back to article When Apple needs speed and security in Mac OS X, it turns to Microsoft

I was looking through the documentation for Mavericks - the next major Mac OS X release - to find out more about the tags and other extra metadata we'll soon be able to add to our files. The feature was mentioned during the keynote at last week's Apple Worldwide Developer Conference in California. It made me wonder whether …


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  1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge


    OSX has IMHO always been better at finding Windows Shares than er, um, Windows itself....

    Maybe this just makes it better?

    1. Stacy

      Re: Eh?

      Serious question...

      Please tell me how! All of my Windows machines can see all my of Windows network shares. Including the file server where everything is stored (this one is important!).

      The Apple machine... Occasionally sees the media machine or the file server, but nothing else and only infrequently at that :(

      1. An0n C0w4rd

        Re: Eh?


        If it doesn't show up in the the network view in finder, go to Go->Connect to Server and then use smb://<hostname>

        I must admit I have no problems at home with my Mac finding my Samba shares on my unix desktop.

        1. NogginTheNog

          Re: Eh?

          "I have no problems at home with my Mac finding my Samba shares on my unix desktop"

          That will probably be because the Mac's also using Samba, and there's maybe no AD involved to muddy up the authentication waters too..?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Eh?

            Any recent Macs aren't using SAMBA... I do find that my new Mac finds Windows and Linux hosted SAMBA shares much more reliably than the old G5 which does run SAMBA.

            1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

              Re: Eh?

              Whatever about finding them, MacOS X performance on SMB shares is appalling, and has been for a while. About 3x slower than AFP. I remember this performance used to be better, so it's interesting to learn why it has happened.

              As for the author preferring NFS, it really doesn't work for a fileshare, on MacOS at least: when you write a file to the remote store, your numeric UID is what gets applied to the remote filesystem's inode, which makes the file unreadable by anyone else unless their UID magically happens to be the same as yours. At the time there was no way to fix this (it's a client issue), so it was straight to AFP (for performance reasons outlined above).

              1. h3

                Re: Eh?

                nfs4 acl's can do anything you need. (At least on reasonable operating systems that implement the standards properly).

        2. Stacy

          @An0n C0w4rd Re: Eh?

          Thanks! I'll give it a shot tonight!

      2. Matt_payne666

        Re: Eh?

        I second this!! my nice rack Qnap array is seen by everything in network neighbourhood, on all the windows boxes, but getting it to showup in the OSX server is a sod... and if it does show, odds are its not browseable... command K works mostly but it would be nice if it behaved as easily (and consistently) as on the windows machines...

        but then... this is a windows AD/Mac OD combined network, unlike Eadons pure Soul -> Mac existence...

        1. AGR

          Re: Eh?

          I had a QNap box that stopped speaking to my Macs after Mountain Lion was released. Apple apparently messed about with AFP and Qnap has been slow in catching up with the changes. I then had problems getting consistent smb mappings with QNAP.

          Moved to Synology for my NAS and have had no problems with SMB mappings at all using the Macs.

          Up until I bought the Synology box, I always found it a nightmare to do any home network sharing.

          I ended up buying Apple because I got tired of having to rebuild my wintel machines every six months or so. It was taking up some valuable life credit units. Although all is not sunny with OS X, I'm still a fan (not a fanboi, though.)

          1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

            Re: Eh?

            I had exactly the opposite issue with my QNAP & Synology devices. The QNAP would play nicely while the Synology was temperamental to say the least and that was on a good day.

            Hey, such is life.

  2. Maharg

    Out of curiosity I noticed that the spend on new hardware for the marketing department was higher than the IT department, turns out in marketing they all need their monitors to be bigger then everyone else’s, white and have pictures of fruit on the back, because, you know, they update twitter better…

    1. Frank Bough


      If you're going to troll, al least get your fucking facts straight.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Maharg

        Re: White?@ Frank

        Oh, I’m sorry, what colour are they? “off-white-shiny?” “lightning-white?” “Gloss-light-silver-cream?” whatever, they are not matt black.

        Is that a typical response from an apple lover, so obsessed with their ‘shiny’ they get pissed off when people get the colour wrong they resort to swearing, while ignoring the point?

