Simple codger question from the days of UNIX... Does Linux have character special files which correspond directly to a block special file? Back in my day 👴🏻 each disk in UNIX had both a block special and a character special file. Also, these special files were permanent inodes in the root file system.

I don't see anything like that; most of /dev seems to be automatically generated as a virtual file system and I see nothing like /dev/rsda1 that would correspond to my root file system (vg) /dev/sda5. Has Linux eliminated the block/character pairs completely?

Please excuse if this is a dumb question!

1 Answer 1


No, Linux doesn't have (and AFAIK never had) those block/char pairs.

If you want to do "raw" i/o (bypass the block buffer cache) you should either open the device with O_DIRECT or explicitly attach a raw device to it.


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