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New Apple File System debuts in Sierra, designed for modern media
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NewsPoster
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Jun 13, 2016, 04:16 PM
 
Embedded in the developer preview of macOS Sierra, Apple has included an entirely new file system. Dubbed the "Apple File System," (APFS) the developers' preliminary documentation says that it "is a new, modern file system for iOS, OS X, tvOS and watchOS. It is optimized for Flash/SSD storage and features strong encryption, copy-on-write metadata, space sharing, cloning for files and directories, snapshots, fast directory sizing, atomic safe-save primitives, and improved file system fundamentals."

Apple notes that the core of HFS+ was build 30 years ago, "in an era of floppy disks and spinning hard drives, where file sizes were calculated in kilobytes or megabytes." APFS supports 64-bit inode numbers, and as such, supports over 9 quintillion files on one volume in drives not encumbered by sector size.

On OS X, Full Disk Encryption has been available since OS X 10.7 Lion. On iOS, a version of data protection that encrypts each file individually with its own key has been available since iOS 4. APFS combines both of these features into a unified model that encrypts file system metadata. Users and developers can choose no encryption, single-key encryption, or multi-key encryption with per-file keys for file data and a separate key for sensitive metadata.

APFS formatted volumes are not recognized on OS X 10.11 or earlier. However, OS X Sierra will read volumes formatted in OS X 10.11 and before. While APFS formatted volumes can be shared using the SMB network file sharing protocol, The AFP protocol has been deprecated and cannot be used to share APFS formatted volumes.

Right now, APFS volumes cannot be used as a startup disk, cannot be backed up with Time Machine, or encrypted with File Vault. Fusion drives cannot use APFS, and filenames are case-sensitive only, which can cause problems with software.

Additionally, third party utilities, such as RAID or formatting tools, will need to be updated to support the new file system. This will likely not happen until Apple documents and publishes the APFS volume format when Apple File System is fully released in 2017.
( Last edited by NewsPoster; Jun 13, 2016 at 05:28 PM. )
     
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Jun 13, 2016, 04:26 PM
 
64-bit inode numbers, the encryption stuff, copy-on-write, snapshots. Basically it is the bare minimum you need to do to update HFS+ to a modern design, but I can see why they did it that way. ZFS is never going to run on a watch.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
coffeetime
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Jun 13, 2016, 04:49 PM
 
What? Filenames are case-sensitive only? Would that mess up the search?
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Jun 13, 2016, 04:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by coffeetime View Post
What? Filenames are case-sensitive only? Would that mess up the search?
Much existing software now refuses installation on an OS X volume formatted to be case-sensitive.
     
farhadd
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Jun 13, 2016, 05:03 PM
 
"APFS formatted volumes are not recognized on OS X 10.11 Yosemite and earlier"

Do you mean 10.10? Or El Capitan?
     
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Jun 13, 2016, 05:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by coffeetime View Post
What? Filenames are case-sensitive only? Would that mess up the search?
That is a beta note, from the wording it seems that the release version of the OS will support case insensitive.

Originally Posted by farhadd View Post
"APFS formatted volumes are not recognized on OS X 10.11 Yosemite and earlier"

Do you mean 10.10? Or El Capitan?
Ask Apple, the error is a direct quote from them. Probably 10.11 El Capitan.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Jun 13, 2016, 05:31 PM
 
Made a call, got some clarification.
     
chimaera
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Jun 13, 2016, 06:00 PM
 
The key feature I want in the next file system is file checksums. So you can detect bitrot and let Time Machine correct it in the background - assuming you have an undamaged copy of course. But I've yet to hear any reference to checksums in APFS. It better not be reserved for APFS+ in 2030.
     
bobolicious
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Jun 13, 2016, 06:11 PM
 
...while the features sound impressive, this sounds like a potentiallychallenging transition... Again. Does this suggest getting any new hardware prior while one still can...?

I understand W7pro apparently has extended support through 2020, for those that need legacy compatibility & workflow stability... Let the flames begin...
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Jun 13, 2016, 06:32 PM
 
I don't think the transition is going to be that challenging. The OS will still support HFS+ for a while. When it STOPS supporting HFS+? That'll be the challenge.
     
Inkling
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Jun 14, 2016, 09:23 AM
 
I write books that get published, hence nothing I do is secret. Giant corporations, on the other hand, like some politicians (cough, Hill..., cough) have much in their email and internal communications to hide from the law. Hence this great zeal to encrypt, encrypt, encrypt. The bad news is that we honest people are going to be caught up in the complexities created by those obsessed with concealing their schemes.
Author of Untangling Tolkien and Chesterton on War and Peace
     
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Jun 14, 2016, 10:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by chimaera View Post
The key feature I want in the next file system is file checksums. So you can detect bitrot and let Time Machine correct it in the background - assuming you have an undamaged copy of course. But I've yet to hear any reference to checksums in APFS. It better not be reserved for APFS+ in 2030.
The failure modes are different for an SSD than for an HDD. The SSD controller has checksums and other mechanisms to avoid bitrot when the data is on the disk, and remember that Apple makes their own SSD controllers now. The remaining issue is when transferring data between disk and RAM. That can't really be solved until we have ECC RAM everywhere, and you'll have to complain to Intel about that.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
theLedger
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Jun 14, 2016, 11:28 AM
 
Encryption is minimally about hiding from the law. Encryption is mainly used to protect sensitive data. If a public corporation were to experience a breach where some hacker got in, they would have to publicly disclose it and directly inform any customers. Breaches can be quite damaging for a business. Many people do their personal banking and have sensitive financial data on their devices. Another reason for end-to-end encryption.

You would be amazed how much damage can be done with a SSN, birth date and address.
     
Flying Meat
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Jun 14, 2016, 01:54 PM
 
Don't burst his politically fueled delusions.
     
SierraDragon
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Jun 14, 2016, 07:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by Inkling View Post
...nothing I do is secret. Giant corporations, on the other hand, like some politicians (cough, Hill..., cough) have much in their email and internal communications to hide from the law. Hence this great zeal to encrypt, encrypt, encrypt. The bad news is that we honest people are going to be caught up in the complexities...
Are you seriously that unaware?

1) Encryption is no different than locking your car trunk with your camera system inside. There _are_ bad guys out there who _will_ steal your camera (or your data) if you are dumb enough to make it easy for them. Your alleged honesty has nothing to do with it.

2) I am an Independent so I do not really care, but if you are going to diss Hillary, at least make some semblance of sense. Clinton did not "hide from the law," the argument against her is that she failed to properly follow email server protocol and hence official email may have been less secure than appropriate. A meaningless tempest in a teacup, silly games for her opposition to play.
     
   
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