okay: Apple Silicon & macOS ZFS' future, your thoughts…

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okay: Apple Silicon & macOS ZFS' future, your thoughts…

Postby tangles » Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:12 am


With porting going on to align with the Linux tree and now this… which most of us knew was coming… ;)

Kexts on the way out…

macOS 11.0 here real soon…

Will compiling ZFS for AS compared to IA-64/AMD64 bring a whole bag of hurt to deal with? (i.e. how much AMD64 centric calls currently exist in the source if any?)

Apple Silicon (AS) transition to be completed in two years… what will the (then) revised MacPro be capable of against the (then) AMD chips? (what's Intel again?)

Will the Secure Enclave chip be embedded into the die in the next A"n"X AS chips? now that Intel is out of the way? (assuming this would increase speeds in various aspects such as flash I/O)

Thunderbolt… Intel have announced Royalty Free for the next version, so clearly that will be included in the AS "Pro" models…

A lot of vendors didn't bother with drivers when PPC → Intel occurred… (mice, printers, Firewire based hardware etc etc) Naturally, this will most likely happen again given it enables vendors to "promote" new products to sell rather than hiring coders to rewrite drivers for existing hardware to support macOS 11.0 or macOS 11.1.

CocoaPods, Brew are just two that come to mind that I'd like to hear what they have to say… I haven't even checked if Ruby, Python, Perl, Go etc etc exist for ARM… (I'd guess yes)

Hackintosh community… Watch the forums and sites slowly die now… days are numbered which will be a shame in my personal opinion… Some amazing coding efforts and drivers came out of this space from users who were probably never going to buy Apple hardware in the first place.

GPUs… I got no clue what is to happen here. Cheap Thunderbolt 3 chassis anyone?

What's going to happen in relation to firmware on these GPUs (and future GPUs) should anyone want them to work with macOS 11.x AS? Will we have to rely on vendors to burn AS Firmware onto the EEPROMs again? Endianness? If so, you can kiss your current choice/range of GPUs to choose from goodbye… (yes, I know this was pretty much going on already given the spat Apple and Nvidia have going on atm)

I still remember the virtually zero options of buying a third party GPU for Apple PPC… I think I bought a PCI (not PCIe) Radeon 7500 from memory that cost a bomb compared to the current X86 options available at the time… No wonder Apple never released their own Thunderbolt chassis… :o Nothing to support/worry about now…

Every line above could pretty be an editorial piece!!!

So… what are your thoughts about Apple's changes and how does it effect ZFS for macOS on future AS for you?

Personally, I have no idea about ZFS on AS until Mr Lundy has a say, but I'm actually really glad to see this happen for Apple. Unlike the PPC days, Apple already have billions of ARM-based/licensed chips out there. This has to reduce CPU/die development and manufacturing costs moving forward.

And now that Apple control the development themselves unlike before when having to collaborate with IBM and Motorola, let's hope marrying hardware with software by the same company (Sparc / Solaris lovers out there still?) produces some amazing gains in the tech industry for us all.
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Re: okay: Apple Silicon & macOS ZFS' future, your thoughts…

Postby dmz » Tue Jun 23, 2020 10:11 am

tangles wrote:Wow…
Kexts on the way out…

There's no reason to believe that filesystem kexts, in particular, are "on the way out"; Apple continues to talk about reducing the surface of kernel extensions, but it's difficult to imagine them eliminating the ability to use filesystem kexts without providing a way forward (as, for example, they're doing in macOS 11 for virtualization kexts). In the Platform State of the Union yesterday they were pretty clear about the fact that kernel extensions would continue to exist, but on Apple Silicon, will need to be notarized and can't run in emulation (neither of which is a big surprise).
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Re: okay: Apple Silicon & macOS ZFS' future, your thoughts…

Postby lundman » Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:00 pm

Sounded like you needed to disable (part of) SIP to run 3rd party notarized kexts, but so far not a deal breaker.

Will compiling ZFS for AS compared to IA-64/AMD64 bring a whole bag of hurt to deal with? (i.e. how much AMD64 centric calls currently exist in the source if any?)

AMD64 port already exists in ZOL, so mostly just tweaks in the OSX port needed. It's not about calls really, more about primitives, like atomic, mutex, etc.
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