal likely would have been needed so that if Sun/whatever goes tits up, Apple would retain all rights to the code so that they can develop and maintain it further on their own - without being in mercy of whoever buys Sun after that.

Re:The straight dope (1)

rattaroaz (1491445) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853663)

That still doesn't make any sense. If sun relicensed zfs or went bankrupt, the existing zfs under CDDL is still valid, and can be forked. Sort of like if sun relicensed mysql, the gpl version is still gpl.

Re:The straight dope (3, Informative)

BrentH (1154987) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853345)

"The flip side is that I've heard that Apple's file systems team is full steam ahead on their own next-generation file system. And, perhaps not coincidentally, they're hiring." from http://daringfireball.net/linked/2009/10/23/zfs [daringfireball.net]

This is pretty shitty because it'll fragment the momentum ZFS had in being the next-gen ubiquitous file system. When it was clear ZFS wasn't coming to Linux, those guys got btrfs going, now Apple is doing their own, while ZFS obviously will stay around too. Microsoft obviously wasnt on board for any of this, and without the momentum behind ZFS it never will. This nonsense isnt helping, and I think the best Oracle could do it release it under all the licenses that'll get it into OSX/Linux and perhaps even Windows. Can Oracle go over Sun's head on this or Sun==Oracle?

Re:The straight dope (4, Insightful)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853421)

Microsoft obviously wasnt on board for any of this, and without the momentum behind ZFS it never will.

Microsoft is never on board for anything useful, so I'm not sure it really makes any difference.

Re:The straight dope (1, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853423)

How did Microsoft get into this? If MS ever adopted ZFS, they'd change a bunch of things just to make it intentionally incompatible.

What's going to happen is the status quo will remain unchanged: every major vendor will use a different standard filesystem, and only Linux users will be able to read them all (though there may be a little time before they've fully developed the drivers to do so). After all Linux users can already use btrfs natively, and ZFS using FUSE. Anything new that Apple makes will likely be open-source since it'll be at the Darwin level so Linux can use that too (though perhaps only through FUSE because of licensing again), and anything MS makes will of course be reverse-engineered so it'll take the longest to support.

Re:The straight dope (5, Interesting)

Robotbeat (461248) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853455)

"The flip side is that I've heard that Apple's file systems team is full steam ahead on their own next-generation file system. And, perhaps not coincidentally, they're hiring." from http://daringfireball.net/linked/2009/10/23/zfs [daringfireball.net]

This is pretty shitty because it'll fragment the momentum ZFS had in being the next-gen ubiquitous file system. When it was clear ZFS wasn't coming to Linux, those guys got btrfs going, now Apple is doing their own, while ZFS obviously will stay around too. Microsoft obviously wasnt on board for any of this, and without the momentum behind ZFS it never will. This nonsense isnt helping, and I think the best Oracle could do it release it under all the licenses that'll get it into OSX/Linux and perhaps even Windows. Can Oracle go over Sun's head on this or Sun==Oracle?

(emphasis mine)

Unfortunately, btrfs isn't "going" anywhere. Guess who their development was funded by? That's right, Oracle! Notice that they haven't released anything new since BEFORE Sun's shareholders approved the acquisition? (Latest release on the btrfs wiki is v .19, released in June 2009) It's not exactly improving at a breakneck pace... If btrfs is going to go anywhere, they need some real development money.

Dang Oracle.

Re:The straight dope (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853551)

This is pretty shitty because it'll fragment the momentum ZFS had in being the next-gen ubiquitous file system.

The momentum that has had all their best developers jumping ship since Schwartz got the CEO gig?

Oracle bought Sun for Java. I see no indication that Oracle cares about ZFS or any of Sun's other technologies.

-jcr

Re:The straight dope (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853611)

... it'll fragment the momentum ZFS had ...

After reading an opinion piece of one of the ZFS authors about Btrfs, I stopped thinking that ZFS deserves to have the momentum.

