In linux for the longest time accessing a drive or partition was done with a directory-location-like address like


Then in some order the by-id method used


and the UUID method used addresses that looked like


For the same of easy web search on these methods, what is the terminology used to describe each, and any other methods that may exist? I have been searching for ways to cross-correlate all the different methods buy am failing by simply not knowing the correct search terms.

  • 1
    Is Persistent block device naming the term you are looking for? – steeldriver Jun 28 '18 at 11:04
  • I second "persistent block device naming", and for details I'd look at the udev rules that create the symlinks rather than search the web. While I think many distros have standardized on by-path, by-id, by-partlabel etc. and use the same set of udev rules, in principle nothing prevents distros or sysadmins from using their own set of rules with whatever conventions they find useful. You should also note that /dev/sd* is still the primary device node. – dirkt Jun 29 '18 at 10:25

The first /dev/sde means,

dev - device
sde - "sd" stands for scsi hard disk drive and "e" stands for 5th

The "e" is the 5th character counting from "a", so,

/dev/sda - Frist scsi hard disk drive
/dev/sdb - Second scsi hard disk drive... and so on

The sde or sda is called "device file" as a generic terms.
These are the same in Linux system.(using same kernel)

The second ata-WDC-WD10EFRX-XXXXX is just a name of hard disk drive. Usually, the name is made up of a combination of words like this,

ata - Hard disk interface "Advanced Technology Attachment" 
WDC - Hard disk vendor name, assuming Western Digital
WD10EFRX - Model number

Regarding to UUID, please refer below URL.


I hope it will be helpful for your understanding.

  • I guess the OP is referring to the various paths in /dev/disk/by-... that get automatically made as symlinks by udev. – dirkt Jun 28 '18 at 11:16
  • @dirkt yes exactly, if I want to ask a search engine how to correlate between a message like 'dev/sde is failing' to the actual serial number, 'name' or 'uuid', what terminology would I need to get good the right results? – J Collins Jun 28 '18 at 13:00

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