WWDC: Apple switching from HFS+ to Apple File System with macOS Sierra

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Date: Wednesday, June 15th, 2016, 13:18
Category: Developer, Hardware, News, Software


In the midst of new announcements and changes at WWDC, Apple took the wraps off its Apple File System during its Platform State of the Union event after the keynote speech. The change marks the replacement of the HFS+ file system, which has been used by Apple for more than 18 years.

According to a document on Apple’s Developer site, Apple File System improves on HFS+ while supporting “nearly all” of its features. But it’s optimized for flash and SSD storage, with modern touches like 64-bit support and strong encryption.

During the speech, Apple highlighted two big features of the Apple File System. The first is cloning. Given standard use by an operating system, duplicate files can still hog space and resources. Apple File System clones these files rather than copying them because that’s faster and takes up no extra space beyond the first copy. It can clone files, directories, and hierarchies.

The second big addition is Snapshots. Snapshots can be mounted, and support reverting to an older version, to let you back up a view of the whole file system at a certain point in time.

Apple File System, which Apple is also calling “APFS”, is a developer preview in macOS Sierra (aka OS X 10.12), and Apple says it won’t ship until 2017. APFS has a way to go until it’s ready for prime time as well. As of today, APFS volumes can’t be encrypted with FileVault or backed up with Time Machine, and Fusion Drives can’t use APFS yet either.

Still, it’s a huge new change to the filing system that’s coming down the pipe, but it might bring some really good things with it.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Via Macworld

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