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ZFS Set To Eventually Play Larger Role in OSX

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the all-growed-up dept.

OS X 196

BlueMerle writes with the news that Sun's ZFS filesystem is going to see 'rudimentary support' under OSX Leopard. That's a stepping stone to bigger and better things, as the filesystem will eventually play a much larger role in Apple OS versions. AppleInsider reports: "The developer release, those people familiar with the matter say, is a telltale sign that Apple plans further adoption of ZFS under Mac OS X as the operating system matures. It's further believed that ZFS is a candidate to eventually succeed HFS+ as the default operating system for Mac OS X -- an unfulfilled claim already made in regard to Leopard by Sun's chief executive Jonathan Schwartz back in June. Unlike Apple's progression from HFS to HFS+, ZFS is not an incremental improvement to existing technology, but rather a fundamentally new approach to data management. It aims to provide simple administration, transactional semantics, end-to-end data integrity, and immense scalability."

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196 comments

I hate the new comment system (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20867687)

I hate the new comment system. Its obnoxious and I want to turn it off.

How do I turn this abomination off?

Re:I hate the new comment system (0, Offtopic)

ArcticFlood (863255) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867793)

Turn your highlight threshold down to whatever you normally browse at. That is a workaround for the time being.

MOD SLASHDOT -1 ANNOYING (0, Offtopic)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868029)

I can't even see my preferences link in at all with this system, the floaters do not work in Safari 3. I had to go straight to my user page by URL.

In addition, what's the point of having a checkbox "to turn off the excesses of the user interface" if it doesn't actually DO that?

Clearly ZFS is superior... (2, Funny)

psiogen (262130) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867725)

It has a "Z" in it!

Re:Clearly ZFS is superior... (2, Funny)

Trespass (225077) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867841)

It gives new meaning to the term 'Killer App'.

Re:Clearly ZFS is superior... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20868609)

Uh... that is 'Killer.app' to you sir!

Re:Clearly ZFS is superior... (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868783)

Add support for the Andrew File System and you'd have the bases covered from A through N on to Z.

Does anyone proofread these articles? (5, Funny)

tomRakewell (412572) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867777)

It's further believed that ZFS is a candidate to eventually succeed HFS+ as the default operating system for Mac OS X


Macs are really going to stink if Apple changes their default operating system to ZFS. ZFS is a file system.

Re:Does anyone proofread these articles? (1, Funny)

rueger (210566) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867893)

Macs are really going to stink if Apple changes their default operating system to ZFS. ZFS is a file system.

Yes, but the fanboys will still rave about how superior the whole thing is the Windows....

Re:Does anyone proofread these articles? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20868695)

And, sadly, they will of course be correct.

Re:Does anyone proofread these articles? (3, Funny)

McFadden (809368) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868039)

Does anyone proofread these articles?
They haven't done for 10 years. You're expecting them to start now?

Bad Technology Journalism (1)

StCredZero (169093) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868409)

eventually succeed HFS+ as the default operating system for Mac OS X

It would appear that Appleinsider's writers can't tell the difference between an Operating System and a File System. Bad Science Journalism is about the same thing as Bad Information Technology Journalism. Is one more widespread than the other? If Science Journalism is worse, then I wonder what we do differently with Tech jornalism that we can apply there.

I once worked for a company where the CTO couldn't tell the difference between NNTP and HTTP. (He clicked on a link that brought up Usenet in Outlook Express, and was up in arms about how so many negative comments were "on our website!")

Re:Bad Technology Journalism (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 6 years ago | (#20870249)

Or they just thought about/typed the wrong word since they are atleast sort of related. I wonder what is more likely? ...

Re:Does anyone proofread these articles? (3, Funny)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 6 years ago | (#20870339)

Macs are really going to stink if Apple changes their default operating system to ZFS. ZFS is a file system.

Right, and emacs is a text editor.

So.... BSD or Solaris??? (0)

queenb**ch (446380) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867789)

Even though OSX will still be Unix, will they'll move away from BSD and toward Solaris?

I'm hoping not, since many things behave very oddly on Solaris. Non standard tools and such, but it would be one way to keep it from running on cracked PC's.

2 cents,

QueenB.

Re:So.... BSD or Solaris??? (2, Interesting)

khb (266593) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867867)

BSD and Solaris have compatible licenses. So new tecchnologies developed in either can potentially migrate to the other. That is, of course, the point of Open Source isn't it?

