Subject: Re: devfs, was Re: FreeBSD 5/6/7 kernel emulator for NetBSD 2.x
To: Matthew Orgass <>
From: Steven M. Bellovin <>
List: tech-kern
Date: 10/28/2005 09:56:08
In message <>, Matthew Orga
ss writes:
>[apologies if this is sent twice, pine crashed while sending...]
>On 2005-10-27 wrote:
>> Once we have devfs, why bother with traditional device nodes, other than
>> to support NFS exporting /dev to older systems?
>  I was thinking of very small, special purpose systems with a small
>number of devices where putting them on disk and specially configuring the
>numbers might be easier than mounting devfs.  Most importantly, it seems
>to me that any design where providing the ability to configure numbered
>devices is a significant burden is broken.  If eventually it really is not
>used ever then it could go away (and could more quickly not be included
>by default).

It's actually on small systems that one gets the most benefit...  I'm 
using a small Soekris as a home gateway box, and I have to mount an mfs 
file system (I'll try tmpfs soon) for /dev, because /dev has to be on a 
writable file system.  (That in itself is a botch, but I'll save that 
for another time.)

To me, the real issue is the semantics of things like chown and chmod.  

		--Steven M. Bellovin,