Serial Number

David Henderson dhenderson at
Mon May 9 16:46:21 UTC 2011

On 05/08/2011 09:13 AM, Harald Becker wrote:
>   Hallo David!
>> I'm not quite sure how else I could have specified I was looking for a
>> way to obtain serial numbers other than saying "I'm looking for a way
>> to obtain serial numbers". ;)
> It was just the missing word "product" (or "device"), as "product serial
> numbers" are a well known description to that kind of information (at
> least to all people I met), where as a "serial number" without any
> detailing specification lead me to just a SELF GENERATED sequence of up
> counting numbers (N, N+1, N+2 ...) ... as you eliminated that one the
> next possible was UUID.
> ... but nobody is perfect and you did it right to clarify your question
> afterwards. Sorry, if my answers gave you not the expected informations.
> ... but this shows, if in doubt it is always better to give a more
> precise example on what you want to achieve. Especially as we are not
> all native English talkers and translations may lead to additional
> misunderstandings. IMHO
>> Based on package updates, I'd say that if there's that much frequent
>> change to drive detection between each kernel release, things would
>> grind to a halt.  For example, if the serial number detection was as
>> problematic as specified above, I'd have to get new versions of udev
>> everytime I upgraded to a new kernel (which isn't the case) just to be
>> able to have a usable system.
> May be you are right and I'm wrong at this, but then I do not know how
> that information is extracted from the kernel in a reliable way. Would
> be really interesting on how it is done.
> So, why do you not look inside udev source to find out how they can
> obtain that information you are looking fore ... or may be, ask the udev
> maintainers? ... and then post that information here. If you are not
> able to provide a patch to extend mdev functionality for this, may be
> someone else can do that, if we know how the information retrieval
> works. I think that will be the best at that point of discussion.
>> What distro(s) are you using?
> Distros? ... hmmm, None ... or call it self made or Linux from scratch
> ... with application packages from Gentoo (nowadays, formerly Debian)
> ... all compiled from source ... that's the way I did it mostly since
> Linux kernel 2.0.0
> --
> Harald
> _______________________________________________
> busybox mailing list
> busybox at

Hey Harald.  You're right about providing a more detailed description 
("product serial numbers" vs "serial numbers"), especially since this 
does go to a wide variety of people.  I suppose it's easy for someone to 
forget that when posting a question, after all, they know what they're 
talking about right? :)

Currently I've just had to work around the problem as the deadline is 
approaching quickly.  I probably will have to either look though the 
source of udev or ask their dev team and if I can remember, I'll try to 
post a follow-up in this thread about how to acquire that information 
using proc or sys.  Unfortunately, I'm not a C or C++ coder, so I'll 
have to rely on someone else to make a patch for mdev.

Oh that's right, you roll your own (I remember from a couple of direct 
emails to one another in the past).  I'm stumped as to why your OS 
wouldn't use those files however...  At any rate, thanks for the 
continued help Harald. :)


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