Subject: Re: Why not change disk naming?
To: None <>
From: gabriel rosenkoetter <>
List: current-users
Date: 12/28/2001 15:27:02
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Content-Disposition: inline
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

On Fri, Dec 28, 2001 at 08:41:03PM +0100, Julio Merino wrote:
> I'll do later :)

The unstated point here is that disklabel is just using the first
label it sees on the disk. FreeBSD's label on that disk doesn't know
about the other stuff on that disk (because FreeBSD labels are
partition/slice/whatever you like calling it-specific). mbrlabel
updates your (NetBSD) disklabel with what's listed in the MBR.

> Maybe... but I don't know Solaris disk naming ehehe

/dev/dsk/cAtBdCsD, where A is the controller number, B is something
I always forget, C is the disk number, and D is the slice number.

Note that Solaris also uses a different conception of what
"partition" and "slice" mean. (They use the SysV definition. We, for
obvious reasons, use the BSD definition.)

Of course, that's just a sym link on Solaris machines that actually
points to, for instance, /devices/pci@6,4000/scsi@4,1/sd@2,0:h.
Anyone familiar with Sun's OpenBoot or Apple's OpenFirmware will
recognize where that comes from.

Some would argue that this convention makes it more clear where the
hardware actually lives by putting the device nodes in a /devices
tree within the file system while keeping the old /dev-like access
fairly useful. I agree conceptually, but this isn't an easy thing to

Think about how much software presumes the current naming
convention, how many and to what degree device attach routines
would need to change in order to go to a more descriptive scheme
like this.

Yes, I know that you only suggested being like FreeBSD. But, for
one thing, I don't think their system is particularly more useful
than ours and, for a second thing, I think if you're going to go for
more utility, you might as well go all the way.

Note that just making this "like FreeBSD" is somewhat distasteful to
those of us not using PC hardware. The current system makes for
short-to-type and perfectly clear ames on most of our ports
(certainly most that I've used). And there're none of these stupid
differences between disk labels and MBR labels. That's a
PC-hardware-sucks problem, not a software problem.

(By which I mean, I'd be kind of irked if my user experience on
macppc, mac68k, and sparc was changed just to satisfy a few people
using i386.)

> Oh well, my original question was about if netbsd will change it... but
> never mind eheheh

I'm sure patches would be considered. Have fun!

> It is now more important to get it working with the current one. If I can
> do it, I'll be happy :)

As has been suggested, mbrlabel(8) is your friend.

gabriel rosenkoetter

Content-Type: application/pgp-signature
Content-Disposition: inline

Version: GnuPG v1.0.6 (NetBSD)
Comment: For info see