udev, how do I love thee?

When the final trumpet sounds, and the Linux kernel is called to account, the ledger eternal will bear witness to its numerous crimes and misdeeds — yeah, autofs, I’m looking at you — but udev, the 2.6 device-management infrastructure, will emphatically not be among these. No, it will go in the other column, the one that makes the case for redemption and eternal life.

udev is device management done right, elegantly and with just the right degree of abstraction: it handles USB dongles and PCI cards with equal aplomb, yet its configuration syntax is not so abstruse as to defy mortal aspirations. Quite the contrary, in fact. I was able to go from square one to a working configuration in about half an hour, with a little help.

Using udev, my USB devices can finally have predictable names, regardless of the order in which I plug them in. This in turn means that my fstab entries regarding removable devices and their respective filesystems can finally be something more than a laughable exercise in starry-eyed optimism.

Perhaps I will butt up against, and curse, udev’s limitations in short order, but for the time being, it’s a pure delight to use.

2 thoughts on “udev, how do I love thee?

  1. USB devices with predictable names? Stable fstab entries? Desktop Linux is just around the corner!

  2. For several years, my answer to “and then I had to recompile the kernel and it all exploded because nothing is compatible with [I tune out here]” has been “get a Mac, Lebowski!”

    Now I think it will be “get udev, Lebowski!” since all the recent Linux converts really seem to want the Mac to be more complicated, stupid, and unreliable.

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