ZFS beta now on Apple’s Mac OS X Leopard

“Noel Dellofano, part of the ZFS development team at Apple, has posted ZFS binaries and source code on Mac OS Forge. ZFS looks to be the first 21st century file system to make it to a high-volume desktop,” Robin Harris blogs for ZDNet.

“As I said in May ‘06, ZFS is ‘a complete software environment for protecting, storing and accessing data, designed for the most demanding enterprise environments. Using standard storage components: disk drives, enclosures, adapters, cables. No RAID arrays. No volume managers. No CDP. No fsck. No partitions. No volumes. Almost makes you nostalgic for the good old days, doesn’t it? Like before Novocaine,'” Harris writes.

“This is a beta filesystem, folks. It can hose all your data very effectively. So don’t go crazy. A complete back up before you play ZFS is a minimum requirement.,” Harris writes. “If you think a ‘tar ball’ is black and sticky don’t even think about it.”

Full article here.

ZFS latest binaries and source code here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Linux Guy And Mac Prodigal Son” for the heads up.]


  1. A “tar ball” IS “black and sticky”. But it works, and works just fine. IF the folks at both ends of it (which may be the same person) understand it. I once had a client return from Japan telling me “it didn’t work” … opened up fine for me, on my drive. Turned out his drive was not quite up to snuff, but not so far gone as to complain.
    What’s this about “no RAID”? RAID is a safety feature, not a work-around or “fix-it”. Is redundancy built in to ZFS? Please say “yea” so I can pass it along to my podcast host. (we had a RAID array crash a while back … lots of folks lost way too much stuff)

  2. For Apple ZFS isn’t an entrance to enterprise. No, what it is is the great step needed for relieving home users of the annoyance and confusion of volume based file storage.

    People are filling up their hard drives with video and music, and storing that stuff–particular itunes managed material–over multiple drives is a gigantic pain in the ass, particularly since the itunes program ignores symbolic links so you can’t even have one drive for music, another for TV shows, another for movies, etc. ZFS takes all that away–instead of having to change storage locations when a drive is filled plugging in a new drive just increases the general storage space available without user involvement other than plugging in the drive.

    ZFS involves a lot of mumbo-jumbo and that’s what has people thinking enterprise level, but Apple’s specialty is turning that kind of mumbo-jumbo ladened thing into something as simple and seamless as possible.

  3. ZFS is a Microsoft killer — in both the consumer market and the enterprise. So many of the advanced features built at higher levels of the operating system are made simpler to implement, that Apple will gain a huge advantage in development speed, leaving competitors in the dust.

    Apple is going in for the kill. Hang on to your AAPL.

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