Can't find the link, but ZFS (as first Sun's take on files system) has made several design mistakes which cannot be fixed without redesign. Developed later Btrfs learned on that and avoided the mistakes.

IOW, ZFS might have had a very short momentum, but thanks to the licensing + general insanity of Sun management (which managed in past decade to lose all talented people) I'd say in long term it never had a chance to become ubiquitous to begin with.

Yes. (1)

toby (759) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853613)

I predicted [twitter.com] that they were working on a ZFS-alike on 2 Sept. NIH Syndrome [google.com] does seem the most likely explanation. Which is disappointing. Cooperation on ZFS seemed a natural and powerful cross-endorsement for both Apple and Sun.

Re:Yes. (1, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853635)

How can it be NIH syndrome when the people implementing the replacement are former Sun ZFS developers?

-jcr

Re:The straight dope (3, Insightful)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853365)

Why would Apple need different terms? CDDL and BSD are compatible, hence FreeBSD integrating ZFS. Furthermore, Apple already integrated DTRACE under the CDDL. Claiming a licensing issue doesn't make sense... at all. The only thing that does make sense is that Apple was trying to add a bunch of proprietary code to ZFS and didn't want to release their changes. Boo hoo.

Re:The straight dope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29853523)

    Yes,"I'm Posting anon, lest someone guess who my sources are" too. Wow I can do that.
      What monies ? Apple hired a developer to port zfs, see the archived zfs mailing list to see this.
      DTrace is on OS-X, exact same license as ZFS.

    Yes, Mr (or Ms) Anon, you're talking bull.

Re:The straight dope (1)

toby (759) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853621)

The reason they abandoned the ZFS effort was probably not licensing, [google.com] imho.

Schwatz on the netapp lawsuit.. ala 2007 (1)

aphaenogaster (884935) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853537)

You may want to check out SUNs ceo's comments on the netapp issues... This dates all the way back to 2007. From the comments above this appeared to be something new. http://blogs.sun.com/jonathan/entry/harvesting_from_a_troll [sun.com]

Re:The straight dope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29853639)

The long and short of it was, Apple and Sun couldn't come to terms on the licensing. Sun wanted a lot of money for giving it to Apple under different terms and the amount they wanted was in the range of "hell, we could do it ourselves for that".

Apple took DTrace with its CDDL license, why couldn't they just take ZFS?

Apple's CoreOS team includes several of the lead engineers from the ZFS project (who fled the remnants of Sun in the Schwartz melt-down), and the architect of the BeFS. I'm expecting Apple to do their own next-generation file system, probably in the 10.7 timeframe.

Apple has a lot of smart people, and Sun is known for their engineering (if not their marketing) so I'm sure they gained more, but part of me is kind of sad that they're re-inventing the wheel. While nothing is perfect, ZFS has some great features and functionality now, with more on the way (de-dupe, encryption, etc.). It's too bad that an agreement couldn't be reached.

I'm hoping that as Apple integrates FreeBSD code like it has in the past, it will also take in the work done on ZFS. FreeBSD 7.x has ZFS in a "preview" fashion, and the upcoming 8.0 has it marked as "production ready".

The Reason is Probably Technical (4, Interesting)

segedunum (883035) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853133)

I doubt that it's a legal issue as the primary reason that this has happened, especially considering that the project seems to have stagnated steadily in successive versions of OS X. There just doesn't seem to have been the will within the OS X development group to make this work and to support and fully integrate ZFS into the inner workings of the OS. Given the pretty extensive functionality and plumbing of ZFS its probably been too much of a big ask to integrate a filesystem like that into a desktop. They might well have come to the conclusion that ZFS was simply complete overkill on a desktop and that it just wasn't possible.

However, they still desperately need a next generation filesystem and according to the linked article they're hiring filesystem engineers. I don't see any evidence that this was anything other than a technical avenue that they've explored that has fallen by the wayside as so many have before.

Re:The Reason is Probably Technical (5, Interesting)

jcr (53032) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853147)

There just doesn't seem to have been the will within the OS X development group to make this work and to support and fully integrate ZFS into the inner workings of the OS.

