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Absolute FreeBSD, 2nd Edition by Michael W. Lucas

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devfs

devfs(5) is a dynamic filesystem for managing device nodes. Remember, in a Unix-like operating system everything is a file. This includes physical hardware. Every device on the system has a device node under /dev.

Once upon a time, the system administrator was responsible for making these device node files. Lucky sysadmins managed an operating system that came with a shell script to handle device node creation and permissions. If the OS authors had not provided such a shell script, or if the server had unusual hardware not included in that shell script, the sysadmin had to create the node with black magic and mknod(8). If any little thing went wrong, the device would not work. The other option was to ship the operating system with device ...

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