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.

  • 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. – Colin Guthrie Feb 10 '13 at 14:49
  • What is udev? Is it the manager of /dev ? – Sandburg Sep 17 '18 at 12:51
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    @Sandburg yes it handles plug-n-play on Linux systems. – Aaron D. Marasco Mar 26 at 21:01
# udevadm control --reload-rules && udevadm trigger
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    Do you need udevtrigger afterwards? – Nils May 26 '12 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. – Gilles Mar 5 '13 at 10:28
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    udevadm trigger did the trick on CentOS 6 for me. – astrostl Aug 7 '13 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. – enthusiasticgeek Jan 22 '15 at 20:25
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    Don't forget, you may need to unplug and plug the device back in to load the new rules for it. – Eric Fossum Apr 24 '15 at 14:44

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 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.

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? – Craig McQueen May 19 '16 at 2:28

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.

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    on Red Hat: service network stop && udevadm control --reload-rules; udevadm trigger --attr-match=subsystem=net; service network start – Alexander Torstling Feb 19 '15 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. – Trismegistos Jun 6 '17 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 Nov 28 '17 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.


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 Nov 29 '17 at 0:00

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