Talk:Null device

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Device file abstraction vs Programming/ASCII constant[edit]

/dev/null is a file system abstraction of a data sink in Unix-style operating systems, following a producer/consumer pattern.

NULL (sometimes listed as null or NUL) is a constant in many referring to a pointer construct with points to nothing in memory or within a namespace. Also, NUL is the constant mapped to 0 in the official ASCII table and many other character encodings.

NUL linking to /dev/null? Or is size of the /dev/null article the issue? Maybe a 'Data sink' article? The concept of data sink does apply to other parts of computing too (networking, synchronous systems).

--CrixDev (talk) 14:51, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

Windows NT[edit]

In Windows NT, it works somewhat like UNIX, but with a bit of DOS compatibility added in. Like UNIX, NT has a single root directory, but called \ instead of /. (NT's root directory can be considered to be on a RAM disk.) NT's equivalent to /dev is the \Device directory. Inside it is the \Device\Null device node, which works identically to UNIX's /dev/null.

The Win32 function for opening files, CreateFile, has a DOS compatibility layer. It translates filenames from DOS format into the native NT format. DOS devices are located in the NT directory \??. When opening the special file NUL:, CreateFile actually translates your request into opening the NT native file \??\NUL. \??\NUL is a symbolic link to \Device\Null.

[1] is a great program for exploring the native NT file system.

--- Myria 07:54, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

Compare to GUI OS Trash cans?[edit]

How is dev/null different than a trashcan in today's modern OSs? --Navstar 21:01, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

How is it similar? It has nothing to do with storing "deleted" files.--Prosfilaes 13:23, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
Trash cans store recently deleted files, /dev/null stores nothing. 84.182.124.245 (talk) 12:41, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

Link to this article[edit]

I found that it is somewhat difficult to link to this article because of the leading slash. Also, the article is technically a subpage, right?

The following doesn't work right because the leading slash makes the link relative to the current page (or is it the top-level page?):

[[/dev/null]] → produces → /dev/null

I was successfully able to link the the article using a leading colon in the link href:

[[:/dev/null]] → produces → /dev/null

Now I can't find a way to link to the talk page of the article!

[[Talk:/dev/null]] → produces → Talk:/dev/null

[[Talk::/dev/null]] → produces → [[Talk::/dev/null]]

[[:Talk:/dev/null]] → produces → Talk:/dev/null

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Blooper Glooper (talkcontribs) 02:03, 4 February 2007 (UTC1)

Why do you think that [[Talk:/dev/null]] and [[:Talk:/dev/null]] do not work? (The wiki engine automatically turns self-links into bolded text. See Help:Self link.) —Tobias Bergemann 08:39, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
You could just use the redirect: /dev/null --Closedmouth 14:46, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Musings on the Characteristics of the Null Device[edit]

full/not full? dimensions of dev/null - 0 or approaching infinity? is the null device equally available to an infinite number of simultaneously executing threads? User:.digamma/null —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.82.74.18 (talk) 22:11, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

It's never full (like a black hole), and each thread can access it. 84.182.124.245 (talk) 12:41, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

Removal of Apple advertisment from article[edit]

Powerbook G4 advert was completely irrelevant and planted by Mac a fanboi. 17:38, 23 February 2009 [User:79.73.196.40]]

Energy can be neither created nor destroyed...[edit]

when electrical current powers the computer, data is written, when that data is deleted, the energy escapes via /dev/null (among other ways)

electricity converted into bits. removed bits go to dev/null -- the hardware has a metal device that dumps heat from /dev/null —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.18.203.236 (talk) 06:41, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

Rename and expand to non-Unix devices[edit]

I suggest renaming and expanding the scope of this page from /dev/null to Null device. I think it is better to use English rather than computer codes and abbreviations. Also this would avoid all the Media Wiki subpage technicalities mentioned above. Once renamed, then I would suggest merging NUL:, which looks suspiciously like a WP:content fork. Vadmium (talk, contribs) 03:36, 13 January 2013 (UTC).

  • Comment: Vadmium, while I agree they're the same topic so in theory should be merged, the merge target is a problem - we have a nice set of unix device names that are in common use so I wouldn't merge to Null device. I'm guessing the opposite is problematic too. I've added hatnotes in the meantime. Widefox; talk 18:50, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
    • "we have a nice set of unix device names that are in common use" — are you referring to the fact that we have articles named /dev/random and /dev/full? It does not matter, article titles are decided on an individual basis.
    I agree with User:Vadmium. I would even suggest merging with /dev/zero, because it is not substantially different. Keφr 08:14, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

I also agree with User:Vadmium. /dev/zero is however conceptually different and shouldn't be merged in.WinTakeAll (talk) 04:25, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

  • They are similar enough to be both described on the same Linux manual page. Both are virtual devices which discard anything written into them and return "empty" content when read from — for differing values of "empty". Keφr 17:56, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Merged NUL: and /dev/null into Null device; leaving the /dev/zero proposal open. Keφr 17:28, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

Reference in Vampire the Masquerade[edit]

Nothing of major importance, just might be a nice addition to the references. In the PC game "Vampire: the Masquerade - Redemption", there is a non playable character called Dev/Null, a crazy (not just) computer genius Vampire. Sadly he isn't mentioned on the Wikipedia site of the game, but more about him can be found here:

http://whitewolf.wikia.com/wiki/Dev/Null

--Sephtan (talk) 02:14, 14 July 2014 (UTC)