Per-instance devpts

sukadev at sukadev at
Sat Aug 2 22:08:00 PDT 2008

H. Peter Anvin [hpa at] wrote:
> Since the issue of PTY namespaces came up (and was rejected) back in April, 
> I have thought a little bit about changing ptys to be tied directly into a 
> devpts instance.  devpts would then be a "normal" filesystem, which can be 
> mounted multiple times (or not at all).  pty's would then become private to 
> a devpts instance.

Sorry, I thought we were going with a complete device namespace - since that
would address other devices as well and would avoid the following user-space

I guess this issue came up in OLS recently and have been looking into this
again.  I have some helper patches to explore multiple mounts of devpts
without namespace stuff and can send them out in a couple of days.

> This is what it would appear would have to change, and I'd like to get 
> people's feeing for the user-space impact:
> 1. /dev/ptmx would have to change to a symlink, ptmx -> pts/ptmx.

IIRC, /dev/tty also needs a similar symlink.

> 2. Permissions on /dev/ptmx would not be persistent, and would have to
>    be set via devpts mount options (unless they're 0666 root.tty, which
>    would presumably be the default.)
> 3. The /proc/sys/kernel/pty limit would be global; a per-filesystem
>    limit could be added on top or instead (presumably via a filesystem
>    mount options.)
> I worry #1 would have substantial user-space impact, but I don't see a way 
> around it, since there would be no obvious way to associate /dev/ptmx with 
> a filesystem.


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