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Specifying Device Names

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

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

You reference devices in the following three ways in the Solaris Operating Environment.

  • Physical device name— The full device path name in the device information hierarchy. You find physical device files in the /devices directory.

  • Instance name— The abbreviation name the kernel uses for every possible device on the system. For example, sd0 and sd1 represent the instance names of two disk devices. Instance names are mapped in the /etc/path_to_inst file.

  • Logical device name— You use logical device names with most file system commands to refer to devices. Logical device files in the /dev directory are symbolically linked to physical device files in the /devices directory.

See "Tape Device–Naming Conventions" below for information on tape device-naming conventions. See "Disk-Naming Conventions" on page 296 for information on disk-naming conventions.

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