January 11

Linux: Map a blockdevice to a USB-device

The information in /sys is organized in multiple ways (by driver, by bus, etc.), and there are many symbolic links to go from one hierarchy to another.

Case in point (example seen on kernel 2.6.26): starting from the block device in /sys/block/sdc, the symbolic link /sys/block/sdc/device points inside the per-device-type hierarchy. You can see that it’s an USB device because the target of the link is something like


Conversely, USB devices are listed in /sys/bus/usb/devices, and we can see that 8-2:1.0 is a disk-like device because /sys/bus/usb/devices/8-2:1.0/driver links to usb-storage. To find out what the associated block device is, it seems we need to go down to the directory /sys/bus/usb/devices/8-2:1.0/host9/target9:0:0/9:0:0:0 which contains a symbolic link block:sdc whose target is /sys/block/sdc.

ADDED: Caution: the exact structure of /sys changes from kernel version to kernel version. For example, with kernel 2.6.32, /sys/block/sdc/device points directly into the /dev/bus/scsi without going through the USB hop.

A different approach is to call the udevadm info command. udevadm info -p /sys/block/sdc --query=… gives information on a device based on its /sys entry, while udevadm info -n sdc --query=… gives information on the device /dev/sdc.

The information includes bus information, for example udevadm info -p /sys/block/sdc --query=env shows

ID_BUS=usb ID_PATH=pci-0000:00:1d.7-usb-0:2:1.0-scsi-0:0:0:0 

The udev documentation may have more information of interest to you.

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Posted January 11, 2012 by Timothy Conrad in category "Linux

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If I were to describe myself with one word it would be, creative. I am interested in almost everything which keeps me rather busy. Here you will find some of my technical musings. Securely email me using - PGP: 4CB8 91EB 0C0A A530 3BE9 6D76 B076 96F1 6135 0A1B