A filesystem isn't a kernel, so leaping from the incorporation of ZFS into Darwin to a replacement of Mach and/or the BSD bits with Solaris is a bizarre one.

Re:So.... BSD or Solaris??? (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868229)

I have been playing around with ZFS on FreeBSD since the middle of this year or so.

I wonder if I should be concerned that FreeBSD is moving toward Solaris and away from FreeBSD.

Re:So.... BSD or Solaris??? (1)

Deagol (323173) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868471)

So how goes the evaluation? I've been patiently waiting for the 7.0 release (it's killing me) so I can get my hands on ZFS. Kind of ironic that you're worried about BSD moving towards Solaris, as Solaris was preceded by SunOS which was based on BSD.

Don't die. 7.0 is fine for non-critical uses. (1)

Kartoffel (30238) | more than 6 years ago | (#20870157)

In my experiences, anyone who runs FreeBSD for srs business also has a few machines kicking around for testing and development. Why not unleash 7.0 on one of those right now? HEAD is currently frozen (and about as stable as HEAD could ever be), pending official creation of RELENG_7.

Re:So.... BSD or Solaris??? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20867927)

Non standard tools and such

Uh, Mac OS X is certified standard UNIX. Solaris is also certified standard UNIX. And they're both fully POSIX compliant.

What are some examples of non-standard tools?

Re:So.... BSD or Solaris??? (3, Funny)

Trigun (685027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868191)

killall

How many people have learned that one the hard way?

Re:So.... BSD or Solaris??? (1)

porkchop_d_clown (39923) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868719)

What's so bad about killall?

It's good enough for Linux but not good enough for you?

Re:So.... BSD or Solaris??? (2, Informative)

memfrob (157990) | more than 6 years ago | (#20870959)

What's so bad about killall?

You should get out more: (from the Linux manpage)

Be warned that typing killall name may not have the desired effect on non-Linux systems, especially when done by a privileged user
...and from the Solaris manpage:

killall is used by shutdown(1M) to kill all active processes not directly related to the shutdown procedure
...which might explain why many linux distributions have begun including the solaris-like "pgrep" and "pkill" commands...

Re:So.... BSD or Solaris??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20869669)

Only Linux weenies get burned by that one.

Real Unix admins just get harmlessly pissed off that pkill results in command not found whenever they use a toy Unix.

Re:So.... BSD or Solaris??? (5, Informative)

memfrob (157990) | more than 6 years ago | (#20870463)

Uh, Mac OS X is certified standard UNIX.

According to the Single Unix Standard [opengroup.org], only Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) can be considered "Unix". And only when deployed on Intel-based Macs. Previous versions must be considered like Linux: "Unix-like".

FWIW, Sun's operating system (SunOS) has been fairly close to Unix standards over its lifetime. In fact, the official version of System V release 4 was written by Sun and called SunOS 5, integrated into Solaris 2

Why is anyone even having this argument? GNU means "Gnu's NOT Unix" for a reason...

even then (2)

m2943 (1140797) | more than 6 years ago | (#20871239)

According to the Single Unix Standard, only Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) can be considered "Unix".

Even conforming to the standard means that it is "UNIX" only in one sense; in terms of its internal architecture, OS X is still completely different from a traditional UNIX.

Re:So.... BSD or Solaris??? (3, Informative)

abigor (540274) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868159)

Even though OSX will still be Unix, will they'll move away from BSD and toward Solaris?

I'm hoping not, since many things behave very oddly on Solaris. Non standard tools and such, but it would be one way to keep it from running on cracked PC's.

2 cents,

QueenB.
Please go and stare at this page for a while: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XNU [wikipedia.org]

If by "non-standard tools" you mean non-GNU, yes, but they are hardly odd.

I have no idea what your "cracked PCs" comment is all about, and what it has to do with Solaris and ZFS.

Re:So.... BSD or Solaris??? (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 6 years ago | (#20870691)

He's arguing that it would be much harder to run a cracked OS X on a regular PC if it ran more Solaris userland (?) than BSD. Thought noone on the planet can understand why that would be the case. Also why would they switch other things from BSD to Solaris just because they add support for another filesystem?

The whole post is just weird, I wonder how it even got +2 =P

Non-Standard my ass! (5, Insightful)

kaiwai (765866) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868265)

I'm hoping not, since many things behave very oddly on Solaris. Non standard tools and such, but it would be one way to keep it from running on cracked PC's.

