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Date:      Mon, 4 Dec 2000 09:42:11 -0800
From:      Rich Morin <>
To:        freebsd-doc@FreeBSD.ORG
Subject:   documenting /dev/*
Message-ID:  <p0500190db64fa63868b5@[]>

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Here is yet another attempt at characterization, this time for the
/dev directory.  Would anyone like to help me fill in some of the
question marks and/or repair mistakes?



notes_trees_dev, 2000.12.04

This table attempts to summarize useful information about nodes
that may be in /dev.  See intro(4) and /dev/MAKEDEV for general
notes on /dev, devices, and drivers.

The rather peculiar formatting (below) of the device names is an
attempt to show how the names are constructed.  For example, the
entry for /dev/nrwt (written below as "nr|w|t") describes a

     non-rewinding (nr)
     Wangtek       (w)
     tape          (t)

device.  Asterisks(*) and question marks(?) have their normal shell
interpretation.  Please bear in mind that some of the information
below is only moderately reliable...

directory/file    description                                     man page(s)
==============    ===========                                     ===========

     a|cd*         ATAPI CD-ROMs                                   ata(4)
     a|d*          ATA disks                                       ata(4)
      |adv?        Advansys (E)ISA/VL/PCI 8bit SCSI Host adapters  adv(4)
      |adw         Advansys PCI 16bit SCSI Host adapters           adw(4)
     a|fd*         ATAPI floppy drives                             ata(4)
      |agpgart     AGP interface                                   ?
      |aha?        Adaptec SCSI host adapters                      aha(4)
      |ahb?        Adaptec EISA SCSI host adapters                 ahb(4)
      |ahc?        Adaptec VL/EISA/PCI SCSI host adapters          ahc(4)
      |aic?        Adaptec AIC-6[23]60 SCSI host controllers       aic(4)
      |alpm        Acer Aladdin 15x3 Power Management controllers  alpm(4)
   amr|d*          AMI MegaRAID disks                              amr(4)
      |an?         Aironet 4500/4800 wireless network adapter      an(4)
      |apm?        Advanced Power Management BIOS                  apm(4)
      |apmctl      APM BIOS control device                         apm(4)
      |ar?         synchronous Digi/Arnet cards                    ar(4)
      |arp         address resolution protocol                     arp(4)
      |asc?        GI1904-based hand scanners                      asc(4)
     a|st*         ATAPI tape drives                               ata(4)
      |audio       Sparc-compatible audio device (symlink)         pcm(4)

      |bpf?        Berkeley Packet Filters                         bpf(4)
      |bktr*       Bt848-based video acquisition card (pci)        bktr(4)
      |bt?         Buslogic/Mylex MultiMaster SCSI host adapters   bt(4)

      |card?       PC-CARD slots                                   ?
    cc|d*          concatenated disks                              ccd(4)
      |cd?         (SCSI) CD-ROMs                                  cd(4)
      |ch?         (SCSI) CD-ROM changers (i.e., juke boxes)       ch(4)
      |cs?         Crystal Semiconductor-based Ethernet            cs(4)
      |csa?        Crystal Semi. CS46[12]x/428x PCI bridges        csa(4)
      |ctx*        Cortex-I video acquisition cards                ?
      |cua*        dialout serial ports                            cu(1)
      |cuaA*       Specialix SI/XIO dialout serial ports           cu(1)
      |cuaD*       Digiboard dialout serial ports                  cu(1)
      |cuaR*       Rocketport dialout serial ports                 cu(1)
      |cx*         asynchronous/synchronous Cronyx-Sigma adapters  cx(4)
      |cy?         Cyclades Cyclom-Y serial interfaces             cy(4)

      |da*         (SCSI) Direct Access devices                    da(4)
      |daic?       EICON.Diehl active ISDN cards                   daic(4)
      |dc?         DEC/Intel 21143 10/100 Ethernet                 dc(4)
      |de?         DEC DC21x4x 10/100 Ethernet                     de(4)
      |dgb?        DigiBoard intelligent serial cards              dgb(4)
      |dpt*        DPT RAID Controller SCSI interfaces             dpt(4)
      |dsp         digitized voice device (symlink)                pcm(4)
      |dspW        (wide) Digitized voice device (symlink)         pcm(4)

