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ZFS For Mac OS X Source Code Available

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  • by slyn (1111419) <ozzietheowl@gmail.com> on Sunday January 13, 2008 @06:30PM (#22028630)
    How stable is it, and how soon till I can get it on my Mac by default?
    • by larry bagina (561269) on Sunday January 13, 2008 @10:27PM (#22030440) Journal
      a readonly version is included with leopard:

      sh-3.2# zfs
      Read-Only ZFS Implementation
      missing command
      usage: zfs command args ...
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        a readonly version is included with leopard:
        Honestly, what good is a file system if you can't write to it? Please enlighten me.
        • by Kremmy (793693) on Monday January 14, 2008 @01:14AM (#22031306)
          Not real sure, but you might want to ask the users of ISO9660 and UDF on optical media.
        • by wodgy7 (850851) on Monday January 14, 2008 @01:51AM (#22031600)
          It's so that you can bring a ZFS volume to any old Mac running Leopard, plug it in, and read data off it, without having to install any extra (currently beta) software.

          This is also why, when you create a ZFS pool using the read/write drivers, it defaults to creating a pool with ZFS version 6 on disk, so that it's compatible with the version of ZFS shipping with Leopard. (You run "zfs update" to transform your pool to the most recent on disk version if this kind of compatibility isn't an issue for you.)

          BTW, Leopard also reads from BSD and Solaris-created ZFS drives just fine.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by xeno (2667)
          "what good is a file system if you can't write to it?"

          I could say the same of NTFS. After throwing in the towel with regard to Windows as a base OS, I have years of accumulated data on NTFS volumes spread across a small pile of drives. Linux support for NTFS is still a little shaky. But with read-only access to NTFS, I can throw those old desktop or laptop drives into an enclosure, connect it, and either pull all the data over to a writable volume for ongoing work (and perhaps dispose of the old drive), o
          • by Cato (8296) on Monday January 14, 2008 @03:41AM (#22032106)
            Have you tried NTFS-3G? It really is very stable, no doubt due to the exhaustive testing regime on every release - see http://www.ntfs-3g.org/quality.html [ntfs-3g.org] - and is used by default in most Linux distros. It's a different codebase to the older Linux-NTFS and Captive NTFS projects, and has reasonably good performance.

            Since ZFS is new, I don't think your scenario applies, and it's not intended for DVD/CD use.
            • by jay-be-em (664602)
              But it's still a serious pain in the butt to use outside of a non-simple home use situation. Please please correct me if I'm wrong.
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Kjella (173770)
              YMMV, but in my experience it'll consistantly crash when moving large files (>2 or 4GB, not sure) from WD external disks. Fortunately since it's a user space driver, it doesn't do anything with the system. It has been perfectly stable for accessing my internal disks though.
    • by QuietLagoon (813062) on Sunday January 13, 2008 @10:36PM (#22030484)
      It's already available on FreeBSD [freebsd.org] if you want to play.
      • by BrainInAJar (584756) on Sunday January 13, 2008 @11:57PM (#22030968)
        Or more to the point, OpenSolaris... because that's where it came from
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        And people are not very happy about it:
        http://kerneltrap.org/FreeBSD/ZFS_Stability [kerneltrap.org]
        But that doesn't stop the buzzword fanboys.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Deagol (323173)
          Unhappy about what? That the developers were kind enough to port and include ZFS into the mainline 7.0 tree? I can't really imagine that. Yes, some people may bemoan its stability as sub-par when compared to what people have come to expect from FreeBSD. I can't understand people bitching about that, though. It's not like it *must* be used -- it's not even an install option. You have to read up on it and know WTF you're doing to even get it running, never mind set it up as a root/boot volume.