        They are unnecessary overpriced bits of kit for the job, adding an extra support function as the guys in desktop now need to double up and make sure everything also works on Macs.

        Also I’m pretty sure that should read – “at least get your facts fucking straight”, unless of course you were referring to my facts about fucking?

        If you are going to use unnecessarily course language in your butt-hurt fan-boi response at least use it correctly…

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. Maharg

            Re: White?@ Symon

            <------------------- Me

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: White?@ Frank

          Erm, it's made of aluminium, so aluminium? Overpriced? Apple's 27" ThunderBolt display isn't even the most expensive in it's class. NEC, HP, and LG all have SKU's that are more expensive. Or are you commenting on Macs in general? Unnecessary? Depends on what you do with it. If you are going to troll, have the decency to be correct *while* you troll.

    2. Tom 38

      Hey Maharg, didn't know you worked here too!

    3. Mike Moyle

      @ Maharg

      "Out of curiosity I noticed that the spend on new hardware for the marketing department was higher than the IT department, turns out in marketing they all need their monitors to be bigger then everyone else’s, white and have pictures of fruit on the back, because, you know, they update twitter better…"

      Mmmmm... yes... Because we all know that Adobe will give away new copies for free of their $2000 software suites (...more if you do both document AND video work...) if a customer switches computing platforms. I hope that you're in accounting or something, because any of the IT people at MY workplace would factor in the cost of replacing software AS WELL as hardware when talking about switching platforms.

      Besides -- why does IT need faster computers...? As long as you've got an OS and a basic word processor you can write code. Job done. (NB: I'm being sarcastic here. The difference between us is that, unlike yours, MY sarcasm actually has some small basis in fact.)

      Your (apparent) argument that marketing people don't do "real" work, needing real computers that run real software that costs real money to replace is, at best, ignorance or, at worst, intentional trolling.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Maharg

        Re: @ Mike

        1st, Thank you for backing up the point I was making, to be honest I had not factored in the software, It was a blasé comment on something I had noticed, yet I had not invested much thought into it.

        I saw two types of new hardware coming into the floor of the office I work in over a couple of days, a load of same make Matt black laptops to replace our old ones, as we have that makes dock stations (you know, that way we save money) and a case load of shiny new Macs to the marketing team, personally I don’t work in purchasing or have anything to do with the installation, let alone budget so I was only aware ‘we’ were getting new laptops.

        2nd point, IT doesn’t need faster computers, IT needs newer computers, don’t tell me your office is full of pristine BBC Micros?

        3rd Point, I didn’t say marketing doesn’t do ‘real’ work, the attempt at humour, which it seems most people understood, is they don’t need huge shiny new Mac’s to do their work, if they do, I have to wonder what they have been doing the last few years when they were using the same basic build as everyone else, or did I miss something and Adobe no longer works on Windows?

        4th point, who said I was being sarcastic?

    4. Matt_payne666

      Ill have to give it to apple... their large monitors are rather lovely... excellent colour gamut and for the size decent resolutions at a fair price....

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well, our sales and marketing people get get what they're given; in other words, the same corporate doorstop laptops as everyone else. The sensible ones give up and buy their own Mac to take to client meetings.

  3. An0n C0w4rd

    "speed and security"

    The change to SMB/CIFS was already well documented elsewhere.

    I also fail to see how the change in the preferred network filesystem stack implies that AFS is less secure than SMB2. I think your headline is deliberately provocative and the article does not back up your claim.

    1. Quxy

      Of *course* the headline is deliberately provocative

      This is El Reg, after all. Martin is just trying to wind up the fanbois... :-)

    2. dogged

      Re: "speed and security"

      Yes it does, or rather the Apple marketing blurb does.

      "SMB2 is the new default protocol for sharing files in OS X Mavericks. SMB2 is superfast, increases security, and improves Windows compatibility."


  4. teapot9999

    smb works now on OSX

    I work in a company that is 70% Windows PCs, 30% Mac. The servers are 50% Windows and 50% unix-flavours, all of which I can access with no difficulty at all using smb on my Mac.