What are you smokeing - what ever it is, pass it this way. Non-standard or 'does not conform to the bastardised standards which GNU have embraced and extended'. Case in point, look at the number of nimrods who assume gnu grep and use gnu specific switches for their make scripts.

It isn't Solaris that it is non-standard, it is those who insist on using GNU tools and their extensions to the standard which are the non-standard.

Re:Non-Standard my ass! (0)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868391)

Hmm,

Solaris tools - specific to Solaris, good interpretation of Posix standard, and mostly consistent across releases

GNU tools - ubiquitous across nearly all OSs, good interpretation of the Posix standard plus usability extensions, and nearly identical across all releases and platforms

Re:Non-Standard my ass! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20870301)

Have you tried a recent Solaris version, a lot of GNU tools extentions seem to be in solaris 10.
Although the GNU tool's are not always the published "Standard", their tools do set the usability "standard", but I think you'll find that the good extentions are incorporated into solaris in good time ( e.g. to think of one item I've noticed in solaris 10 ( the -h option to du and df )

A merge of MacOS Apple and Solaris Sun would make perfect sense.
A) they have complementary customers ( enterprise / servers/data center) and ( home/smaller company / desktops ).
B) they both have a similiar focus on quality ahead of cost.
C) they both derive a certain amount of their strength from their ability to control from top to bottom of the stack ( hardware, Operating System , Software )

You left out D... (1)

swb (14022) | more than 6 years ago | (#20871011)

D) They're both run by megalomaniacal zealots.

I thought that Apple and SGI should have merged at one time. It no longer makes sense, but at the time (say, 2000 or before) both were clear leaders in graphics and visualization. It would have been very interesting to have a common software platform from true desktop to true datacenter.

The party is kind of over now, as Apple has decided they are a consumer electronics company and not a computer company and Sun is less interested than they used to be in the desktop-type workstation market (at least from a hardware perspective, Java kind of keeps them there in a software basis).

 

Re:So.... BSD or Solaris??? (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#20869025)

Does FreeBSD's implementation of DTrace makes it away from BSD? No, that tool is very critical and useful for their needs/focus and they implement it just like Apple planning sort of ZFS support for specific needs.

oh, puhleeeze (1, Insightful)

m2943 (1140797) | more than 6 years ago | (#20871209)

Even though OSX will still be Unix, will they'll move away from BSD and toward Solaris?

OS X is a heavily hacked Mach kernel with a bit of BSD code thrown in. Its architecture and codebase are completely different from UNIX. So, apart from a bit of UNIX compatibility and a lot of marketing hype, OS X is not UNIX.

Will they "move towards Solaris"? I have no idea what that even would mean.

Buzz compliant (3, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867795)

end-to-end data integrity

You can't talk about end-to-end data integrity when this is just a filesystem. It's only one tiny place where the data you store in said file system can wreck its integrity. Are there memory bus or in-memory check for integrity of data read from ZFS? What about applications?

Also stop talking to ZFS. Very secret internal sources told me ZFS was supposed to be a bigger event in Leopard but Steve killed it because Sun scooped him. It has happened before folks!

Don't scoop the Steve. You scoop the Steve and business is over.

Re:Buzz compliant (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20868201)

There is a in-memory checksum check for all data that is read, yes. If the checksum doesn't match ZFS tries to read the same data from another disk, in a mirror/RAID-Z setup.

Re:Buzz compliant (0, Offtopic)

kaiwai (765866) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868305)

"If you care about my opinion, you have no girlfriend." - Miguel de Icaza, Novell VP & founder of GNOME and Mono

Well of course I have no girlfriend - I have a boyfriend!

Re:Buzz compliant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20868321)

So APPLE wants to use SUN'S ZFS, eh?

I'll be back in coupla weeks.

Re:Buzz compliant (2, Insightful)

caseih (160668) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868367)

That's Steve's loss then. Too bad his own ego often gets in the way of things that could benefit the customer. Honestly, why should Sun really care what Jobs does with ZFS in the long run. Sure it'd be good for Sun in terms of publicity, and maybe even some royalties. But in the long run, I can't see it being that big of a deal for Sun.

Re:Buzz compliant (5, Informative)

jadavis (473492) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868399)

Are there memory bus or in-memory check for integrity of data read from ZFS? What about applications?

They have defined what they mean by that claim already: they have a checksum (256-bit, I think) on every block, and that checksum is checked from the OS when the block is read.