I can't agree with that. Spend ten minutes with the filesystem engineers at WWDC, and you wouldn't come away thinking there was any shortage of will to make ZFS fly on the Mac.

-jcr

Re:The Reason is Probably Technical (1)

segedunum (883035) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853327)

Spend ten minutes with the filesystem engineers at WWDC, and you wouldn't come away thinking there was any shortage of will to make ZFS fly on the Mac.

The proof of the pudding, as they say. By any stretch of the imagination ZFS within Mac OS is a project that has stagnated and gone completely stillborne from 10.5 and onwards. It's not something you could ever consider using semi-reliably, nor did you get the impression that it would ever reach that stage.

I'm sure there was no shortage of soundbites and excitement that someone was interested in Sun's pretty new baby, and Sun themselves gave overtures to that effect. That does not mean that it was ever going to work though.

Re:The Reason is Probably Technical (3, Interesting)

jcr (53032) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853697)

By any stretch of the imagination ZFS within Mac OS is a project that has stagnated and gone completely stillborne from 10.5 and onwards.

And you know this because you were sitting in on their meetings, I suppose?

Apple's had a top-flight team working on ZFS for several years. I'm sure that their replacement will top it.

-jcr

Re:The Reason is Probably Technical (2, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853239)

However, they still desperately need a next generation filesystem and according to the linked article they're hiring filesystem engineers.

That doesn't make any sense.

It only makes sense to engineer a new filesystem if the other options are inadequate or unusable.

Engineering a new filesystem is hard and expensive.

For them to seek to do that, they must have rejected the effort to integrate ZFS for some technical reason.

The complexity of integrating ZFS pales into comparison to the massive cost of engineering and implementing a new filesystem from the ground up.

Let-alone getting the new filesystem to a level of maturity where you can trust it with your data (safelty)

I think the chance of Apple wanting to engineer a new FS so lightly are pretty slim.

More likely, they would add new features to HFS+ or make an incremental update.

Re:The Reason is Probably Technical (1, Funny)

segedunum (883035) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853359)

That doesn't make any sense. It only makes sense to engineer a new filesystem if the other options are inadequate or unusable.

It makes perfect sense. HPFS is simply far too long in the tooth now.

For them to seek to do that, they must have rejected the effort to integrate ZFS for some technical reason.

Yer................

The complexity of integrating ZFS pales into comparison to the massive cost of engineering and implementing a new filesystem from the ground up.

What's even more difficult is to integrate an existing filesystem into your OS that wasn't designed with your OS and your use cases in mind. It becomes virtually impossible to then change anything.

Re:The Reason is Probably Technical (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29853479)

T
It makes perfect sense. HPFS is simply far too long in the tooth now.

Did you mean HFS?

HPFS is the old OS/2 filesystem created by Microsoft in 1985 (d. in 1987) and now replaced by NTFS and JFS

Hand in your geek card on the way out

Re:The Reason is Probably Technical (2)

segedunum (883035) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853555)

HPFS is simply far too long in the tooth now.

???????!!!!! Far too late here now. That should of course be HFS(+).

Re:The Reason is Probably Technical (0, Flamebait)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853445)

Engineering a new filesystem is hard and expensive.

It's so hard, it often makes the developers murder their (ex) girlfriends and remove the seats of their cars.

Re:The Reason is Probably Technical (2, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853469)

Engineering a new filesystem is hard and expensive.

Sure, but when you have a team on hand that knows how to do it, and has been through the development of several different filesystems between them, why not build your own?

I think the chance of Apple wanting to engineer a new FS so lightly are pretty slim.

Who says they're doing it lightly? Have you seen who they've got in that group?

-jcr

Re:The Reason is Probably Technical (1)

4iedBandit (133211) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853279)

I doubt that it's a legal issue as the primary reason that this has happened...

I've dealt with people in Sun who were close to ZFS and who were also excited to have it in Mac OS. It wasn't pulled because it wasn't technically ready.