      |ed?         high performance Ethernet
      |ef?         Ethernet pseudo-device driver                   ef(4)
      |el?         3Com Etherlink 3C501 Ethernet                   el(4)
      |en?         Midway-based ATM interfaces                     en(4)
      |ep?         3Com Etherlink III (3c5x9) Ethernet             ep(4)
      |ex?         Intel EtherExpress Pro/10 and Pro/10+ Ethernet  ex(4)
   e|r|sa*         (SCSI) Sequential Access devices (e,r)          sa(4)
     e|sa*         (SCSI) Sequential Access devices (e)            sa(4)

      |fd/*        file descriptor file nodes                      fd(4)
      |fd?         PC architecture floppy disks                    fdc(4)
      |fdc?        PC architecture floppy disk controllers         fdc(4)
      |fe?         Fujitsu MB86960A/MB86965A-based Ethernet        fe(4)
      |fea?        DEC DEFEA FDDI Controllers                      fpa(4)
      |fla*        M-Systems DiskOnChip                            ?
      |fpa?        DEC DEFPA FDDI Controllers                      fpa(4)
      |fxp?        Intel EtherExpress Pro/100B Ethernet            fxp(4)

      |gif?        Generic tunnel interface                        gif(4)
      |gsc         Genius GS-4500 hand scanner                     gsc(4)
      |gusc        Gravis UltraSound ISA bridge                    gusc(4)

      |i4bctl?     i4b(4) debugging control devices                i4bctl(4)
      |i4brbch?    i4b(4) raw b channel access devices             i4brbch(4)
      |i4btel?     i4b(4) telephony interfaces                     i4btel(4)
      |i4bteld?    i4b(4) telephony interfaces (dialout)           i4btel(4)
      |i4btrc*     i4b(4) trace data interfaces                    i4btrc(4)
   ida|d*          Compaq Smart-2 RAID                             ?
      |ie?         Intel i82586-based Ethernet                     ie(4)
      |iic?        I2C generic i/o                                 iic(4)
      |imm         ?                                               imm(4)
      |io          I/O privilege file                              io(4)
      |ipl         IP packet log device                            ipl(4)
      |isp         Qlogic-based SCSI/FibreChannel host adapters    isp(4)

      |joy         PC joystick                                     joy(4)

      |kbd?        keyboards                                       keyboard(4)
      |kmem        kernel memory file                              mem(4)
      |kue?        Kawasaki LSI KL5KUSB101B-based USB Ethernet     kue(4)

      |labpc*      National Instrument's Lab-PC and LAB-PC+        labpc(4)
      |le?         DEC EtherWORKS II/III Ethernet                  le(4)
      |lnc?        AMD Lance/PCnet Ethernet                        lnc(4)
      |lo?         software loopback network interface             lo(4)
      |lp?         printer port Internet Protocol driver           lp(4)
      |lpctl?      line printer control devices                    lptcontrol(8)
      |lpt?        line printers                                   lpt(4)

   mat|cd*         Matsushita (Panasonic) CD-ROMs                  matcd(4)
     m|cd*         Mitsumi CD-ROMs                                 mcd(4)
     m|d*          Memory (or malloc) disks                        md(4)
      |mem         memory file                                     mem(4)
      |meteor*     Matrox Meteor video acquisition cards (pci)     meteor(4)
      |midi        raw midi access device (symlink)                pcm(4)
      |mixer       control port mixer device (symlink)             pcm(4)
      |mlx*        Mylex DAC960 RAID controllers                   mlx(4)
   mlx|d*          Mylex DAC960 RAID disk volumes                  mlx(4)
      |mse*        Logitech and ATI Inport bus mice                mse(4)
      |music       level 2 sequencer interface (symlink)           pcm(4)

