# # $Id: scsidev.8,v 220.127.116.11 2004/02/18 10:08:59
garloff Exp $ #
scsidev - populate /dev/scsi with device names that are persistent against SCSI
] [ -n
] [ -d
] [ -l
] [ -m mode
] [ -c mxms
] [ -A aliasfile
] [ -M
] [ -e
] [ -o
] [ -s
] [ -q
] [ -h
is a utility that is used to guarantee that the same device node
can be used for the same scsi device, no matter what other scsi devices are
added or removed from the scsi chain. The need for this tool arose because
device numbers are assigned dynamically at boot time, and if a new disk were
added to the system (or if some disk didn't spin up), then fixed device nodes
would cause the wrong filesystems to be mounted, checked, etc. This can also
result in security holes, as some device nodes may have permissions that allow
general users access to the raw device, and if the mappings were to change,
users would be able to access different devices.
is designed to be used once each time the system boots. It will
scan all of the detected devices on the system, and determine a immutable name
that will represent the device. It first checks to see if a node by this name
already exists - if this is the case, then it checks to see if the major/minor
numbers are correct. If a change in the minor number is required, then a new
device is created with the correct major/minor numbers, and in addition, any
ownership and permissions for the old device are applied to the new device.
Once this process is complete, then scsidev
will scan all of the entries
in the /dev/scsi directory, and see if any of them are for devices nodes which
were added for devices that are not active. The permissions of inactive
devices are stored in a .shadow. file and the device node is removed as a
security precaution, since these might have permissions that would allow
people to access devices that they should not be able to access. This is the
default behaviour and is considered ideal for most cases, as it preserves the
ownership and permissions of the files and is secure.
The so called sanitizing can be influenced by the options -f -d -n.
When you rescan the bus by using the rescan-scsi-bus.sh
manually by using commands like
echo "scsi add-single-device C B T U" >/proc/scsi/scsi
(C = Controller (host) no., B = Bus (Channel), T = Target (SCSI ID), U = Unit
(SCSI LUN)) after the system is booted, then you will have to rerun scsidev so
that the device nodes for the newly detected devices are properly updated.
The device nodes that scsidev
creates look something like
"sdh4-334c0i0l0p1". In this case, the various components of the name
represent physical attributes about the device or the host adapter to which it
is connected. To begin with, the "h4" indicates that it is connected
to an Adaptec 1542. The "-334" is a means of identifying which 1542
the device is attached to (since linux supports more than one 1542 in the
system at the same time) and (in this case) corresponds to the IO Port number
(hex) of the controller (this is the host adapter id number). The
"c0" represents the channel number (since some host adapters can
drive multiple scsi busses). The "i0l0" indicates that this device
is scsi ID 0, with lun 0. Finally the "p1" indicated partition
- Flush everything from /dev/scsi prior to scanning the
detected devices. This means that new device nodes will be created even if
the old ones were OK.
- Sanitize by deletion. The .shadow. backup files will not be
created, so you loose all non-default ownership/permissions that may have
- Don't touch device nodes for non-existing SCSI devices.
This might have security implications and is therefore not
- Symbolic link mode. Instead of creating nodes, symbolic
links are created which point to the older /dev/sda1 types of device
nodes. When using this option, the permissions of the /dev/XXX device
nodes will be changed to match the ones stored in /dev/scsi/YYY file, if
- Use symbolic names for the aliases assigned through the
/etc/scsi.alias settings (see below).
- -m mode
- Specifies the mode (permissions) for new entries that need
to be created.
- -c maxmiss
- Normally, if scsidev fails to open a generic scsi
device, it finishes its scan for devices. With this option, it goes on
until maxmiss missing devices were found. This is only used, if you don't
have the /proc/scsi/scsi extensions for large disks.
- -A aliasfile
- Use an alternative file instead of the default
/etc/scsi.alias (see below).
- scsidev does first probe the generic and then -- if
appropriate -- the other highlevel devices (st, sd, sr). For removable
devices (sd, sr, osst), this will fail, if no medium is inserted, so
scsidev can not ensure, that the device actually corresponds to the
one reported by the sg interface. After the first device scan, the
situation is clear and scsidev will do the right guesses. So using
-r in bootup scripts is safe. After you removed devices from your SCSI
config, it isn't safe any longer. This is only needed, if you don't have
the /proc/scsi/scsi extensions for large disks.
