Device naming

  • Benjamin Low

    Benjamin Low - 2006-06-15


    It seems that the osx-pl2303-0.2.1-10.4-universal driver names the device name as /dev/tty.PL2303-XXXXXXXX, where X = the address of the port the adapter is plugged in to.

    I don't know if this is fallback behaviour for a device that does not have an embedded serial number - "USB Prober" developer utility reports "Serial Number String:   0 (none)" for my ATEN USB Serial adapter (0x0557/0x2008). I believe it would be preferable for an adapter with a serial number to be named per the serial number regardless of where it's plugged in.

    (BTW, where's the source code?)


    • B.J. Arnoldus

      B.J. Arnoldus - 2006-06-15

      You can download the source code with subversion:

      svn co osx-pl2303


      The naming of the device is based on the serial number except when there is no serial number ;-) The ATEN device doesn't provide this number so the suffix is based on the USB location.

      Apple provides a solution to determine available serial ports. See the documentation at In that case the suffix of the adapter is less important.

    • Benjamin Low

      Benjamin Low - 2006-06-19

      Source in SVN - oh, of course :-)

      Thanks for clarifying the naming behaviour, and the pointer re. the apple doc:

      ADC Home > Reference Library > Guides > Hardware & Drivers > Accessing Hardware From Applications > Finding and Accessing Devices

      And for the curious, 'ioreg -w 0 -c IOSerialBSDClient' enumerates the available serial devices (though not in an easily parseable way, so I guess the idea is to write some code for that...).

      Thanks again for the great work.


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