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Re: [PATCH] Remove HFS support

From: John Paul Adrian Glaubitz
Subject: Re: [PATCH] Remove HFS support
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2022 16:03:38 +0200

> On Aug 19, 2022, at 3:59 PM, Daniel Kiper <> wrote:
> On Fri, Aug 19, 2022 at 11:38:26PM +1000, Daniel Axtens wrote:
>> HFS is so so very old now. According to Wikipedia, HFS was
>> introduced in 1985 and the successor HFS+ came out in January
>> 1998. Mac OS dropped support for writing HFS in 2009 and dropped
>> support for reading HFS in 2019 with macOS 10.15.
>> Grub's support for it doesn't survive contact with a fuzzer, and
>> the issues involve some horrible mess of mutual recursion that
>> would be time-consuming to sort out.
>> HFS has been disabled under lockdown since commit 1c15848838d9
>> ("fs/hfs: Disable under lockdown") which was part of an earlier
>> spin of security fixes.
>> I think it's time to consign HFS to the dustbin of history. It's
>> firmly in the category of retrocomputing at this stage.
>> This should not affect HFS+.
>> There's a little bit of mess remaining: the macbless runtime
>> command and HFS+ need the HFS headers for embedded volume support.
>> I don't think that's really deployed any more, as it would have
>> been part of the HFS->HFS+ transition, but I'm not really game to
>> mess with either, in particular as macbless writes(!) to disk live.
>> (I'm fairly sure the grub-macbless tool invokes code from the
>> macbless module as well.)
>> Signed-off-by: Daniel Axtens <>
> Reviewed-by: Daniel Kiper <>
> Daniel, thank you for preparing this patch!
> If I do not hear any major objections in the following weeks I will
> merge this patch or a variant of it in the second half of September.

We’re still formatting our /boot partitions for Debian PowerPC for PowerMacs 
using HFS, so this change would be a breaking change for us.

So, that would be a no from Debian’s side.


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