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Chapter 7. Filesystem Overview > Mac OS X Filesystems

7.1. Mac OS X Filesystems

Like earlier versions of Mac OS, Mac OS X filesystems favor the Mac OS Extended Format, better known as HFS+ (Hierarchical File System),[1] but they also work well with the Universal File System (UFS) that most other Unix-based operating systems use as their primary filesystem.

[1] Mac OS 8.1 and later used HFS+, while versions prior to 8.1 used the older Mac OS Standard Format, known as just HFS (without the plus).

Most Mac OS X volumes use HFS+ as their format for two reasons. First, until Mac OS X 10.3, HFS+ has performed much better than UFS (though UFS performance in Panther has improved greatly, close to matching that of HFS+). The other reason is that HFS+ natively supports multiple file forks (see Section 7.1.2.) Still, through strong UFS support, a Mac OS X machine can work seamlessly with other Unix volumes, such as network-mounted ones that may be accessible over NFS.


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