This will catch some errors that might otherwise go uncaught, which is important for servers that move a lot of data around.

It will not catch a memory error at the wrong time, or a processor error that stores the wrong value, or an error in the brain of the person who reads the data from the screen.

Re:Buzz compliant (4, Informative)

mikeee (137160) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868897)

IIRC, the block checksums are stored in the inode, not with the individual blocks. It turns out that one of the main failure modes of modern disks isn't reading a few bits wrong, but missing slightly on a seek and actually returning the wrong block! Block-included checksums won't find this, since it's still a valid block...

Re:Buzz compliant (2, Informative)

kithrup (778358) | more than 6 years ago | (#20871225)

Not quite... ZFS stores a checksum with each block pointer. So wherever you have a structure that indicates where the data is, there's also a checksum of that data. This also means that the block pointers themselves are checksummed with their pointers. And so forth. The only one that doesn't have a checksum with the pointer is the top-level root pointer, and they have multiple copies of that for redundant checksumming.

And yes, for true integrity, you need ECC memory, and ECC CPUs. I don't know if the Intel CPUs have any sort of internal error checking; I have worked with processors that have.

Re:Buzz compliant (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868643)

Why should business trust a platform from a company that lets petty crap like that drive product development?

Re:Buzz compliant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20869819)

You can't talk about end-to-end data integrity when this is just a filesystem. It's only one tiny place where the data you store in said file system can wreck its integrity.

It's called a "filesystem", but it does more than any other filesystem, e.g., it has its own RAID. It does so much more because it isn't constrained by the old abstraction boundaries.

there memory bus or in-memory check for integrity of data read from ZFS?

Yes.

What about applications?

It's copy-on-write, so even if your application decides to "delete" all your data you can still get it back.

Do you have any complaints that can't be answered by looking at wikipedia's article for 10 seconds?

Re:Buzz compliant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20870569)

"You can't talk about end-to-end data integrity when this is just a filesystem."

ZFS is NOT just a filesystem, it is also a volume manager.

It is currently possible to create a zpool and use a different file system on top of it (like UFS, PCFS, UDFS, or any other FS Solaris currently supports).

Please read up on the subject before you post about ZFS.

Time Machine (2, Interesting)

JayPee (4090) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867813)

This is awesome and I knew there had to be something more interesting behind Time Machine. While I'm not that impressed with how it appears it's going to work in 10.5, later versions of OS X, with full ZFS support, will make Time Machine damned near magical.

Re:Time Machine (1)

wile_e_wonka (934864) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868161)

I notice ZFS has read-only support in Leopard--does this mean only that it is able to read a drive formatted in ZFS, if you happened to plug in such a drive? Or does this mean that the time machine data is being stored in a read only ZFS format? I would think the former (which would definitely be no big deal), because I don't see how the OS would be storing data in ZFS format unless it writes to it. Only having read support for ZFS, I would think that there is no way for the OS to record information in ZFS.

Someone please clarify for me, please...?

Re:Time Machine (2, Interesting)

aliquis (678370) | more than 6 years ago | (#20871095)

No, time machine probably doesn't use ZFS atm and is implemented in some other way, read-only ZFS support are rather useless but probably easier to implement, and if Apple had got it all working (and Sun got it bootable, maybe they had now, it was a long time since I read about it) I guess they might had switched filesystems, or offer it as an option, or use it in timemachine.

Anyway we will hopefully see it in a minor release update, I just hope they don't call it beta just to remove it later and not release it for real in 10.6 =P

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20867909)

Where's my linux boot support?

Damnit! (2, Funny)

pi_rules (123171) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868043)

Alright, who broke the comments? Seriously, I'm stuck in this "new" version and it doesn't make fuck-all of any sense to me.

Re:Damnit! (1)

colourmyeyes (1028804) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868541)

The new version works alright, but I have no idea how to post a new comment (i.e. I only know how to reply). The other day I was a first poster, and I went back to the old comment system just to make the initial post. I'm probably just overlooking the obvious.

Re:Damnit! (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868919)

Yes, to the side you should see a box containing something like "40 Comments" as a title. Then you have white area, that with the text "nn Full" with a white background, then a white slider which you can use to adjust the amount of full comments, then a grey area, with the text "nn Abbreviated" followed by a slider (again to adjust the visible posts) and finally a dark-grey area containing "nn Hidden".