ZFS is the next generation file system that all others will have to live up to. I've never felt compelled by any file system. Use whatever is there or whatever my peers are comfortable with. ZFS is the first file system that's compelling enough to make me take a stand. I use it on servers daily at work, and I was looking forward to having it on my Macs at home. Bit rot is a very real problem. ZFS handles it automagically. And if you think your mirror or your raid 5 array has you protected, you are dead wrong. Those handle failure at the hardware level. What handles failure at the data level? Nothing. Hope you make backups of your arrays.

Re:The Reason is Probably Technical (1)

trentblase (717954) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853357)

Amen... I was running a file-level checksum database in a vain attempt to detect bitrot until I discovered zfs. To be honest, I think it would be fairly easy to add bitrot detection in any existing fs (for a developer of course, not me)... Just add a hash to each sector. but you wouldn't get all the robust goodies baked into zfs.

Re:The Reason is Probably Technical (4, Interesting)

segedunum (883035) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853529)

ZFS is the next generation file system that all others will have to live up to.

I'm sure it will, but I'm afraid that doesn't mean that made it practical for Apple to integrate into OS X or that it fitted the use cases they needed for many desktop scenarios. The FreeBSD people still haven't been able to run and integrate it reliably.

I use it on servers daily at work, and I was looking forward to having it on my Macs at home. Bit rot is a very real problem. ZFS handles it automagically.

The ZFS advocates trot those lines out every time and they're total nonsense. Ultimately, the only way to deal with silent data corruption or 'bit rot' is to have multiple levels of redundancy several times over for your data - which ZFS has and deals with. No desktop Mac can ever have that. Anyone who thinks that is anywhere near being practical to deal with on a desktop system is an idiot, and no, I'm afraid booting OpenSolaris with ZFS on your desktop system at home and not having it crash and burn does not even approach the kind of issues and corner cases that Apple's engineers will have to deal with, especially in a desktop system like OS X.

By no stretch of the imagination does ZFS handle this 'magically'. There is a severe price to be paid. If you don't have redudancy then you will simply risk losing your ZFS pool if there is corruption.

What handles failure at the data level? Nothing. Hope you make backups of your arrays.

I'm afraid that hardware, bad sector and disk issues are far, far more prevalent problems than data corruption at an OS level. Many apparent corruption issues at the OS level are usually down to hardware issues somewhere down the line. It might be a problem for operating systems with fairly shitty and poorly maintained disk and controller device drivers with a poor history on x86 and widely used hardware (hello Solaris!) but I'm afraid it's just not a primary concern for everyone else or for those developing desktop operating systems.

Github project taking up the slack (5, Informative)

KillNateD (31007) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853143)

Dustn Sallings put the code on Github and has already hacked some basic Snow Leopard support and a minimal installer:

http://dustin.github.com/2009/10/23/mac-zfs.html [github.com]

Code's here, fork away:

http://github.com/dustin/mac-zfs [github.com]

Re:Github project taking up the slack (1)

Tolkien (664315) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853265)

Why is it every time I see Github with a lowercase "H" I always read it as Gith tub?

You've... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29853379)

...played too much Planescape?

When I see Github I think two things:

- Githyanki

- Github for Lesbians! (Thanks, xkcd)

Re:Github project taking up the slack (1)

reuteler (819104) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853321)

not sure what didn't work about zfs and snow leopard. i've been using the last package from macosxforge since snow leopard came out.

Re:Github project taking up the slack (1)

pHDNgell (410691) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853563)

It was reported to work on Snow Leopard with a 32-bit kernel. It did not work with a 64-bit kernel. The source would build, but there were missing symbols.

Of course, there's more to do, but you can at least read your volumes again now.

With SSDs, who needs it? (1)

a09bdb811a (1453409) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853183)

Upgrade to an SSD, and it hardly matters what crusty old filesystem you're using. You're still going to have far greater speed and no mechanical failures. As far as I can see, the only vaguely useful ZFS feature is snapshots... it doesn't even do encryption. I don't think this is a major loss.

