How should one reload udev rules, so that newly created one can function?

I'm running Arch Linux, and I don't have a udevstart command here.

Also checked /etc/rc.d, no udev service there.

  • 2
    Please note that more recent versions of udev have dropped the inotify support so the reloading of the rules on change is needed more often these days. Commented Feb 10, 2013 at 14:49
  • What is udev? Is it the manager of /dev ?
    – Sandburg
    Commented Sep 17, 2018 at 12:51
  • 1
    @Sandburg yes it handles plug-n-play on Linux systems. Commented Mar 26, 2019 at 21:01

8 Answers 8

# udevadm control --reload-rules && udevadm trigger
  • 4
    Do you need udevtrigger afterwards?
    – Nils
    Commented May 26, 2012 at 20:28
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    @Nils Actually, you may need udevtrigger (or rather udevadm trigger on most distributions) instead (that, or plug the device out and back it). --reload-rules is almost always useless as it happens automatically. Commented Mar 5, 2013 at 10:28
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    udevadm trigger did the trick on CentOS 6 for me.
    – astrostl
    Commented Aug 7, 2013 at 18:19
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    udevtrigger or udevadm trigger did not work for me. I found some devices will work after unloading and loading the module for the same (assuming it is loadable module). What I found out is one does not necessarily have to reboot the system. Example for a network device, I do rmmod ixgbe, rmmod tg3,rmmod e1000 then modprobe ixgbe, modprobe tg3,modprobe e1000 depending on type of network driver. Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 20:25
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    I did have to sudo udevadm trigger after this, though removing the sudo didn't show any error, I didn't actually see any change until I ran it w/ sudo Commented Nov 10, 2015 at 17:43

Udev uses the inotify mechanism to watch for changes in the rules directory, in both the library and in the local configuration trees (typically located at /lib/udev/rules.d and /etc/udev/rules.d). So most of the time you don't need to do anything when you change a rules file.

You only need to notify the udev daemon explicitly if you're doing something unusual, for example if you have a rule that includes files in another directory. Then you can use the usual convention for asking daemons to reload their configuration: send a SIGHUP (pkill -HUP udevd). Or you can use the udevadm command: udevadm control --reload-rules.

However, beware that different versions of udev have historically had different triggers for reloading the rules automatically. So if in doubt, call udevadm control --reload-rules: it won't do any harm anyway.

The udev rules are only applied when a device is added. If you want to reapply the rules to a device that is already connected, you need to do this explicitly, by calling udevadm trigger with the right options to match the device(s) whose configuration has changed, e.g. udevadm trigger --attr-match=vendor='Yoyodyne' --attr-match=model='Frobnicator 300'.

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    Does systemd udev use inotify to watch for rule changes? Commented May 19, 2016 at 2:28
  • The inotify mechanism does not always catch a change of a udev rule file. For example when I use cat > 10-name.rules to change the rule file by pasting the contents, I have to reload rules manually using udevadm. Tested on Raspbian Stretch.
    – Daniel K.
    Commented Jul 25, 2019 at 8:55
  • @DanielK. Has this changed recently? IIRC I checked both a systemd udev and a non-systemd udev when I posted this answer, and both did use inotify, so --reload-rules was only needed in uncommon cases. Commented Jul 25, 2019 at 11:17
  • @Gilles: maybe my example above (overwriting an existing rule file using shell redirection) can be considered being an "uncommon case". When I modified this file by way of an editor, e.g., vi, the inotify mechanism worked.
    – Daniel K.
    Commented Jul 25, 2019 at 12:43
  • @DanielK. Ah, that's good to know. It isn't an uncommon case: some editors would save the file by rewriting (with Vim and Emacs, it depends how they're configured). Weird that udev only handles one of the cases — it looks like a bug to me, because I can't think of a reason to treat them differently. Commented Jul 25, 2019 at 12:51

I'm adding this because some day I will need it... again.

Sometimes you get an incorrect matching of ethernet device numbers and MAC addresses. Sometimes this is really important, like when running in a VM and each device is assigned to a different VLAN.