          I've be

    • by wodgy7 (850851) on Sunday January 13, 2008 @11:00PM (#22030606)
      I've been running ZFS on my home Mac server since the old developer seed. It's generally stable as long as you disable Spotlight indexing on the volume (it's not supported yet). Everything on the command line works, as does accessing the ZFS pool over AFS. It's *very* easy to set up btw, much easier than setting up a RAID in Linux. There were issues deleting files from the Finder in the last release; I haven't installed the 102A release yet. Still, if you're just using it for a server volume, you'll probably be happy with it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Eddi3 (1046882)
        "It's *very* easy to set up btw, much easier than setting up a RAID in Linux. "

        I doubt that. Setting up a RAID array in Linux is about 4-5 lines in the CLI.
        • by wodgy7 (850851) on Sunday January 13, 2008 @11:32PM (#22030824)
          It wasn't that easy to set up a RAID in Linux the last time I tried (admittedly long ago), but even in comparison, setting up a RAID-Z in ZFS is just a single line: "zpool create mypool raidz disk4s2 disk5s2 disk6s2"
  • by maubp (303462) on Sunday January 13, 2008 @06:32PM (#22028652)
    Reading their FAQ, it sounds like there are lot of niggles to fix yet - including assumptions in other parts of Mac OS. All in all it sounds like ZFS isn't ready for general use on the Mac just yet. Maybe Mac OS X 10.6 will ship with this by default?
    • by iluvcapra (782887) on Sunday January 13, 2008 @10:33PM (#22030472)

      I'll bet one of the reasons they're putting it out there is the hope that a few kind souls with some time on their hands will submit some patches and work out the kinks; given the amount of interest there is for this to be working on Mac OS X -- and there's a lot.

      Maybe between Apple, some Sun devs on their breaks and Amit Singh they can have this all wrapped up in a few months :)

      Academic question: What would have happened if MS had open sourced WinFS? Even under their PL, there would probably have been enough interest among enough dedicated nerds to... who knows.

      • by russellh (547685)

        I'll bet one of the reasons they're putting it out there is the hope that a few kind souls with some time on their hands will submit some patches and work out the kinks
        a day or two before macworld? hmm.
      • by jcr (53032)
        hope that a few kind souls with some time on their hands will submit some patches and work out the kinks;

        Or just file bug reports. It all helps.

        -jcr

      • by pla (258480)
        What would have happened if MS had open sourced WinFS?

        "Hey guys, I have this great idea - Let's take a passably fast storage medium, the hard drive... And instead of using a one-layer mapping of filenames to physical locations, we can store everything in an SQL database the size of the whole drive! That way, we can take advantage of all the speed, reliability, and economy of resource use of MSSQL, and apply that to every file operation, no matter how trivial! Sure, we might get timeouts under heavy loa
    • by bhima (46039) *
      I think you will find that ZFS (itself, not just Apple's implementation of it) is missing a few critical bits of functionality.
      Like being able to grow the RAIDZ data pool. Maybe this isn't such a big deal in the large data pools and extremely capable servers that Sun usually deals with.

      But for me it was big deal when I went from 1.6 TiB to 4.0 TiB and I'm really hoping that this is all worked out before I have to expand again.

      To me a proper RAID would fully & automagically utilize whatever drive I stuck
  • Notes (Score:5, Informative)

    by asparagus (29121) <`koonce' `at' `gmail.com'> on Sunday January 13, 2008 @06:32PM (#22028660) Homepage Journal
    I installed this last week, got it working. It's still very early beta, managed to crash my machine half a dozen times before deciding to wait a little. Remember to do zpool exports before you eject external hard drives. But yes, very promising technology. OS X has gone from having a wonky 1/0 implementation to having one of the better software raid systems available. Back to scoping out four and eight drive usb sata enclosures and cheap 500gb hard drives. ;-)
    • Re:Notes (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 13, 2008 @11:11PM (#22030688)
      Well, if your looking for cheap HDs. Here is a GREAT script a guy wrote.

      http://forre.st/storage [forre.st]

      It works with newegg.com to find the best deals on HDs
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Take a look around at some of the other pages on that site. Amazing considering the one who wrote this script is 14 yrs old and is already doing some very impressive scripting and design. Keep at it and you will have no problems whatsoever finding a job! The world can certainly use more true hackers.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by LKM (227954)
          Yeah, he's doing some absolutely awesome stuff. Makes me wish I could grow up now. On the other hand, I'll probably be dead once the world is flooded due to global warming and Mad Max meets Waterworld, so I shouldn't feel to bad for not having a computer when I was 14, I guess :-)
    • Re:Notes (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 13, 2008 @11:43PM (#22030896)
      Based on your limited experience with this filesystem, would you say that it would make sense to port the source code to Solaris? I'm sure there's a lot of Sun users who could use a shot in the arm like this right about now.
    • by misleb (129952)

      OS X has gone from having a wonky 1/0 implementation to having one of the better software raid systems available.


