Explain when and how to list and reconfigure devices.
A computer typically uses a wide range of peripheral and mass-storage devices such as a small computer system interface (SCSI) disk drive, a keyboard, a mouse, and some kind of magnetic backup medium. Other commonly used devices include CD-ROM drives, printers, and various Universal Serial Bus (USB) devices. Solaris communicates with peripheral devices through device files or drivers. A device driver is a low-level program that allows the kernel to communicate with a specific piece of hardware. The driver serves as the operating system's "interpreter" for that piece of hardware. Before Solaris can communicate with a device, the device must have a device driver.
When a system is started for the first time, the kernel creates a device hierarchy to represent all the devices connected to the system. This is the autoconfiguration process, which is described later in this chapter. If a driver is not loaded for a particular peripheral, that device is not functional. In Solaris, each disk device is described in three ways, using three distinct naming conventions:
Memorize these device names. You'll encounter them in several questions and it's important that you understand when and where each name is used. Make sure you can identify a particular device driver name when it is presented as a filename.