Apple has dumped its plans to incorporate the ZFS file system into Mac OS X. ZFS was expected to eventually replace HFS+ on the Mac, but it looks as if licensing issues were behind Apple's decision to cut the file system from its road map.

Daring Fireball tracked down a statement from Jeff Bonwick, Sun's lead developer on the ZFS project. He said "Apple can currently just take the ZFS CDDL code and incorporate it (like they did with DTrace), but it may be that they wanted a "private  license" from Sun (with appropriate technical support and indemnification), and the two entities couldn't come to mutually agreeable terms. I cannot disclose details, but that is the essence of it."

To help drive the point home, Apple's open source ZFS Web site now states "The ZFS project has been discontinued. The mailing list and repository will also be removed shortly."

While Apple's plans to migrate to ZFS may be gone, that doesn't mean the company isn't looking for a file system to replace HFS+. It appears that Apple is already working on its own successor to HFS+, and they're hiring more coders to help with their file system project.