      |ncr         NCR 53C8xx SCSI controller chips                ncr(4)
      |npx?        Numeric Proc. Ext. coprocessor and emulator     npx(4)
   n|r|sa*         (SCSI) Sequential Access devices (n,r)          sa(4)
     r|sa*         (SCSI) Sequential Access devices (r)            sa(4)
  nr|w|t*          Archive/Wangtek cartridge tapes                 wt(4)

      |ohci        OHCI USB Host Controller                        ohci(4)

      |pass?       CAM application passthrough nodes               pass(4)
      |pcaudio     PCM audio driver                                pcm(4)
      |pcf         Philips I2C bus controller                      pcf(4)
      |pcfclock*   Parallel time sync interfaces                   ?
      |pci         PCI configuration access driver                 pci(4)
      |pcm?        PCM audio devices                               pcm(4)
      |perfmon     CPU performance-monitoring interface            perfmon(4)
      |pnp?        PnP (Plug and Play) devices                     pnp(4)
      |ppi?        user int. to ppbus par. 'geek' port             ppi(4)
      |pps*        Pulse per second timing interfaces              ppbus(4)
      |ppc?        Parallel port chipset                           ppc(4)
      |psm*        PS/2 mice                                       psm(4)
      |pss         Programmable device interface                   pcm(4)
      |pt*         (SCSI) Processor Types (e.g., HP scanner)       pt(4)
     p|ty*         pseudo-terminals                                pty(4)

    ra|cd*         ATAPI CD-ROMs (r)                               ata(4)
    ra|d*          ATA disks (r)                                   ata(4)
    ra|fd*         ATAPI floppy drives (r)                         ata(4)
      |random      random number devices                           random(4)
     r|cd?         (SCSI) CD-ROMs (r)                              cd(4)
     r|da*         (SCSI) Direct Access devices (r)                da(4)
      |rdp?        RealTek RTL 8002 pocket Ethernet                rdp(4)
     r|fd*         PC architecture floppy disks (r)                fdc(4)
      |rl?         RealTek 8129/8139 Fast Ethernet                 rl(4)
r|mat|cd*         Matsushita (Panasonic) CD-ROMs (r)              matcd(4)
   r|m|cd*         Mitsumi CD-ROMs (r)                             mcd(4)
     r|sa*         (SCSI) Sequential Access devices (r)            sa(4)
    rs|cd*         Sony CDU31/33 CD-ROMs (r)                       scd(4)
     r|vn*         vnode disks (r)                                 vn(4)
     r|wd*         Generic WD100x/IDE disk controllers (r)         wd(4)
    rw|cd?         (SCSI) CD-ROMs (rw)                             cd(4)
    rw|fd*         PC architecture floppy disks (rw)               fdc(4)
  rw|s|t*          SCSI tapes (rw)                                 st(4)
   r|w|t*          Archive/Wangtek (3M-style) cartridge tapes (r)  wt(4)

      |sa*         (SCSI) Sequential Access devices                sa(4)
      |sb*         Creative Labs Sound Blaster devices             sb(4)
      |sbc?        Creative Labs Sound Blaster bridges             sbc(4)
      |sbmidi*     Creative Labs Sound Blaster MIDI devices        sb(4)
      |sbxvi*      Creative Labs Sound Blaster SB16 devices        sb(4)
      |sc?         syscons console driver                          syscons(4)
     s|cd*         Sony CDU31/33 CD-ROMs                           scd(4)
     s|d           (SCSI) disks (obsolete)                         sd(4)
      |sequencer   Sequencer device (symlink)                      pcm(4)
      |ses*        SES (SCSI Environmental Services)               ses(4)
      |sf?         Adaptec AIC-6915 "Starfire" PCI Fast Ethernet   sf(4)
      |si?         Specialix Intl. SI/XIO or SX serial card        si(4)
      |sio?        fast, interrupt-driven asynch. serial interface sio(4)
      |sis?        Silicon Integrated Systems Fast Ethernet        sis(4)
      |sk?         SysKonnect SK-98[24]x Gigabit Ethernet          sk(4)
      |sl?         slip network interface                          sl(4)
      |smb?        SMBUS generic I/O devices                       smb(4)
      |snd*        various sound cards                             pcm(4)
      |snp*        tty snoop devices                               snp(4)
      |socksys     iBCS2 socket system driver                      ibcs2(8)
      |speaker     PC speaker                                      speaker(4)
      |spigot      Video Spigot video acquisition card             ?
      |sr?         synchronous RISCom/N2 / WANic 400/405 devices   sr(4)
     s|t*          SCSI tapes                                      st(4)
      |stderr      Standard Error device                           stderr(4)
      |stdin       Standard Input device                           stderr(4)
      |stdout      Standard Output device                          stdout(4)
      |ste?        Sundance Technologies ST201 Fast Ethernet       ste(4)
      |stf         6to4 (IBV6 to IPV4) tunnel interface            stf(4)
      |stl?        Stallion Technologies multiport serial contrs.  stl(4)
      |stli?       Stallion Technologies multiport serial contrs.  stl(4)
      |sym         NCR/Symbios/LSI 53C8XX PCI SCSI host adapter    sym(4)
      |sysmouse    virtualized mouse driver                        sysmouse(4)