Re:With SSDs, who needs it? (4, Insightful)

BoneFlower (107640) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853233)

When SSDs come down A LOT in price, and up in size, maybe.

Go do a search on Newegg. Biggest they've got is 256GB, of those, the cheapest is $595. You can get several terabytes for that price with a magnetic hard drives.

SSDs have a place, but as a general replacement for magnetic hard drives they are too expensive with too little capacity.

There is also more to the file system than access speed.

Re:With SSDs, who needs it? (2, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853645)

Grab a small SSD for apps/games and a 5400RPM terabyte disk for all your music/movies/series/home video/whatever. 64/80GB disks seems to be the sweetspot now, which even leaves some space for apps after installing Win7 ;)

Re:With SSDs, who needs it? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29853293)

Significant use (desktop systems) + the necessary need for OSes to write a lot to a drive = low life for an SSD, regardless of wear leveling.

SSDs are only good for low-use computers (netbooks) and as a replacement for storage media like optical media where you do much more reading than writing.

Until we get a device that doesn't have this issue, SSDs will NOT replace HDs. Please, PLEASE do not even consider killing plain HDs like this goddamn industry did to CRTs which are vastly superior to LCDs (even the best of which still have lag and motion tearing issues, no matter what people might say).

If it's not broke, DON'T REPLACE IT.

Re:With SSDs, who needs it? (1)

BoneFlower (107640) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853331)

For simple image quality, especially fast animation, yes, CRTs are superior.

The desk space advantage of an LCD can be very significant though. It's enough space to fit stuff like books that you wouldn't be able to put in a convenient place otherwise. This is the primary reason I'm a fan of LCDs.

Granted, if I was more of a gamer or used the computer mainly as a media center, I'd give CRTs a closer look. But for many real world tasks, the desk space advantage can be a big practical benefit to LCDs.

Re:With SSDs, who needs it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29853437)

Why do people always say desk space is the most important thing? Can you really not get a bigger desk? Mine's not even that freaking big but it's got a nice little shelf on top which is PLENTY big enough for my 19" CRT.

If desk space is the ONLY thing marrying everyone to LCDs, then you really need to rethink things.

Re:With SSDs, who needs it? (3, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853467)

Don't forget the power savings. I just got a new 24" LG panel with LED backlighting that, I believe, uses only 26W at full power. Compared to the old 19" CRT it replaced, it's a huge savings (that one used over 140W I think). Not only does this affect my power bill, but also the temperature in my poorly-ventilated office. Now it doesn't get so darn hot in there. (Yes, I could turn up the A/C, but then the rest of the house would be freezing, so that doesn't make much sense.)

The picture is nice and bright, and as you'd expect with an LCD, not distorted at all, as I've found most large CRTs to be. Yes, CRTs definitely have better color (at least better than the 6-bit TN panels which are common for LCDs), but ones supporting 1900x1080 or better resolution are downright gigantic, and use a ton of power, and the picture seems to have distortion problems too. I really don't miss having to muck around with all the image adjustment (centering, size, moire, trapezoid, etc. etc.) controls that I had to on every CRT I used.

Re:With SSDs, who needs it? (1)

Mprx (82435) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853439)

The new 120Hz LCDs aren't bad. I've been using a Iiyama Vision Master Pro 454 CRT for years, but I recently switched to a ViewSonic VX2268wm LCD. There's still visible sample and hold blurring, but unlike on a 60Hz LCD you only notice it when you're actively looking for it (assuming your frame rate doesn't drop below 120fps). Black level and color accuracy are poor as you'd expect from a TN panel, but I find motion quality much more important. No noticeable input lag. It's easily the best LCD I've used, and the convenience of an LCD (much shorter warmup time, small size, perfect geometry linearity, lower power consumption) outweighs the slight image quality/motion quality loss as compared to a CRT. Being able to run 120Hz at full resolution is also useful, because before I had to switch modes for gaming/movies because my CRT only did 100Hz at the highest usable resolution. I don't trust SSDs for long term reliability, but the performance boost is too big to ignore. I'm using a OCZ Vertex in combination with mechanical drives.

