Re: linux-kernel-digest V1 #1491

John Gotts (
Fri, 16 Jan 1998 18:18:11 -0500

In message <>, "Elijah L
. Wright" writes:

>Heh. Back in the days before the earth cooled, Slackware used the
>following hard drive devnames:

>current: old slackware way:
>/dev/hda /dev/hda
>/dev/hdb /dev/hdb
>/dev/hdc /dev/hd1a
>/dev/hdd /dev/hd1b

>Now, don't we want to avoid this kind of foolishness? Nothing against
>slackware, and i realize that you can call the nodes whatever the heck you
>want, but this was STUPID. :) I personally hate the Slowaris method of
>naming disks. It is painful on the eyes, and i just make symlinks to the
>nice linux names instead. :)

That's not accurate.

Way back in 1994, Delman Lee <> wrote kernel patches to
support more than two non-SCSI hard drives. Being able to use these patches
required either an exacto knife (*) or (if you were lucky enough to find one) a
controller that had a jumper for an alternate IRQ. Delman selected the afore-
mentioned device naming scheme completely independently of the most popular
Linux distribution at that time, Slackware.

Since then, Mark Lord and others have completely revamped the MFM/RLL/IDE
driver to support multiple IRQ's, shared IRQ's, multiple controllers, at least
8 devices, and many more features too numerous to mention here. Along the way,
Mark changed the device naming scheme to what it is today.

These days every motherboard has built-in support for 4 IDE devices of any
type, but not too long ago most folks plunked down $25-$50 to buy a multi-io
card that only supported two IDE hard drives. And impoverished students like
myself ran Linux on second-hand RLL drives...

(*) I still have a ruined RLL controller to show for it. ;-)

John GOTTS <>