  1. Bring the network interfaces down, then
  2. modify /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules (or its equivalent)
  3. re-load with udevadm control --reload-rules
  4. re-trigger with udevadm trigger --attr-match=subsystem=net
  5. bring the network interfaces up.

I was surprised how well this worked.

  • 6
    on Red Hat: service network stop && udevadm control --reload-rules; udevadm trigger --attr-match=subsystem=net; service network start Commented Feb 19, 2015 at 12:40
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    On Debian testing 'udevadm trigger --attr-match=subsystem=net' does not work. I had to unplug and plug usb ethernet card only then udev triggered new rule. Commented Jun 6, 2017 at 12:55
  • I'd be willing to bet, Trismegistos, that the unplug/plug is akin to removing and reloading the network driver, as per Clayton Dukes' answer.
    – Mike S
    Commented Nov 28, 2017 at 23:58

I am not sure if this applies, and this is definitely an older post but it came up pretty high my web search for udev info so I thought I might share some knowledge.

You can trigger udev rules manually for specific devices. This applies only to redhat-related distros (centos fedora etc etc etc)

Once you make the relevant changes in your rules file (/etc/udev/rules.d/whateveryoucalledyourrules), you can echo change in to the device's uevent.

echo change > /sys/block/devname/partname1/uevent

This will force a udev rule reading for ONLY this device. Much better, and more targeted in my opinion.

  • This is great. I did a echo add > /sys/devices/pci0000\:d7/0000\:d7\:00.0/0000\:d8\:00.0/uevent so I can tell you that it works for non-block devices, as well, and it works to trigger "add" events.
    – Mike S
    Commented Apr 11, 2023 at 13:26

For me, below command sequence has worked as it is desired.

I have done modifications in /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules to change the eth number and to reload them without rebooting.

/etc/init.d/networking stop
/etc/init.d/udev stop
udevadm control --reload-rules
/etc/init.d/udev start
/etc/init.d/networking start

By following this, It was successfully loaded in run time without rebooting the machine.

Any suggestion or recommendations on this are welcome, as I have discovered this on my own by reading the man pages.


I'm adding the correct answer here because it took me a while to notice it in the comment from @enthusiasticgeek. All you need to do (assuming you are on the console of the server - clearly this is bad to do if you are ssh'd in!):

  1. Get a list of the interface module(s) being used:

cat /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules | grep "PCI device" | perl -pe 's/.*\((\w+)\).*/$1/g'| uniq

In my case, it's igb, so it prints just that.

  1. type sudo rmmod igb (replace igb with your card driver obtained from step 1.

next, edit /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules as needed, then load the module again using modprobe igb, again replacing igb with yours.

  • This, combined with Otheus' answer, was the secret sauce that enabled me to fix my Mellanox network card config without a machine reboot. I believe the loading of the driver and the udevadm read of the persistent-net.rules file is roughly akin to what the system does when it's booting.
    – Mike S
    Commented Nov 29, 2017 at 0:00

This is a slight change from the main answer: sudo seemed to be required for me on both commands.

Anecdotal evidence: doing sudo udevadm trigger took ~2 sec, but doing it withOUT sudo took only ~0.2 sec. So clearly they are not doing the same thing for me. Do this instead:

sudo udevadm control --reload-rules
sudo udevadm trigger

And then lastly (per the 2nd link below), unplug your device and plug it back in.


  1. How to reload udev rules without reboot?
  2. https://askubuntu.com/questions/1048870/permission-denied-to-non-root-user-for-usb-device/1187646#1187646

See comments under both of the answers above as well.

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    The commands in Igancio's answer have # as prompt which implies that they need to be executed as root. Depending on your preference you then may use sudo or just execute them in a root shell (which you may enter by e.g. su - or sudo -s or just log into another console as root). Commented May 24, 2020 at 11:43
  • Ahhh. That's subtle. I had no idea. Thanks. Commented May 24, 2020 at 16:18

in case of multiple networks

cat /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules | grep "PCI device" | awk '{print $NF}'|sed -e 's/(//g' -e 's/)//g'| uniq > /tmp/listnet
rm -rf /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules 
for i in $(cat /tmp/listnet); do rmmod $i; modprobe $i;done
service network restart
rm -rf /tmp/listnet

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