Re:With SSDs, who needs it? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29853581)

You're saying CRT's never had tearing? My LCD has a 85Hz refresh rate, and it was cheap. You seem to be remembering CRT's as having infinite refresh speed for some reason. Hell, the fact that CRT's actually *blank* and LCD's don't makes CRT's far worse as that particular family of artifact goes.

As for color gamut, yeah the cheap one isn't quite up to it. But LED TV's are out now tho and they have a gamut that's bigger than any CRT ever was. That'll be coming to monitors real soon now.

Re:With SSDs, who needs it? (1)

Mprx (82435) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853605)

Is that real 85Hz or dropping frames to 60Hz? I'm not aware of any LCD with a genuine maximum refresh rate of 85Hz.

CRT blanking is a very good thing, because it eliminates sample and hold blur. Good article on motion representation:
http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/archive/temprate.mspx [microsoft.com]

Re:With SSDs, who needs it? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853319)

Notice that this was intended for OSX server, not OSX. I don't know why someone would buy one, but Apple does sell disk arrays for use with their xserves.

Re:With SSDs, who needs it? (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853389)

What?

Ignoring the high cost and low amount of space what about write endurance? Wear leveling? Asymmetric I/O speeds? Poor I/O performance? Everybody talks about the super fast read speeds while ignoring the fact that write speeds are never the same, tend to be far lower, and are not consistent.

In any case I don't see how faster speed is going to make up for anything in a file system. If you are trying to use them in a server environment it makes no sense either. SSD's don't perform nearly as well as 4 SATA drives in a decent RAID setup.

For the cost of 5 large SSD drives you would be better off going with one of the new offerings from FusioIO or OCZ. At least they have ramped up the write speeds considerably and much closer to the read speed.

Re:With SSDs, who needs it? (1)

pyite (140350) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853667)

SSD's don't perform nearly as well as 4 SATA drives in a decent RAID setup.

What are you smoking?

These [wikipedia.org] are conservative numbers, and they show a commodity (Intel X25-M) MLC flash drive doing over 1,000 IOPS, but a typical 7,200 RPM SATA drive doing 100 IOPS. (Note, I rounded down for the SSD and up for the spinning disk.) So, SSDs are an order of magnitude faster at IOPS than platters. To get a 10x increase of write IOPS on a spinning disk, you'd need to use RAID-0 across ten disks. Hardly a good idea.

Re:With SSDs, who needs it? (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853493)

This is a huge loss. Clearly you haven't managed a datacenter.

Re:With SSDs, who needs it? (1)

pseudonomous (1389971) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853599)

Actually, one of the purported benifits of ZFS is that it's supposed to be able to increase performance on systems that have a combination of SSD and spinning platter disks by caching files on the SSD. I don't know what it buys you in practice, but it's one of Sun's big selling points of the filesystem, in fact they were building some servers specifically to take advantage of SSD + spinning platter "hybrid storage".

Another nextgen FS on the way? Hmmm. (4, Insightful)

Lemming Mark (849014) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853221)

Interesting - we're chugging happily along in Linux / Windows / Mac / Unix land having a load of competing filesystems where all the popular ones have *roughly* similar capabilities. Then ZFS appears in OpenSolaris and filesystem design becomes cool again. Everyone starts either porting ZFS or making filesystems with similar features ... Now a major player that actually *had* ported ZFS (somewhat) is seemingly deciding to go it alone. It seems as though the next-gen filesystem space is also going to have a variety of competing filesystems.

I generally think this is a good thing, lets just hope that a reasonable degree of interoperability becomes possible anyway.

Re:Another nextgen FS on the way? Hmmm. (1)

trentblase (717954) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853403)

Luckily, networking and filesharing systems are robust enough to make interoperability a minor concern these days. It's not like we're exchanging zfs floppies.

