Read-Only Apple File-System Support Is Being Worked On For The Linux Kernel (APFS)
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Storage on 22 January 2019 at 04:47 AM EST. 22 Comments
LINUX STORAGE --
The past few years Apple has been developing APFS as the successor to the long-used HFS+ file-system. The Apple File-System is in use with macOS 10.13+ iOS 10.3, and their other platforms for offering a lot of features not found in HFS+ including much better performance. There is an open-source APFS kernel driver now under development for Linux in supporting this file-system.

To date we haven't seen much activity for supporting this Apple File-System on Linux. The only other implementation previously has been a commercial, closed-source APFS Linux driver. But it turns out an open-source kernel module has been in the works and eventually could make it into the mainline kernel.

Before getting too excited though, this APFS Linux kernel module at least for now is only focused on read-only support but that is still quite good if wanting to recover files from an Apple partition. The Linux APFS module supports most of the file-system's features but no handling yet for data compression or encryption.

At this stage the support is good enough the developers are interested in the community for help testing out this code. The code is currently based on Linux 4.20 and can be found via this GitHub repo. Hopefully this code will end up making it to the mainline kernel in the not too distant future.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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