      Geez, I should hope OS X would have the whole binary thing down pretty good by now.
      • by cp.tar (871488)

        OS X has gone from having a wonky 1/0 implementation to having one of the better software raid systems available.

        Geez, I should hope OS X would have the whole binary thing down pretty good by now.

        Oh, I don't know... They still seem to be stuck with Roman numerals.

        Then again, since Microsoft patented ones and zeroes [theonion.com], I guess OS X is the best analog computing can offer today.

  • by osgeek (239988) on Sunday January 13, 2008 @07:12PM (#22029038) Homepage Journal
    This reads like a nerd's unsubstantiated wet dream [macosforge.org].

    An absolutely, positively, amazing feature set. I can't wait until it's stable enough for production use. After 7 years of staying away from Apple products, I'm going back to the Mac.
    • by larry bagina (561269) on Sunday January 13, 2008 @10:31PM (#22030460) Journal
      ZFS is also available in FreeBSD 7 and OpenSolaris (which should be the most stablest of all).
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by osgeek (239988)
        Every time I have to mess with Solaris, I'm annoyed at how much dorking I have to do with it to get it to have a reasonably modern environment and set of tools on it like a fresh install of Ubuntu or Fedora Core.

        FreeBSD... maybe... I kind of like the Apple hardware, though.
        • by weicco (645927)

          FreeBSD... maybe... I kind of like the Apple hardware, though.

          Well, last time I checked they used pretty ordinary PC components. I'm sure you can build your own computer with (almost) same components and even spray paint a picture of an apple to the chassis :)

    • by GuyverDH (232921)
      And just think, it's been working for years under Solaris (okay, working internally for a little over 2 years, and available externally for over a year).... =)

      Why wait? OpenSolaris (x86, x64, SPARC) or download a free license of the real deal Solaris (X86, x64, SPARC)....

      www.opensolaris.org or www.sun.com

      either way - zfs rocks, and they keep adding more features frequently....
      • by dfn_deux (535506)
        Working, yes, however, there are is no ZFS support in the Solaris installer or jumpstart system, and Sparc Solaris still has no way to boot ZFS which is something that has been doable on X86 for months. Sun needs to step up and show some serious production level ZFS support if they want to keep us Solaris admins from defecting away from Sun hardware.
      • by Alex (342)
        And just think, it's been working for years under Solaris (okay, working internally for a little over 2 years, and available externally for over a year).... =)

        More like available externally since Nov 2005 (in opensolaris), and running internally for at least 3 more years than that.

        Alex
  • I wonder what Apple thinks of this.
    • Re:Hmm (Score:5, Informative)

      by wootest (694923) on Sunday January 13, 2008 @08:06PM (#22029468)
      Since Apple employs Noel Dellofano, hosts Mac OS Forge, has incorporated the stable read-only bits in the latest Mac OS X Server and makes a slightly older build of the same code as the Mac OS Forge read/write version available on their developer web site, I think they approve.
  • by PhotoGuy (189467) on Sunday January 13, 2008 @08:23PM (#22029622) Homepage
    It's a shame that I'm gunshy with new (to the OS) filesystems. ZFS has so much to offer, but every time I try out a new filesystem, I end up with data loss, even ones that are supposedly new and wonderful and robust. (Even when ext3 was new but stable, I lost stuff on it.) I can't wait to hear lots of positive feedback on its stability and performance, so I can get up the nerve to try it.
  • by this great guy (922511) on Sunday January 13, 2008 @10:34PM (#22030476)
    I have been using ZFS (on Solaris) for more than a year, both at work and at home, and I am following closely the latest developments. IMHO the best intro on ZFS is the official ZFS slides (36 pages): http://opensolaris.org/os/community/zfs/docs/zfs_last.pdf [opensolaris.org]
  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Sunday January 13, 2008 @11:05PM (#22030646)
    Now, if we can only get it to talk to important things like NTFS, and Ext3, and Reiser...
    • by Rebelgecko (893016) on Sunday January 13, 2008 @11:17PM (#22030732)
      If you want to talk to Reiser, visiting hours are 9AM-5PM on weekends.
    • by samkass (174571)
      I agree with NTFS, but I doubt ext3 is important to more than a tiny handful of Mac users, and I'm surprised *anyone*'s using Reiser anymore. While MacOS users have been able to read NTFS for years, it would be nice to be able to format external devices as NTFS and use them natively on MacOS. Of course, now that FUSE is ported to MacOS, word is that NTFS is pretty stable on it (more stable than this ZFS port, from what I've heard), if slow.