      |ti?         Alteon Networks Tigon {I,II} Gigabit Ethernet   ti(4)
      |tl?         Texas Instruments ThunderLAN Ethernet           tl(4)
      |tty         user's current terminal                         tty(4)
      |tty*        general purpose serial ports                    tty(4)
      |ttyA*       Specialix SI/XIO dialin serial ports            tty(4)
      |ttyD*       Digiboard dialin serial ports                   tty(4)
      |ttyR*       Rocketport dialin serial ports                  tty(4)
      |ttyv?       PC console virtual screen system                pcvt(4)
      |tun?        tunnelling IP network interfaces                tun(4)
      |tw?         TW-523 (i.e., X-10) power control devices       tw(4)
      |twe?        3ware Escalade ATA RAID adapters                twe(4)
      |tx?         SMC9432TX Fast Ethernet                         tx(4)

     u|gen*        generic USB devices                             usb(4)
      |uhci        UHCI USB Host Controller                        uhci(4)
     u|hid*        USB human interface devices                     usb(4)
     u|lpt*        USB printers                                    usb(4),lpt(4)
     u|random      random number devices (unlimited)               random(4)
      |usb?        USB devices                                     usb(4)
     u|ms?         Universal Serial Device mice                    ums(4)

      |vat         VAT compatibility audio driver                  ?
      |vga?        generic video card interface                    vga(4)
      |vn*         vnode disks                                     vn(4)
      |vpo         Parallel to SCSI interface driver               vpo(4)
      |vr?         VIA Technologies VT3043 and VT86C100A Ethernet  vr(4)
     v|t*          PC console virtual screen system                pcvt(4)
     v|ty*         virtual console devices                         ?
      |vx?         3Com 3c59[05] PCI Ethernet                      vx(4)

      |wb?         Winbond W89C840F Fast Ethernet                  wb(4)
     w|d*          Generic WD100x/IDE disks                        wd(4)
      |worm        (SCSI) WORM devices                             worm(4)
     w|cd*         ? Wangtek CD-ROMs ?                             ?
     w|fd*         ATAPI floppy disk drives (LS-120)               wfd(4)
      |wi?         Lucent WaveLAN/IEEE 802.11 PCMCIA cards         wi(4)
      |wl?         T1 speed ISA/radio LAN cards                    wl(4)
      |worm        write-once, read-many (CD-R) disks              worm(4)
    ws|t*          ATAPI tapes                                     wst(4)
     w|t*          Archive/Wangtek (3M-style) cartridge tapes      wt(4)
      |wx?         Intel Gigabit Ethernet                          wx(4)

      |xl?         3Com (Fast) Etherlink XL Ethernet               xl(4)
      |xpt?        CAM transport layer interfaces                  xpt(4)

      |zero        the zero device                                 zero(4)
Rich Morin:, +1 650-873-7841,
Prime Time Freeware:, +1 408-433-9662,

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