That said, this box only appears when you scroll to the end of the story... (Not the comments, obviously)

Below that, you'll find three links: "More", "Prefs" and "Reply".

To reply to a story, click "Reply". Once you get used to it D2 is better.

Re:Damnit! (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#20869101)

I believe the function you describe is still broken (completely absent) on Safari, which could also be the cause of confusion. I reported the problem months ago but always have to switch back to the old comment system to post a comment that is not a reply to some other post.

Re:Damnit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20869707)

So did I. It works now.

Re:Damnit! (2, Funny)

colourmyeyes (1028804) | more than 6 years ago | (#20869237)

Wait, a helpful response and not mere invective? This is Slashdot; are you sure you're in the right place?

Thanks.

How to post a new comment (1)

henrikba (516486) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868955)

Click "Reply" in the "n Comments" box at the left hand side. Not extremely intuitive, but it works as advertised.

Re:Damnit! (1)

tholomyes (610627) | more than 6 years ago | (#20870757)

Oddly enough, it was your comment here that made me finally curious enough to try the new comment system. Maybe I'm just sadistic.

a true end (4, Informative)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868071)

Unless I'm mistaken, this will mean the true end to resource forks on the MacOS. For those of you who aren't familiar with them, resource forks were a part of a file under the Classic MacOS (OS 9 and before) that contained icon information, filetype and creator codes, etc. This part of the file was only supported under the HFS and HFS+ filesystems, meaning the resource fork would get lost if you copied a file to a non-HFS/HFS+ filesystem (this is why files copied to FAT filesystems in the old days often wouldn't reopen on a Mac. It also explains the "Mac OS X" folder with underscored-dot files from archives created with OS X's built-in zip utility). With OS X, Apple rolled the resource fork into the "data fork" portion of the file, meaning the information was still there for legacy purposes. However, this is only supported under apps that know where to find the information. This change has the potential to cause some headaches for shops that have legacy files spanning several decades. OTOH, I'll be glad to see it finally go...

Re:a true end (3, Interesting)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868359)

For those of you who aren't familiar with them, resource forks were a part of a file under the Classic MacOS (OS 9 and before) that contained icon information, filetype and creator codes, etc.

I'll be happy to see them kill that obsolete feature. It's hard to implement everything-is-a-file semantics when some things are files, and others are combinations of random amounts of metadata.

Not so. ZFS could handle resources (5, Informative)

Henriok (6762) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868465)

Hardly! ZFS have provisions for any number of "forks" in the file system, called "extended attributes" in ZFS. If Apple migrates to ZFS they have every chanse to use these attributes to provide for quite a seamless integration with previous filsystems. The file system is open source and Apple can prettymuch do what they like or need. Even NTFS have these features but MS seems to ignore them due to backwards compatability issues with FAT filsystems and Windows APIs

You know.. Wikipedia is very handy to look these things up. Please do. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZFS [wikipedia.org]

Re:Not so. ZFS could handle resources (3, Funny)

Trailer Trash (60756) | more than 6 years ago | (#20870187)

You know.. Wikipedia is very handy to look these things up.

Dude, we're still trying to get people to read the linked article. Let's not get too crazy.

Re:Not so. ZFS could handle resources (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20870451)

then I question why they don't already use xattrs in 10.4. See this [arstechnica.com] to see how you can use them with the present OS.

Re:Not so. ZFS could handle resources (4, Informative)

EvanED (569694) | more than 6 years ago | (#20871253)

Even NTFS have these features but MS seems to ignore them due to backwards compatability issues with FAT filsystems and Windows APIs
They are starting to do some stuff with them. The first major use I know of was with XP SP2. With that, when you downloaded a file from the internet, IE would mark it as such in an alternate stream. When the program was run, someone (I don't know who) would check for the presence of the stream and if it was there, would display a "this program came from an untrusted source, would you like to run it?" dialog.

I would expect more uses as we move into the future, as Vista is pushing even heavier for NTFS (for instance, IIRC the installer didn't ask which file system I wanted to use and just formatted NTFS), and MS doesn't have to worry about, for instance, some 98 or ME user who upgraded to XP but is still running FAT so he didn't have to reformat. For my large partitions (~100 GB), I can't format as anything but NTFS. (I don't know about smaller ones; I have a 24 GB system partition but if I try to bring up the format dialog there it complains that I'm trying to reformat the drive with the OS and I don't want to do that.)

