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System Administration Guide: Devices and File Systems     Oracle Solaris 10 1/13 Information Library
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1.  Managing Removable Media (Overview/Tasks)

2.  Writing CDs and DVDs (Tasks)

3.  Managing Devices (Tasks)

What's New in Device Management?

Support for USB 3.0 Devices

Where to Find Additional Device Management Tasks

Managing Devices in Oracle Solaris

x86: Identifying Device Support

About Device Drivers

Automatic Configuration of Devices

Features and Benefits of Autoconfiguration

What You Need for Unsupported Devices

Displaying Device Configuration Information

driver not attached Message

In-Use Device Error Checking

How to Display System Configuration Information

Resolving Faulty Devices

How to Resolve a Faulty Device

Adding a Peripheral Device to a System

How to Add a Peripheral Device

How to Add a Device Driver

Accessing Devices

How Device Information Is Created

How Devices Are Managed

Device Naming Conventions

Logical Disk Device Names

Specifying the Disk Subdirectory

Direct and Bus-Oriented Controllers

Disks With Direct Controllers

Disks With Bus-Oriented Controllers

Logical Tape Device Names

Logical Removable Media Device Names

4.  Dynamically Configuring Devices (Tasks)

5.  Managing USB Devices (Tasks)

6.  Using InfiniBand Devices (Overview/Tasks)

7.  Managing Disks (Overview)

8.  Managing Disk Use (Tasks)

9.  Administering Disks (Tasks)

10.  SPARC: Setting Up Disks (Tasks)

11.  x86: Setting Up Disks (Tasks)

12.  Configuring Oracle Solaris iSCSI Targets (Tasks)

13.  The format Utility (Reference)

14.  Managing File Systems (Overview)

15.  Creating and Mounting File Systems (Tasks)

16.  Configuring Additional Swap Space (Tasks)

17.  Checking UFS File System Consistency (Tasks)

18.  UFS File System (Reference)

19.  Backing Up and Restoring UFS File Systems (Overview/Tasks)

20.  Using UFS Snapshots (Tasks)

21.  Copying Files and File Systems (Tasks)

22.  Managing Tape Drives (Tasks)

23.  UFS Backup and Restore Commands (Reference)


Accessing Devices

You need to know how to specify device names when using commands to manage disks, file systems, and other devices. In most cases, you can use logical device names to represent devices that are connected to the system. Both logical and physical device names are represented on the system by logical and physical device files.

How Device Information Is Created

When a system is booted for the first time, a device hierarchy is created to represent all the devices connected to the system. The kernel uses the device hierarchy information to associate drivers with their appropriate devices. The kernel also provides a set of pointers to the drivers that perform specific operations.

How Devices Are Managed

The devfs file system manages the /devices directory, which is the name space of all devices on the system. This directory represents the physical devices that consists of actual bus and device addresses.

The dev file system manages the /dev directory, which is the name space of logical device names.

By default, the devfsadm command attempts to load every driver in the system and attach to all possible device instances. Then, devfsadm creates the device files in the /devices directory and the logical links in the /dev directory. The devfsadm command also maintains the path_to_inst instance database.

Updates to the /dev and /devices directories in response to dynamic reconfiguration events or file system accesses are handled by devfsadmd, the daemon version of the devfsadm command. This daemon is started by the service management facility when a system is booted.

Because the devfsadmd daemon automatically detects device configuration changes generated by any reconfiguration event, there is no need to run this command interactively.

For more information, see the following references:

Device Naming Conventions

Devices are referenced in one of three ways in Oracle Solaris:

The preceding device name information is displayed with the following commands:

Logical Disk Device Names

Logical device names are used to access disk devices when you perform the following tasks:

Many administration commands take arguments that refer to a disk slice or file system.

Refer to a disk device by specifying the subdirectory to which it is symbolically linked, either /dev/dsk or /dev/rdsk, followed by a string identifying the particular controller, disk, and slice.

Figure 3-1 Description of Logical Device Names

image:Diagram of logical device name components: raw disk device directory, logical controller, physical bus target, drive, and slice or fdisk partition.

Specifying the Disk Subdirectory

Some disk and file administration commands require the use of either a raw (or character) device interface, or a block device interface. The distinction is made by how data is read from the device.

Raw device interfaces transfer only small amounts of data at a time. Block device interfaces include a buffer from which large blocks of data are read at once.

Different commands require different interfaces:

The following table shows which interface is required for some commonly used disk and file system commands.

Table 3-3 Device Interface Type Required by Some Frequently Used Commands

Command Reference
Interface Type
Example of Use
dumpadm -d /dev/zvol/dsk/rpool/dump
prtvtoc /dev/rdsk/c0t0d0s0
swap -a /dev/zvol/dsk/rpool/swap

Direct and Bus-Oriented Controllers

You might access disk partitions or slices differently depending upon whether the disk device is connected to a direct or bus-oriented controller. Generally, direct controllers do not include a target identifier in the logical device name.

The conventions for both types of controllers are explained in the following subsections.

Note - Controller numbers are assigned automatically during system initialization. The numbers are strictly logical and imply no direct mapping to physical controllers.

Disks With Direct Controllers

To specify a slice on a disk with an IDE controller, follow the naming convention that is shown in the following figure.

Figure 3-2 Disks With Direct Controllers

image:Diagram of device name for disks with direct controllers that includes logical controller, drive, and slice or fdisk partition.

To indicate the entire fdisk partition, specify slice 2 (s2).

Disks With Bus-Oriented Controllers

To specify a slice on a disk with a bus-oriented controller, SCSI for instance, follow the naming convention that is shown in the following figure.

Figure 3-3 Disks With Bus-Oriented Controllers

image:Device name for disks with bus-oriented controllers that includes logical controller, physical bus target, drive, and slice or fdisk partition.

To indicate the whole disk, specify slice 2 (s2).

Logical Tape Device Names

Logical tape device files are found in the /dev/rmt/* directory as symbolic links from the /devices directory.

Figure 3-4 Logical Tape Device Names

image:Diagram of logical tape device name that includes magnetic tape device directory, drive, and the optional density values.

The first tape device connected to the system is 0 (/dev/rmt/0). Tape density values (l, m, h, c, and u) are described in Chapter 22, Managing Tape Drives (Tasks).

Logical Removable Media Device Names

Since removable media is managed by removable media management services, the logical device name is usually not used unless you want to mount the media manually.

The logical device name that represents the removable media devices on a system are described in Accessing Removable Media.