In the Linux kernel, the device-mapper serves as a generic framework to map one block device onto another. It forms the foundation of LVM2, software RAIDs, dm-crypt disk encryption, and offers additional features such as file-system snapshots.
Device-mapper works by passing data from a virtual block device (provided by the device mapper itself) to another block device.
Applications (like LVM2 and EVMS) that need to create new mapped devices talk to the device-mapper via the libdevmapper.so shared library, which in turn issues ioctls to the /dev/mapper/control device node. Developers can also access device-mapper from shell scripts via the dmsetup tool.
Device mapper applications 
- EVMS (deprecated)
- dmraid (providing access to "fake" RAID configurations via device-mapper)
- cryptoloop (deprecated)
- DM Multipath
- The Linux version of TrueCrypt
- dmcache A generic block-level disk cache
- Device mapper home at Red Hat
- "Right To Your Own Devices". Linux Gazette. May 2005. — an article that illustrates the use of various device-mapper targets
- userspace tool to set up software RAID using various RAID metadata formats
- Multipath support in the device mapper--LWN.net
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