Personally, I think that there's a lot of awesome stuff that you could use extended attributes and alternate streams (WHY are these separate concepts on some file systems?!) if only they would be preserved when you move stuff around systems, upload them, etc., and am somewhat resentful at Unix and POSIX for the fact that for ages they didn't do this stuff and hence it's really hard to move to using them because no one supports them because there's no demand because people haven't thought of what to do with them because they haven't seen what can be done with them because no one uses them because no one supports them because... :-) I've often wondered what operating systems would be like if we kept the knowledge of the last decades, but threw out everything that we had now and started from scratch without worry of backwards compatibility, and this is one of the things I would like to see change.

Re:a true end (2, Informative)

nine-times (778537) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868637)

With OS X, Apple rolled the resource fork into the "data fork" portion of the file, meaning the information was still there for legacy purposes.

That doesn't sound right to me-- or at least I'm not sure what you mean by that. OSX still has resource forks, but Apple basically told developers not to put important information in them anymore because they get lost so easily. They can't just push the resource fork into the data fork of the file, because in many formats there's essentially no space for that information. How do you store an icon, metadata tags, and a default application setting into a normal .txt file without making it into something that isn't really a normal text file?

So right now, developers are only really supposed to use resource forks for things that don't matter much. So if they're stripped, you lose a little metadata, but nothing catastrophic. It used to be that some files would carry all their data in the resource fork, and that was a bit of a nightmare. You'd lose important information all the time. In order to protect resource forks a little while transferring them to other file systems and such, Apple made those little files that you mentioned that begin with dot-underscore. So copy a file to another filesystem, and it'll often dump the resource forks into those dot-underscore files so that OSX can recombine them later.

I don't see how ZFS will change the situation greatly. Resource forks are just how HFS+ supports metadata. ZFS supports metadata too. I'm sure the technical implementation is different, but I bet you'll still risk losing your ZFS metadata if you move your file to a FAT partition. Or am I missing something?

folders are even worse (3, Interesting)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20869131)

Resource forks are far better than the idiotic "everything is a folder" model.

Want to upload that Keynote project to your friendly CMS via a web browser? Can't, because it's not a file, it's a #@$!ing FOLDER. You have to zip it first. Words cannot accurately describe how tiresome this becomes.

It also makes data recovery (should the file get accidentally deleted) nearly impossible- the files inside the folder are not named uniquely or in any identifiable manner.

ZFS isn't nearly all it is cracked up to be- among other things, you can't expand RAID-Z...absolutely moronic. I'm not even sure you can expand a simple mirrored pool. Users have been repeatedly asking for growing abilities, and the developer reaction was "just create a larger pool and move it over". That's hilariously stupid advice given that you usually don't have that kind of storage hanging around- not even in enterprise environments.

There's simply no comprehension amongst the ZFS developers that virtually EVERY raid card on the market supports such an operation. Even more shocking was when one developer said (paraphrasing) "gosh, how would one even go about doing that sort of thing?"

Don't get me wrong- checksumming and automatic disk scrubbing are features long overdue, but ZFS is not magic bullet.

They said the same thing about UFS. (3, Interesting)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868091)

They made a big deal about the import of the latest UFS from FreeBSD in Panther, and their support for UFS was actually reduced in Tiger because they put the Spotlight hooks into HFS+ instead of using the hooks already in the vnode layer in Darwin.

So don't do anything that would depend on them supporting ZFS.

Re:They said the same thing about UFS. (1)

erikvcl (43470) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868665)

Is their support for UFS better now? The last time I used OS X (v10.2) their support for UFS was crap. I chose UFS to have a true Unix-like filesystem with case-sensitivity that didn't corrupt itself. Boy did I make a mistake! UFS was dog-slow and lots of Mac OS X software won't run on it. Nice.

Re:They said the same thing about UFS. (4, Informative)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868963)

I don't think UFS using community would be happy about Spotlight anyway.

Spotlight in current form tries to index every single source file, huge framework headers and there is no practical way to stop it. I have tried the Privacy pane as suggested and no, it doesn't explain my 130 MB of spotlight metadata after installing Developer tools and couple of GNU libraries.

If they have checked the NeXT history, they would figure the UFS is the default,supported Filesystem on NeXT. As OS X is a mix of NeXT with FreeBSD and Cocoa/Carbon, it is pretty natural that UFS gets into it a bit lately but finally.

