unix/EthernetNamingMistake written at 03:19:47; Add Comment
The Ethernet device naming mistake (or one part of it)
In the beginning of Unix, all devices were accessed through the
filesystem via files in
Then came Berkeley and BSD Unix. As part of adding networking in general
they added devices to represent network interfaces, but they did not put
these devices in the filesystem. Your Ethernet devices had names but
I'm sure that plenty of people have written plenty of things about how this is a bad idea and why, but I want to focus on one particular aspect of it today. To wit: you can't give Ethernet devices additional names.
(I would say 'aliases' if that didn't risk getting confused with the sort of aliases that you can give Ethernet devices.)
When devices are just entries in
(Linux currently has five different naming schemes for hard drives, although that's kind of an extreme case.)
BSD-style network devices don't get any of that. They have a single name, and often it's decided by the kernel. Don't like the kernel's naming scheme? You get to argue with the kernel developers, and if you win the argument other people will promptly start arguing with you.
(If you're lucky you can rename the network devices to new names. In the old days I believe that you didn't even get that; the kernel's name for the device was what you were stuck with, period.)
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