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This file displays the various character and block devices currently configured (not including devices whose modules are not loaded). Below is a sample output from this file:
Character devices: 1 mem 4 /dev/vc/0 4 tty 4 ttyS 5 /dev/tty 5 /dev/console 5 /dev/ptmx 7 vcs 10 misc 13 input 29 fb 36 netlink 128 ptm 136 pts 180 usb Block devices: 1 ramdisk 3 ide0 9 md 22 ide1 253 device-mapper 254 mdp
The output from
/proc/devicesincludes the major number and name of the device, and is broken into two major sections:
Character devices are similar to block devices, except for two basic differences:
- Character devices do not require buffering. Block devices have a buffer available, allowing them to order requests before addressing them. This is important for devices designed to store information — such as hard drives — because the ability to order the information before writing it to the device allows it to be placed in a more efficient order.
- Character devices send data with no preconfigured size. Block devices can send and receive information in blocks of a size configured per device.
For more information about devices, see the
devices.txtfile in the kernel-doc package (see Section E.5, “Additional Resources”).