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I know that nodev means Do not set character or special devices access on this partition. but what does that exactly refer to. My understanding of character devices is a device that reads and writes in stream such as the console or terminal and a block device is one that reads and write in fixed block sizes such as CDs, DVDs and disk sectors.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Device nodes are special files that allow interaction with physical devices (usually) such as hard disks and video cameras etc.

They normally exist in /dev which is commonly part of the root file system.

The nodev parameter on a partition is saying "even if someone manages to create a device node on this partition, we will not treat it as a device".

So you would use this to tighten the security of other file systems, such as /home, so someone can't create a /home/user/dev/sda1 and have it actually represent a physical device.

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Thanks Paul. That makes sense however how would one create a device node? – PeanutsMonkey Apr 14 '12 at 19:37
That is a different question :) The command is mknod – Paul Apr 14 '12 at 22:45

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