Re:Another nextgen FS on the way? Hmmm. (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853519)

You make an excellent point: over distance the file-system is moot.

Unfortunately when you're moving a terabyte or so from room/building to another you'll find yourself holding something that has to use the lowest common denominator.

Worse still, it's Fucking Antiquated Trash.

Re:Another nextgen FS on the way? Hmmm. (1)

pseudonomous (1389971) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853633)

Unless you want to dual boot and share /home; it's a royal pain in the ass between BSD / Linux / Solaris ; then your only real option is ext2. Add windows and it becomes very hard; you're pretty much down to using NTFS or fat32 and then doing hackery with the mount options and even THEN it only really works if you have one partition for each user who's going to have a $HOME shared between OSes. (And this is the only reason why I ONLY boot linux)

It's not just a filesystem (1)

fnj (64210) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853499)

Yes, I realize it contains the letters "FS", but ZFS is not just a filesystem. It incorporates a lot more than that. That's one of the reasons it's really hard to integrate into an OS, given the architecture of most OS's.

Re:It's not just a filesystem (1)

Lemming Mark (849014) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853677)

True, although a lot of the characteristics I find particularly interesting about it relate to the filesystem layer. Various of the "competitors" are incorporating functions that are also (to some extent) outside the normal remit of the filesystem. Btrfs in particular, however its volume management and RAID-ing functionality is not used outside of that filesystem. Whereas I believe ZFS can subsume most storage management, although AFAIK only Solaris really takes this idea to its logical conclusion. ZFS has been ported to BSD already though and AFAIK they didn't need to replace their whole storage stack, so it can be done.

The thing that I thought was particularly interesting was that, for a while, it looked like everyone (except Linux and Windowsfor various reasons) was agreeing on ZFS as *the* next-gen filesystem. If Apple is now going in another direction too then that appears to no longer be the case - the next gen filesystem world is going to be as varied / competitive / cluttered / confusing / interesting (delete as appopriate) as our existing filesystem "market" is.

Not surprised. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29853229)

Apple: Disappointing and pissing off our customers, one step at a time.

Life without walls..... Get a PC.

Yeah - so unlike Microsoft... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29853247)

...who don't even *have* a next-generation filesystem project to cancel.

(see - I can troll, too!)

Re:Yeah - so unlike Microsoft... (3, Insightful)

BoneFlower (107640) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853277)

Well, technically, they do, I don't think WinFS has been nuked yet.

It might as well be. Better odds of seeing Duke Nukem Forever.

Wait, I'm confused... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29853449)

You replied to an (admitted!) AC troll reply to an AC troll, and you get (3, Insightful)? I knew I should have posted a non-anon reply to my own troll...

Re:Yeah - so unlike Microsoft... (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853453)

I don't think WinFS has been nuked yet.

No, the Windows Failure System is still going strong.

Re:Not surprised. (3, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853325)

No shit. I can't wait to switch to Windows 7 with the totally awesome WinFS.

This is devastating... (5, Funny)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853309)

Hearing that ZFS support was upcoming in Snowleopard is one of the things that encouraged me to switch my desktop from Windows XP to MacOS.

It is an understatement to say i'm disappointed to see Apple abandoning this.

Support for ZFS is not just a little feature checkbox, it's a major component of the OS.

It'd be like if Microsoft dropped/cancelled support for Solitaire from Windows....

You can still undevastate yourself (2, Interesting)

fnj (64210) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853527)

I suggest you drop MacOS like a hot potato, send a nastygram to Apple giving them a piece of your mind, and check out both OpenSolaris and FreeBSD. They both support ZFS, OpenSolaris because Sun invented ZFS, and FreeBSD because they have competent management AND engineering. Unlike certain others (and I'm not pointing the finger at linux).

Once again, FreeBSD has shown the fools in Cupertino how it's done.

Re:This is devastating... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29853567)

It's a good thing your editor still supports one sentence per paragraph.