    Seems this is another knee-jerk story based on nothing

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "SMB2 is the new default protocol for sharing files in OS X Mavericks. SMB2 is superfast, increases security, and improves Windows compatibility."

    Finally! Incredibly it's still a ball ache to connect Mac OS X up to various Windows and Linux VMs, this will be a very good step in the correct direction. This has only taken them about 12 years since the OS release...

    1. Keith 72

      Re: SMB2

      And, of course, Microsoft are onto SMB3 now.

  6. Dieter Haussmann
    Thumb Up

    Great news, our 250+ Macs are bound to AD and work 'perfectly' in that respect, but we have had to retain Mac OS X Server-hosted AFP-shared Home Directories due to poor application compatibly when using SMB Windows 2003/2008R2/2012-hosted Homes (Even iPhoto doesn't work).

    While Windows Server 2012 works well enough to seriously consider a move to unified Home Directories regardless of client platform, there are a few niggles which I hope Maverick will address.

  7. Dieter Haussmann

    Mac OS hasn't used resource forks for what 10 years...apart from on SMB shares, so hopefully that can be addressed somehow. It is also interesting that things like the file versioning feature - Versions are not currently supported on Windows Shares (probably due to volume format) so if they address all this I will be pleased.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      If they finally stop Macs crapping .DS_Store and ._* files and .AppleDouble directories everywhere then I will be pleased.

      1. An0n C0w4rd

        @Dan 55

        defaults write DSDontWriteNetworkStores true

        allegedly stops that for the current user.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Stops it for .DS_Store files on network drives but you still get .AppleDouble directories. Removable storage still gets .DS_Store and ._* splattered everywhere.

          1. David Kelly 2

            Stops it for .DS_Store files on network drives but you still get .AppleDouble directories. Removable storage still gets .DS_Store and ._* splattered everywhere.

            Only if you have a limited Microsoft filesystem on your removable media. Put a MacOS filesystem on your media and it will behave as Steve Jobs intended.

            1. Dan 55 Silver badge

              It's any filesystem apart from an HFS one.

              Steve Jobs intended .DS_Store files to annoy everyone, they appear on HFS filesystems too.

      2. Suricou Raven

        Upvote upvote upvote... Bah, only lets you do it once.

    2. An0n C0w4rd

      Resource forks


      Resource forks are used in every OSX version AFAIK, even on local disk. That's where the metadata is stored when you get a warning about a file being downloaded from the internet when you get a warning when opening it.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They are probably using Samba, not Microsoft's code

    You mean Apple turns to Free Software, not Microsoft, when they want speed and security. I'm nearly certain that it's the Free Software SMB2 implementation called Samba, not Microsoft's proprietary implementation, that they'll be using.

    Apple has a long history of using Free Software components for all the bits that were too tricky or expensive to reimplement yet another time in proprietary fashion.

    1. Dieter Haussmann

      Re: They are probably using Samba, not Microsoft's code

      As said by others, Apple dropped SAMBA over 2 years ago and have their own implementation of SMB in 10.7 & 10.8, I expect this was necessary for the step forward we see in Maverick..

    2. Chris_Maresca

      Re: They are probably using Samba, not Microsoft's code

      Actually, it's highly likely Apple is using MSFTs code under license given that they released their own implementation a few years ago.

      Otherwise, building your own SMB implementation from scratch would be a nightmare (as the SAMBA team found out early on...).

      Which would also explain why they are favoring SMB over NFS or AFP. After all, they already have a license and a dev team dedicated to it.

      Now if shares would just auto-remount after my Mac goes to sleep, it would be perfect.... (yes, I know all the ways this is supposed to work, but they just don't...)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: They are probably using Samba, not Microsoft's code

      "Apple has a long history of using Free Software components for all the bits that were too tricky or expensive to reimplement yet another time in proprietary fashion."

      Says alot!

  9. Dan 55 Silver badge


    Does anyone know if they real metadata or just Finder document colours with names bolted on the side? I ask because HFS+ is creaking at the seams and it'd be cruel to ask it to store more metadata.

  10. tony2heads
    Paris Hilton


    When you mention that name here men usually think of the 'Revue Bar' in the centre of Cape Town's

    entertaintment district

    The icon - you will see why if you click on the site!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Eadon even if a platform is not directly susceptible to virus attack, if data passes through it and has a route out, it should be scanned on the platform, otherwise you risk delivering a virus to a client...

