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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?


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Old 12-26-2003, 02:07 AM   #1
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: California
Distribution: Ubuntu
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hardware & the /dev directory?

another question asked earlier got me thinking and has me stumped.

how can you tell what hardware is on your system, obviously the first thing to do would be to look at it, but like say my sound card, where can I find reffrence to that within my system, and my printer, I see it doing a modprobe for it everytime I boot up but besides that how do I tell I have a printer.

I guess a better way to phrase this question is;
1. how could I find out what hardware is on a machine that I have never seen, but somehow i have a root terminal at.

2. whats with that /dev directory? for example, I see in my dev directory that I have hdc# 1-32, I dont even have a hdc!!! for that matter, I dont have 99% of the stuf listed in my /dev directory, so why are they there, and more inportantly, how can I tell which ones are active (like hda1) and which ones are just sitting there uselessly (like hdc32).

Last edited by e1000; 12-26-2003 at 02:15 AM.
Old 12-26-2003, 02:31 AM   #2
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Location: Philippines
Distribution: Slackware, RHEL&variants, AIX, SuSE
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u can make use of the dmesg command:

dmesg | more

or lspci:

lspci -v

also, viewing files in /proc would help to check what h/w your machine has. in Linux, all h/w are represented as files (err, did i say it right? ). your hdd, modem, etc - are accessible via filenames. and they go to the /dev directory. and as you observed, not all files present in /dev represent that hardware you have. intead, most of there are ready made and placed there by default for your machine's perusal. in fact, u can safely delete them. you can recreate them usng the MAKEDEV command in /dev. you can google around for it for more info.

Old 12-26-2003, 02:40 AM   #3
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ok, so how do I tell what files in my /dev directory are actually in use?
Old 12-26-2003, 10:54 AM   #4
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Moved: Seems more suitable in our Hardware forum. Regards.
Old 01-03-2004, 05:22 AM   #5
Registered: Dec 2003
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Stuff like common hard drive slots me thinks are already preconfigured to a certain hardware slot, (whatever you call it, device address? ie. 0X080) so you won't have to mkdev your keyboard, your mouse, your hard drive, or even emulated scsi drives, etc. etc. They are there, but they don't exactly represent a valid device.

Last edited by natalinasmpf; 01-03-2004 at 05:23 AM.


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