      • by EXMSFT (935404)
        NTFS under FUSE on Leopard rocks. Just wish it was as easy (and free) to get Windows to talk back to the HFS+ partitions...
      • You pretty much said what I was thinking, but did not write. It would be nice to have access to NTFS and Ext3 systems, because those are probably the most common non-Apple FS around. Journaling FS, anyway.
      • by jasonwea (598696) *
        May I ask what you would expect people to be using on their Linux boxes instead of ReiserFS?
      • by Woy (606550)
        Reiser rules. Should Reiser the programmer be found guilty, Reiser the FS will still rule.

        It is almost like they are separate identities, and his alleged criminal behaviour didn't introduce bugs into his code or something.
  • "he is making" (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 13, 2008 @11:20PM (#22030758)
    I know it may be unheard of to those reading /., but Noel is a girl.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by celle (906675)
      "I know it may be unheard of to those reading /., but Noel is a girl."

      Oh my Lord!

      narrator: "and the Ronald Reagan picture drops from the wall in Cmdr Taco's office."

      So what, move on guys..??

  • Actually, (Score:5, Informative)

    by antijava (128456) on Monday January 14, 2008 @12:38AM (#22031156)
    Noel is a she. I met her last year soon after Apple hired her away from Sun.
  • by halfdan the black (638018) on Monday January 14, 2008 @01:42AM (#22031520)
    Suppose I ported ZFS to Linux (not that I could, just suppose) as a native kernel module, and published the source code. If then I used ZFS on Linux, and some others also grabbed the 'Linux ZFS' code, built it and used it. What laws if any would I be breaking? Who and under what grounds could sue me / Linux ZFS users?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Who and under what grounds could sue me / Linux ZFS users?

      Short answer: nobody and nothing.

      Long answer: The biggest issue (to my understanding) is that it will not be included in the official kernel. Google sponsored it to be included in FUSE to cover their butts because I suppose they just didn't want to get involved in the issues. I don't see why it couldn't be released as a patchset that someone would have to patch and install manually, at the very least.
      But then again, this is my view and understa

    • Even if you wrote the whole thing from scratch under GPL 2 for Linux, Sun could still be dicks and sue you for patent infringement.

      That is of course unless you're in a country such as the UK which doesn't believe in software patents, then it's the users problem, not yours.
  • From the FAQ: Downloading music via iTunes onto a ZFS target volume does not work yet. iTunes will complain it can't write to the volume. So there seems to be a link between iTunes and HFS+? Sounds like someone needs to do some reverse engineering...
  • UFS might not have all the bells and whistles of ZFS, but it's still been the most reliable and robust file system I've used in the past 25 years. It's got decades of work on making it stable and solid, and thanks to the tools available to work with it and the redundancy in the format I've even been able to recover data from UFS partitions that had been partially reformatted.

    HFS? I've had HFS partitions get corrupted just be letting them get too full. That's just nuts.

    ZFS? Sun says ZFS doesn't need file system check and repair tools, it can't fail. That's what DEC said about AdvFS, than then later on came up with salvage tools to pull data out of a damaged AdvFS file system. That's what the Linux folks used to say about Reiser FS, too. Even before the Hans Reiser incident it had become clear that it wasn't true, and I've got no reason to assume that ZFS will be any better, not over the long term.

    The only journalled file system I've found that has come anywhere near that goal has been Network Appliance's, and they have complete control over the hardware and software and no third-party applications and drivers running on the hardware. And, of course, few places have very many NetApps (we certainly never had more than 4 at a time) so I can't say that the apparent stability of our boxes isn't due to the fact that we simply never had many of them...

    Apple refreshed UFS for Panther, bringing in SoftUpdates to give it the performance advantages of journalling, then dropped it.

    Apple has created layers that run over network file systems that implement almost all of the application-visible differences between HFS and remote CIFS and NFS shares, but you can't take full advantage of these for local UFS file systems. Why not? Don't ask me, ask Apple.

    I blame corporate ADHD.

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