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Linux Magazine: Using DEVFS [introduced in 2.3.46 kernel]

Aug 05, 2000, 16:36 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Alessandro Rubini)

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"Linux kernel version 2.3.46 introduced "device filesystem," or devfs, support in the official kernel tree. devfs provides a new filesystem type to be used for /dev. This filesystem keeps track of /dev layout and entries from within the kernel, without using on-disk storage. This means that new entries can appear in /dev as device drivers are loaded and new hardware is detected by the system. This facility is marked as experimental, and its use is expected to remain optional, as some environments (such as embedded systems) may still prefer to use the old approach."

"In this article I'm going to give only a brief introduction to devfs, skipping over its setup and configuration. More detailed documentation on those issues is available elsewhere; one good source of information, for instance, is the file Documentation/filesystems/devfs/README found in newer kernel source trees."

"I'll show how device programmers can write code that fits in with the devfs environment. The discussion and sample code here are based on version 2.2.14 of the kernel, which has been patched with devfs-patch-v99.11.gz, available from ftp//ftp.atnf.csiro.au/pub/people/rgooch/linux."

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