Apple is preparing to release Mac OS X 10.5 'Leopard' next spring, and seems set to confirm plans to support Sun's ZFS filing system.

A May report suggested such plans, when a Sun engineer revealed potential ZFS support in the OS. ZFS stands for Zettabyte File System.

Unix-based ZFS is a new file system that's part of the Solaris 10 OS. It offers a range of advantages, not least of which is the inherent ability to detect and self-repair data corruption problems. It's also very fast at fetching up requested data in use.

These claims gathered a little more weight this week, when a French Mac website claimed the latest build of Mac OS X 10.5 offers ZFS support, extending to the creation of ZFS-formatted disk images or partitions.

And in a related nugget of pre-release Leopard news, another website is claiming today that Apple plans to port a user interface called Gtk+ to Mac OS X. This user interface code would enable applications that support Gtk+ to work on a Mac without need for the X11 windowing interface.

Such support would also mean that applications could be built to run on Mac, Windows and Linux systems using the same interface, theoretically extending the number of open-source applications available to Mac.