Ruminations on Udev, null and console

Mike McCarty Mike.McCarty at
Tue Mar 22 14:32:27 PDT 2011

Simon Geard wrote:
> Not meaning to start an argument on that basis. But by 'modern'
> desktops, I meant recent versions of Gnome or KDE, compared to more
> lightweight setups.
> As to the relevance to the thread, I know I didn't make that clear, but
> my thinking was that device names really aren't very important to
> someone using one of those desktops. My DVD drive may be called 'sr0',


> but more importantly, it's called "CD/DVD drive" on my desktop. And if I
> plug in a USB drive, I really have no idea what the device node is
> called - all that matters is that it's automatically mounted to
> somewhere under /media and a file manager window opened on it.

I have a cordial dislike for such interfaces, and never use them.
I always open up a terminal window, and then cd to the relevant
mount point and browse around with a CLI. I really don't like
to use those GUI things. So, actually knowing where the mount
took place means quite a bit more to me than to you, I suspect.

Frankly, I dislike having things automatically mount. How does
the system know what I want to do with a rewritable CD-ROM I
just stuck in? Hmm?

> For the same reason, recent kernel announcements about changing the
> network device naming don't exactly bother me - as far as I'm concerned,
> I have two network devices, called "Wired" and "Wireless" in Network
> Manager. The kernel calls them eth0 and wlan0, but if a patch were to
> rename them 'frog' and 'fish', I'd be unlikely to notice.

See, that's a significant difference in what one might call "user
style". If you grew up with Windows 95, and love using a GUI interface,
then that may suit you. I don't know. I grew up with CP/M and really
do not like that style at all. So, it's useful to be able to know
what's going on.

Also, when things fail to work, it's hard to figure out what went
wrong with your GUI if you don't know where anything is.

> As to the rest, it may be I've misunderstood your original post - the
> confusion was over the claim that people are "unaware" they they have
> those nodes on the "metal" /dev. Given these nodes are explicitly
> created with a clear explanation as to why, it seemed to me that you
> must have overlooked this section in the book.

I installed udev on my main machine several years back, and found that
I didn't like it much, if at all, and removed it. However, since that's
the way of all future Linux "progress" (if one may characterize it
thusly) I've just accepted it as something my LFS machines have on them.

Unfortunately, "My Machine, My Rules" only goes so far.

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