Why USB enclosure with HD isn't a block device?

Roland Smith rsmith at xs4all.nl
Wed Apr 8 22:39:00 PDT 2009

On Wed, Apr 08, 2009 at 08:50:41PM -0700, Yuri wrote:
> I got USB enclosure and put HD there.
> I tried to create NTFS on it (using mkntfs from sysutils/ntfsprogs).
> And got the message:
> /dev/da0 is not a block device.
> Refusing to make a filesystem here!
> mkntfs does 'stat' on /dev/da0.
> Why /dev/da0 stats not as a block device?

FreeBSD doesn't have block devices anymore. Try 'ls -l /dev/|less' and
you'll see that every device's permissions begin with a 'c' for
character devices. See
as to the reason why.

The complaint from mkntfs is probably a linuxism. Isn't there an
override switch? On FreeBSD, the test should probably test for a
character device.

R.F.Smith                                   http://www.xs4all.nl/~rsmith/
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