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3.2.5. The most common devices

Devices, generally every peripheral attachment of a PC that is not the CPU itself, is presented to the system as an entry in the /dev directory. One of the advantages of this UNIX-way of handling devices is that neither the user nor the system has to worry much about the specification of devices.

Users that are new to Linux or UNIX in general are often overwhelmed by the amount of new names and concepts they have to learn. That is why a list of common devices is included in this introduction.

Table 3-4. Common devices

Name Device
cdrom CD drive
console Special entry for the currently used console.
cua* Serial ports
dsp* Devices for sampling and recording
fd* Entries for most kinds of floppy drives, the default is /dev/fd0, a floppy drive for 1.44 MB floppies.
hd[a-t][1-16] Standard support for IDE drives with maximum amount of partitions each.
ir* Infrared devices
isdn* Management of ISDN connections
js* Joystick(s)
lp* Printers
mem Memory
midi* midi player
mixer* and music Idealized model of a mixer (combines or adds signals)
modem Modem
mouse (also msmouse, logimouse, psmouse, input/mice, psaux) All kinds of mouses
null Bottomless garbage can
par* Entries for parallel port support
pty* Pseudo terminals
radio* For Radio Amateurs (HAMs).
ram* boot device
sd* SCSI disks with their partitions
sequencer For audio applications using the synthesizer features of the sound card (MIDI-device controller)
tty* Virtual consoles simulating vt100 terminals.
usb* USB card and scanner
video* For use with a graphics card supporting video.
Introducing Linux
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