    Eadon FAIL

  12. Trevor_Pott Gold badge


    FINALLY. Thank $deity. This alone is worth upgrade two whole labs of Macs I have out there.

  13. thermionic

    just a pity

    it isn't SMB3

    but SMB2 is so much better than AFP

  14. Pat 4






    1. Steve Knox

      Re: Wow...

      Really? Have you been on this site long? Check the archives -- they write some good ones!

  15. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge


    To think that if the Samba People hadn't go through the hellish experience of reverse-engineering the SMB protocol to the great danger of sanity and of forcefully meeting lawyers, it would still be a proprietary crawling networking horror of squamous yet ruguous nethermost blasphemous sophomoric programming. That you have to pay for.

  16. MrMcginty
    Thumb Up

    What a relief

    This is good news for me, since in every working environment of mine in the last 12 years I have had to force the IT department to connect my Macs to the servers via Samba, which has a tendency to kill the default search capabilities of OSX on your own Mac, but is in other respects essential to get any goddamned work done.

  17. Richard Boyce
    Thumb Down

    What a mess.

    I run XP on a VM running on Slow Leopard (10.6). The Mac's drives are accessed by XP using network shares. All worked fine until I upgraded to Lion on the first day it was available. Then I had nothing but trouble, with intermittent access and long delays. I found out that I was testing Apple's new networking code, and paying the price of being a beta tester. After struggling to improve matters for days, I rolled back to Snow Leopard and cursed Apple. I've avoided upgrading the OS ever since.

    Maybe Apple simply gave up trying to fix their own code. Not all in-house projects work out well. Just ask the maps team.

    Now, I think XP doesn't work with SMB2, so support for SMB1 is still needed. How will Mavericks handle that? Will that use Apple's own code, as with Lion? Since I use two screens, the better handling of those in Mavericks is attractive, but I do need some assurance that SMB1 will work as well as it does on Snow Leopard.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: What a mess.

      SMBUp works on the Lions and restores sanity to SMB support.

  18. Tom 7


    this wouldn't really be about the fact that the Android tax that MS charges the world for using hardware it has fuck-all to do with may possibly be partly based on a patent that expires soon and its time to load in another patent retarded standard asap?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Patents

      Whilst the FAT patent is likely one of the MS Android patents, there are many others. Whilst we don't know what they are, it is known that a significant number have been cited by Microsoft, and that a large number of very big / rich companies have rolled over and paid up, so I would expect that the claims must be pretty solid...

  19. ichibrosan

    Very disturbing indeed

    I don't have any problem moving away from Apples ancient filing protocol, but I find it very distasteful to make Microsoft a hero in Apple's arena. Microsoft has blown it big time with their software. The constant stream of CERT notifications, all of which say the same thing, identify Windows, IE, and Office as vulnerable to a world of viruses. Always subject to account promotion, and remote execution, Microsoft's products are a netbot writers dream.

    So is it good that Microsoft is becoming technically involved with Apple's OS product? Not in my eyes.

    Apple, with a pile of money larger than anyone else in view, is the success story. Good hardware, good software.

    Was this story real, or just troll bait?

  20. Fábio Rabelo de Deus

    It is just Samba4 People !!!

    Mac OS X are Unix, and all Unixes uses Samba to provide access to Windows resources in network .

    Some mounths ago Samba team ( ) released a much needed Samba 4 suite, that provide full support do SMBv2 protocol ...

    It is just that, Apple are using Samba 4 in the next OS X Release ...

    Fábio Rabelo

  21. W. Anderson

    deceptive story title

    The title of this article is conflagrative, in giving an explosive but false and deceptive impression about Apple's connect with Microsoft in regard OS X "speed and security", which was specifically and only for OS X integration into Microsoft 'exclusive' networks and business environments. Nothing else.

    The instances of columns in the tech media from Microsoft dupes has become troublesome for the lack of clear, fact based ' dissemination of information and developments regarding modern technology. These Redmond worshipers need to get a grip on life and reality.

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