Alex headshot

AlBlue’s Blog

Macs, Modularity and More

Farewell, ZFS, we hardly knew ye ...

2009, crap, mac, zfs

Readers of my blog may know that I’m interested in ZFS, Sun’s “next generation file system” including its Mac port (including making binaries available for the Mac port from zfs.macosforge.org). I currently run my home file server off of an Iomega Ultramax, and it’s served me well (including the ability to recover files that accidentally got corrupted recently).

I’d been looking forward to ZFS on Snow Leopard, mainly because the supply of bits to the aforementioned ZFS project had dried up. It even had a mention on the Tech Specs page, as the screenshots show.

Sadly, these have since disappeared from the main server specs site; though if you look quickly, you might be able to see them at a regional mirror (such as www.apple.com/de) – you’ll need to look quick, as, like an ex-girlfriend, they’ll be updated to erase any mention of ZFS ever having existed.

Does this mean the future is HFS? Well, I doubt it – even with the Oracle acquisition towering over Sun’s future, like the sword of Damocles, ZFS is still a true next-generation file system and I expect will make an appearance at some future point. However, I suspect confidence in the Mac port (or the kernel adaptations required) weren’t up to scratch, and so rather than advertise something and then pull it, they’re canning the marketing material in advance. It’s worth noting that even at this stage, the feature list is possibly still subject to amendments – but the chances of ZFS making it into the gold release are pretty unlikely. And given Apple’s past support for updates to ZFS in the kernel (i.e. nothing) the chances that it’ll make it in to a subsequent point release of Snow Leopard are pretty slim.