I can imagine what Apple needs for supporting ZFS on startup volumes. Complete metadata and resource support. They could be happy with their ext3 plain filesystem but Apple using professionals REALLY label their files, sometimes change their icons, sometimes has to FORCE OS to open a file with a different version of suite (e.g. Quark 7 vs 6), add comments to them and professional software developers like Adobe still stores critical data on resource forks.

If there is a way to make ZFS support all those features without huge hacks (like the ZIP _resource stuff), they would give up their HFS+. Another thing is, it must support every serious software (non hack) backwards. You may find yourself using a application from 2001 written in Carbon under OS X and only it can provide the tool you require.

I am saying these since some elitists think Apple is backwards and stupid still supporting resource forks and implement special features to OS X just to give minimum compatibility with old applications.

Before critising HFS+ and suggesting Apple to use plain, Unix filesystems, they should sit around in a professional environment such as a DTP house, Movie studio and see how all those "childish" "backwards" features are used by professionals in job.

This is not a post against ZFS, I am just trying to explain why Apple can't magically move to another filesystem just because it has better features. Not even mentioning the "overhead" required by ZFS and the fact that there are some 2k/4k (Cinema) edit environments which you can't even enable journaling let alone adding another layer of overhead.

Also while writing these, if I only used plain Unix tools without any "native Mac" Application, e.g. use OS X as Darwin with X11, UFS would be my choice of filesystem.

Re:They said the same thing about UFS. (3, Insightful)

flaming-opus (8186) | more than 6 years ago | (#20871033)

True, but the capabilities of UFS don't really exceed HFS+. ZFS, on the other hand, is a thoroughly modern filesystem. UFS is just as rusty as HFS+.

Correcting errors in AppleInsider ZFS article (2, Informative)

kuma (98937) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868105)

The AppleInsider article is largely vacuous...

Please do not bother with this debunking (via Macjournals) unless you are truly interested. Thanks.

http://www.macjournals.com/news/2007/10/04.html#a79 [macjournals.com]

Re:Correcting errors in AppleInsider ZFS article (1)

Sandor at the Zoo (98013) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868555)

This wasn't a debunking, it was more of a whiny "AppleInsider gets way more traffic than we do, so we'll dump on what they have to say, even though we don't have anything to add to it."

Despite the macjournals piece, ZFS is cool, and it is better than HFS+journaled, at some things. Deal with it.

Re:Correcting errors in AppleInsider ZFS article (1)

kuma (98937) | more than 6 years ago | (#20869895)

I see you are unfamiliar with the Macjournals profiles of HSF+ and ZFS, which appeared in print, and informed their *debunking* of the AppleInsider piece.

Only if you are SERIOUSLY, honestly interested, refer to the following:
    MWJ_20070611 "the reality of zfs"
    MWJ_20060417 "Uniform type identifiers and their place in Tiger"
    MWJ_20030531 "DiskWarrior explained"
    MWJ_ 20030525 "HFS and HFS Plus Complete"

Macjournals *agreed* with you about ZFS being "cool" and better than HFS+, at some things.

But it is not a better startup volume for current and foreseen versions of Mac OS X.

Please go away, or backup your *despite*... Your sarcasm does not impress me, you shit.

I maintain: (4, Interesting)

teknopurge (199509) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868221)

Sun is the new Bell Labs.

Watch for the robotics coming out, very quietly, from Sun in the next 10 years.

Re:I maintain: (1)

cain (14472) | more than 6 years ago | (#20869677)

There will be robots coming out of Sun?!?! Holy crap, will they look like Arnold? Will they use us for batteries? Everyone stay away from teh stairs!!! We should nuke Sun from orbit. It's the only way to be, um, pretty sure...

Translation: (1)

Troy Baer (1395) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868307)

"We don't have an LVM layer to speak of, so we're going to build it into the file system."

There are a lot of things to like about ZFS. The built-in LVM isn't one of them IMHO, but I can see where it might be attractive if either you don't already have an LVM subsystem or your existing LVM subsystem is complete crap.

Re:Translation: (2, Informative)

lauwersw (727284) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868557)

Way easier to manage: only 2 commands! While now with an LVM you have to place your disks in the desired topology inside your LVM (RAID0, 1, 5, ...), format them, put a filesystem on, mount, file check, repair, whatever. With zfs you place disks in your pool and kinda mount part of it, that's it.

