The /boot directory contains a compressed version of the Linux kernel (loaded at boot time), along with other files that describe the kernel or provide information for booting Linux. When you rebuild or install a new kernel, the kernel and related files are placed in this directory (see Chapter 35, "Kernel and Module Management," for more information on rebuilding or installing a kernel).
Linux device files are contained under the /dev directory. Note that under Linux, nearly everything on your system is a file. This means that (with the exception of network interfaces; see the note that follows the upcoming list) regular files; directories; hard drive partitions; serial, printer, or USB ports; and video and sound devices all are files!
The /dev directory contains more than 800 files representing devices that may or may not be in use on your system. Some of the most commonly used devices in this directory include
• IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics) hard drives, such as /dev/hda and /dev/hdb
• CD-ROM drives; some of which are IDE, others of which are CD-RW (CD read/write) drives emulated as SCSI (Small Computer Systems Interface) devices such as /dev/scd0
• Serial ports, such as /dev/ttys0 for COM1, /dev/ttys1 for COM2, and so on
• Pointing devices, including /dev/input/mice and others
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