- Multipath support. scsidev normally does complain if
a line in scsi.alias matches more than one device and does not create an
alias then. With multipatch support on, it just creates the alias for the
first device found matching the description in the scsi.alias
- Instructs scsidev to use devfs like names, i.e.
using the cbtu (controller, bus, target unit) characters instead of hcil
(host, channel, scsi Id, scsi Lun) to build the device name.
- Instructs scsidev to use scd instead of sr for the
old names of CD-ROM devices (relevant for symlink mode).
- Tells scsidev
to print out the device serial numbers of all detected devices on the
system. This string can be useful for forming aliases. If supported, also
the WWID is printed.
- Verbosity. Mainly used for debugging purposes. Use multiple
times for more verbosity.
- Be Quiet. Only produce output, if there are errors.
- Output short usage summary and copyright info and
It was intended that scsidev
be useful without any configuration at all.
There are times when it is much more convenient to have symbolic names for
various devices. These symbolic names should track devices as they get moved
from controller to another, or even if the SCSI id number is changed.
The general idea is that there is a configuration file /etc/scsi.alias
which lists the aliases that scsidev
will attempt to create. Each line
represents a separate alias, and consists of a series of tokens. Here are a
couple of example entries:
serial_number="DX908FK", devtype=disk, alias=fourgig
manufacturer=WANGTEK, devtype=tape, alias=qictape
id=2, devtype=generic, alias=cdwriter
The minimum requirements are that each line have a alias and a devtype field.
The alias will be used to build the pathnames, and the devtype must be one of
disk, tape, osst, cdrom or generic.
The additional qualifiers are optional, and you must specify a sufficient number
of them such that the alias will match only one device. The allowable
- Specifies the name of the manufacturer. This is the same
string that is printed at boot time, and is also available through
- Specifies the model number of the device. This is the same
string that is printed at boot time, and is also available through
- Specifies the revision string of the device. This is the
same string that is printed at boot time, and is also available through
- Specifies the serial number of the device. Not all devices
implement this, but for those that do it provides a convenient mechanism
to uniquely identify a device no matter where it is found on the scsi
chain. The serial number is the one reported in INQUIRY page 0x80 with
EVPD=1. It is displayed by scsidev -s .
- Specifies the WWID number of a device. This is a 64bit
world wide unique number, which is supported by SCSI-3 devices and
reported via INQUIRY page 0x83 with EVPD=1. If supported, it's displayed
by scsidev -s .
- Specifies the scsi id number for the device.
- Specifies the lun for the device. Most devices have a lun
of 0, and it is only special devices such as cd changers that implement
multiple lun devices.
- Specifies which channel (i.e. which bus) for host adapters
that drive multiple channels.
- Specifies the partition number for disk drives. If
unspecified, the alias will match all partitions on the disk.
- Specifies the host adapter id number (0x334 part of
sdh4-334c0i0l0p1 for example).
- Specifies the unique number that each host adpater driver
returns. Generally this number is always 0 except for cases where the
driver supports more than one device of a given type on the system.
- Specifies the host adapter driver name. (Only the given
chars need to match, so you may omit the version number.)
Note that the specifiers which take string arguments can be quoted if the string
For disks, aliases for all partitions will be created (unless partition= is
specified). The names get a -pN
suffix (N indicating the number of the
partition. For tapes (st and osst type), the non-rewinding variant with an
prepended will be created automatically.
... was written by Eric Youngdale <firstname.lastname@example.org>
... was enhanced by Kurt Garloff <email@example.com>
Probably there are ...
The BIOS and LILO do not have the knowledge about the SCSI devices at boot time,
so you still have to ensure, your kernel can be loaded when you insert a new
This program is free software. You can use it under the terms of the GNU
(General Public License) Version 2 (or any later version, at your
option). Note, that the GNU GPL implies, that there is NO WARRANTY
all. Full text of the GPL can be found in /usr/share/common-licenses/GPL file.
is available from
and will also be put on standard anonymous ftp servers.
The old version is available from