Device name

Updated: 06/30/2020 by Computer Hope
device file

Alternatively known as a device file or special file, a device name is an identification that is given to the physical hardware device assigned by the operating system.

A device name provides an interface to peripheral devices such as parallel and serial ports, or access to a disk partition. For example, "hd" being the device name for an ATA hard drive.

Examples of device names

The following table lists Linux device names in the /dev hierarchy and are all examples of device names.

Name Description
fb Frame buffer
fd Floppy diskette or file descriptor.
hd IDE driver, ATA hard drive, or ATAPI optical disc drive.
hda Primary ATA.
hdb Secondary ATA device.
hdc Primary ATA device on the second channel. An example of how this may be listed: hdc1, which indicates first partition on primary ATA device.
lp Printer.
parport, pp Parallel ports.
pt Pseudo-terminal (virtual terminal).
sd SCSI mass storage.
sda First registered SCSI device. An example of how this may be listed: sda4, which indicates the last partition on the first registered SCSI device.
ses SCSI enclosure driver.
sg Generic SCSI layer.
sr SCSI ROM driver.
st SCSI tape driver.
tty Terminal.
ttyS Terminal serial port driver.
ttyUSB Terminal USB serial converter.

See our reserved word definition for a listing of the device file names on Windows and MS-DOS computers.

Hardware terms, Operating System, Operating system terms, Reserved word