There are some other things you could complain about: it makes less sense on hardware RAIDs with good management tools. They missed a chance to make it a distributed or clusterable file system (though they bought Lustre lately, who knows) and it's not possible to boot from it yet, but all in all it's a major step forward.

built in LVM == Win (2, Insightful)

mikeee (137160) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868809)

Actually, a built-in LVM makes a lot of sense if you stop to think about it; many of the things a LVM does could benefit from information only the filesystem has.

ZFS is still missing 1 very important feature (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20868499)

Sure thing, ZFS supports huge storage, easy administration and the ability to add more data sets into the storage pool to easily increase available storage.

I was amazed to discover though that ZFS can't increase the size of a RAID5 or 6 dataset. Given the ability to dynamically add storage is various other ways it is extraordinary that something as common as resizing RAID5 is missing.

Re:ZFS is still missing 1 very important feature (1)

quantum bit (225091) | more than 6 years ago | (#20869453)

Are you talking about adding drives to the pool?

I know you can definitely expand it with the whole replace one disk with a bigger one, wait for rebuild, repeat until all your disks are bigger trick.

HFS+ as the default operating system for Mac OS X (0, Redundant)

theNetImp (190602) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868529)

Uh folks, I hate to break it to you but ZFS is a FILE SYSTEM not an OPERATING SYSTEM....

I am sure Apple isn't going to replace the core of their OS with Solaris. ZFS may be a better choice the HFS+ I don't know a lot about ZFS, but if it is better I will have no problem migrating my stuff over to it.

Expandable storage (1)

kimble3 (736268) | more than 6 years ago | (#20869793)

I doubt that Apple is going to switch the default file system to ZFS anytime soon, but one situation where I think it might be very useful right away is in the Apple TV or possibly iPods. A lot of people were dissapointed with the small size of the disk when the Apple TV was released and it did have that mysterious USB port on the back. Could ZFS be used to make plugging disks into Apple TVs easier? Just curious...

What about NTFS? (-1, Flamebait)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 6 years ago | (#20870423)

So, Apple is supposed to start supporting a file system which nobody but some research geeks use - but they STILL refuse to fully support NTFS, which half of the disk drives on the planet are using. What kind of sense does that make?

(For those living in a closet: MacOSX supports reading NTFS, but not writing).

If Apple would stop being so dysfunctional and start to play nicely with others, maybe it would get invited to more offices.

Just wondering about the implications... (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 6 years ago | (#20870605)

My question is, why ZFS for the Mac? I mean, for 99% of people's uses, it seems like the most enticing features of ZFS are overkill, unless implementing it does not imply any load on the system if all the features are not being used, and they want to synch up FS development between all of their products, from iPod to XServe.

That being said, they may have something up their sleeves, and forgive me if the connection between ZFS and my idea is tenuous. If it seems like a silly idea, I blame the overdose of coffee I had this morning.

My understanding is that one of the features of ZFS is effectively infinite virtual device size, spread over effectively infinite numbers of physical volumes in a RAID configuration.

Since the introduction of iTMS, especially with TV and movies, Apple is now very much in the business of pushing bits, and the costs of that bit-pushing grow--maybe not linearly, but they do grow--as demand for those bits grows.

People have been suggesting that Apple might be building some sort of BitTorrent client to facilitate distribution of content, and I'm thinking that ZFS might be a key to this.

Perhaps--and this is where my understanding of the technology may be leading me down the wrong path--they could build some sort of ZFS hooks into iTunes such that, if the user chooses to do so, they could mount their purchased library as a network-shared ZFS partition and register an IP address and port with an Apple server. If someone wants to buy a TV show that 10 people have already bought, they get a magic read-only volume mounted which is effectively a network-mounted RAID1 partition striped across those 10 drives, with access only to the TV show in question.

The iTunes hosts which are providing the data shake hands and agree on some sort of wrapper that is provided by the Apple servers, and encode their data appropriately. The buyer then gets their content with minimal data flow from Apple's infrastructure.

To provide incentive for people to do this, perhaps Apple offers lower-cost or even free content to regular bandwidth contributors.

Is this feasible, or even a likely path that they would be thinking of with ZFS, or am I just on crack?

Aliases (1)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 6 years ago | (#20871193)

I wonder how Mac OS X aliases will function under ZFS. With HFS no matter where you move a file or its alias, they will be correctly linked. This is because the filesystem supposedly stores everything with an abstracted unique name. Will this be the end of Mac OS style aliases?
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