Hard Disk device IDs in Linux

Nicholas Leippe nick at leippe.com
Tue Mar 12 11:54:23 MDT 2013

On Tue, Mar 12, 2013 at 12:31 AM, Dan Egli <ddavidegli at gmail.com> wrote:
> *Well, that's interesting. I've seen udev before. I know Gentoo makes heavy
> use of it (or at least it did last I looked). I still wonder about that. If
> everyone likes the things that udev does, then why did they clobber devfs
> out of the kernel all those years ago? devfs and udev were very similar.
> The biggest difference that I can see (and I admit I haven't looked closely
> at udev beyond making sure it was running back when I had a Gentoo box all
> those years ago) was that udev had the option of creating customized device
> filenames automatically where as devfs had the device filenames fixed in
> the kernel. But then that was what devfsd was supposed to be for in the
> first place. Not only did it create symlinks to the actual device files
> that were present in the devfs, but I was under the impression that you
> could also instruct it to create custom symlinks as well that would still
> point to the correct device files. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's my memory at
> least.*

I don't remember the exact details--it's been years. But devfs, while
good for its day, was more of a stop-gap and was severely broken in
many respects--the kernel devs were happy to see it go. Udev is the
solution devfs was meant to be, and is far superior.

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