Re: SCSI disk devices

Eric Youngdale (
Sun, 4 May 1997 09:28:16 -0400

One other thing - I was just looking through the latest kernel
sources, and on i386, the dev_t is *still* 16 bits :-(. It isn't just
i386 either - only the Alpha and PPC get this right. Someone needs to
eventually take the initiative and fix the kernel so that it has new
versions syscalls for *stat and mknod that support a larger dev_t.
This does need to be coordinated with *lots* of other people to make
sure that there are no other things that need to get changed at the
same time, and to make sure that in fact the change is done correctly
for the architecture in question.

Nonetheless, I think I am going to be forced to update the sd
driver to dynamicly allocate additional major numbers so that people
can have access to more than 16 disks. A system with 512 disks would
use up 32 major numbers, so it is doable. The reason is that once the
new syscalls are present in the kernel, then the C library would need
to be updated, and then finally new versions of 'ls' 'mknod' and a few
other utilities would be needed before people could use the new