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Re: symlinks in /dev

Adrian Phillips <tandem@freeze.oslo.dnmi.no> writes:

> On Jan 31,  6:40am, Daniel Quinlan wrote:
>> that belongs in /dev by default or that should be introduced to new
>> UNIX users -- with responsible use, they are not a problem.  Sure,
>> symlinking /dev/mouse to the wrong /dev/cua? is no big deal.  What
>> about /dev/swap to /dev/hda2 when hda2 is your /usr partition?

> Surely, if a link (whatever type) is set up automatically (well
> after asking the user which COM port it is on) by the installations
> script and there is a small shell script (change_mouse) which allows
> the novice user to change it when the system is running normally, I
> don't see the problem with a /dev/mouse - in fact I can see
> advantages for programs looking for a mouse, they don't have to
> check all the serial ports for a mouse (how do you do that anyway
> ?), but can look for /dev/mouse as a default, and the novice user
> need not have to know about hard/symbolic links at all (for a while
> anyway).

Generally, it would be nice to keep Debian's implementation of Linux
(rhymes with UNIX) reasonably close to other UNIX implementations.  To
put symlinks or any links in /dev is non-standard UNIX behavior.

Doing things to protect a novice user (who is really just a novice
administrator) from learning UNIX is a bad idea.  Better to have the
person learn what /dev/cua0 means and go from there.  If DOS users can
handle COM[1-4], then Linux users can handle /dev/cua[0-3].  Please
don't insult their intelligence.  And if they can't handle that much
knowledge, you don't want to leave links around in /dev anyway.


Daniel Quinlan  <quinlan@spectrum.cs.bucknell.edu>

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