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Special device files

In Linux /dev/full or the always full device[1][2] is a special file that always returns the error code ENOSPC (meaning "No space left on device") on writing, and provides an infinite number of zero bytes to any process that reads from it (similar to /dev/zero). This device is usually used when testing the behaviour of a program when it encounters a "disk full" error.

$ echo "Hello world" > /dev/full
bash: echo: write error: No space left on device

FreeBSD with the Linux-specific pseudo-devices enabled also supports /dev/full.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Aoki, Osamu "1.2.11 Special device files", Debian Reference, November 22, 2010, accessed November 22, 2010.
  2. ^ Man Page for full (Linux section 4), November 24, 2007, accessed June 1, 2011
  3. ^ lindev(4) – FreeBSD Kernel Interfaces Manual