Apple quietly launches next-gen encrypted Apple File System; it may prove revolutionary

“It didn’t get any airtime at the big opening day of the annual Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), but excitement is building around Apple’s next-generation file system,” Kieren McCarthy reports for The Register.

“Early specs show the system will bring your hard drive into the modern era, most notably by supporting native encryption,” McCarthy reports. “It will also time-stamp files by nanoseconds (rather than seconds), making it better for modern databases, and take snapshots of the file system, massively reducing the time needed to make backups.”

“Other interesting features include crash protection, space sharing – which will enable much more flexible partitioning – optimization for solid-state hard drives, and a better system for cleaning up deleted files,” McCarthy reports. “In short, the new Apple File System (APFS) can be expected to bring significant advances in speed and efficiency, and the updating of Apple’s file sharing technology”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s past time, but it’s very, very welcome!

Apple’s “Apple File System Guide” is here.

7 Comments

  1. GREAT news I thought we were getting ZFS support like a decade ago. So really…they thought “Memories” was a bigger deal than this? One of the few times I have “concerns” about the state of . Well this and the fact I’ve been waiting for a year for my Macbook Air upgrade dammit – give me TB3!

    1. You should learn to stay on top of things. Apple dropped all development and support for ZFS in 2009 because of licensing issues. APFS is obviously an answer to that. File systems take years of development and testing to perfect – it’s the last place you want to find a bug. Apple must feel that they’ve hit that point, but they still need it tested on a mass scale.

  2. Agreed, this is Apple’s version of ZFS/Btfs.

    The guide doesn’t seem to indicate any new/improved features over those efforts, so just another flavor in the mix to maintain a well-splintered filesystem ecosystem.

    Meh.

  3. Let’s hope that file crypto keys are discretely over-writeable/wipeable even where SSD’s are used for storage. Making this portable and doing it at a high level of confidence will probably require adding some effaceable storage to the architecture unless you want to rely on assertions of SSD builders.

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