If it didn't, you might not be able to press enter as often.

Which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

But it would make posts easier to read.

Unlike this one.

Re:This is devastating... (1)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853589)

I know you're only joking, but I'm actually using zfs on a sun cluster right now... whatever technical merits it might possess are lost on me because when I type in "df -h" and it doesn't report anything meaningful -- it always shows 2 GB free however much of my 1 TB disk quota I happen to be using. To get meaningful disk usage, you have to type in "df -h .". While it's certainly trivial to do that, I find that having to directly specify the directory in order to get meaningful disk usage data is just weird.

My experience with zfs has been tepid at best, it's not terrible. I won't miss not having it though.

Re:This is devastating... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29853701)

Try zfs list.

Re:This is devastating... (2, Funny)

gomek-ramek (1340625) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853647)

It would have been like Microsoft dropping WinFS [wikipedia.org] for Vista, right?

Too bad, ZFS has some nice features (3, Interesting)

mbessey (304651) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853335)

Leaving aside all the crazy storage pool stuff (great for servers, not necessarily that useful for desktops), there are some interesting features in ZFS that I hope make their way into Mac OS X in some filesystem.

Snapshots and Copy-On-Write filesystem clones seem like a great way to improve the Time Machine backup feature, and would make it easy for applications to provide backup-on-save very efficiently.

The compression and encryption features would likely be useful for some people. I don't think the increased filesystem limits (number of files, size of files) would matter for most folks.

Too bad [FOR APPLE], ZFS has some nice features (4, Insightful)

fnj (64210) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853535)

Too bad for Apple, not for ZFS. OpenSolaris and FreeBSD support ZFS just fine. I do think it's best suited to servers, and OpenSolaris and FreeBSD are greatly superior server operating systems anyway.

Had to pull developers away (-1, Troll)

Linux_ho (205887) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853339)

Needed more help fixing all the problems with the iPhone 3.1 upgrade.

Maybe they should look at HAMMER FS (2, Informative)

Lemming Mark (849014) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853381)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HAMMER [wikipedia.org]

Should be under a suitable license for their usage. It's written for DragonflyBSD which has a funny filesystem driver interface but AIUI the developer had ports to other OSes in mind, so it should still be doable. It can do cheap filesystem snapshots so it would support Time Machine-style operation well. The question is whether it could be adapted to fit Apple's uses well enough. Given one of the linked articles suggests Apple are hiring FS developers my guess would be that they've decided they'd rather build a ground-up filesystem that supports all the (slightly odd set of) features MacOS X wants.

Re:Maybe they should look at HAMMER FS (5, Funny)

Renderer of Evil (604742) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853511)

Steve Jobs commented on HAMMER FS inclusion in 10.7 during WWDC 2009. He said "due to legal and technical constraints we can't touch that"

Maybe Apple should look up their ASS (-1, Flamebait)

fnj (64210) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853543)

Bye bye Apple you assholes.

Re:Maybe they should look at HAMMER FS (1)

Lemming Mark (849014) | more than 4 years ago | (#29853623)

Steve Jobs commented on HAMMER FS inclusion in 10.7 during WWDC 2009. He said "due to legal and technical constraints we can't touch that"

Really? I'm somewhat surprised and impressed that somebody thought to ask him! Do you have a reference for that at all? Or do should I go watch the keynote? I'd be interested to see the context (and for that matter to know who thought to put the question).

The legal constraints can't be a license issue but perhaps they're worried about some particular patents. Hard to imagine that they could come up with next gen FS features, even if they chose a different implementation, which didn't potentially infringe *some* patents (as Sun and NetApp are also learning / demonstrating). Maybe there was something particular about HAMMER that tickled the patent lawyers in a way they didn't like.

The technical constraints claim sounds a bit more vague. Dragonfly's filesystem driver API is quite different to other OS structures AIUI; I had heard that the code was designed with a nod towards porting to other systems, though. Maybe it just doesn't do what they want.

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