I'm having to do with an OpenShift RHEL Linux installation running on Amazon EC2. In the filesystem, there is a device file named /dev/xvde1 mounted to / ... and a device file named /dev/xvde2 mounted to /var.

What is an xvdeN device file?


/dev/xvde is a xen virtual disk, and /dev/xvde1 and /dev/xvde2 are partitions on that virtual disk.

On the Xen host (the dom0), /dev/xvde could be a raw disk or disk partition, an LVM volume, a disk image file, an iscsi disk or something else.

From your VM's POV, that's completely irrelevant - just treat it the same as any other disk. It just happens to have a device name beginning with /dev/xvd rather than /dev/sd or /dev/hd or some other device name (device names and naming conventions are ultimately arbitrary anyway)


It's a Xen device. See e.g. Xen on Debian wiki

  • And what's a "Xen device"? – Abdull Aug 23 '12 at 14:54
  • If you follow the link in the reply, there's lots of information about it. – Jenny D Aug 23 '12 at 14:57
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    No, unfortunately, that link wasn't helpful to me. For instance, questions I have regarding xvd: .... Does it provide raw, unfiltered access to an underlying (?) dev/sda? .... Does the "e1" in "xvde1" signify anything meaningful? .... Why is there a "xvde1" in first place instead of the typical "sda1"? – Abdull Aug 23 '12 at 15:26
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    So you have a lot of questions, and you have read about it, and you still don't understand everything. It's impossible for the people on this site to guess every question that you may have. What you need to do is to first read as much as you can find, including man pages. Then, if there are specific things that you do not understand from the documentation, ask a specific question about that thing. To quote the FAQ: "Your questions should be reasonably scoped. If you can imagine an entire book that answers your question, you’re asking too much. " – Jenny D Aug 24 '12 at 7:46
  • Sure, obvious. Yet, after reasonably extensive search, there is no comprehensive information about xvde on the internet. My question is reasonably scoped: I'm not asking to explain what a "device file" is. Besides this, please don't expect me to read the full Xen source code to understand what xvde is. The sense of my question is to get a solid grasp about /dev/xvde. Thnerefore, I'd be nice if you could expand on your five-words answer. – Abdull Aug 24 '12 at 10:52

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