Virtual Device

Definition - What does Virtual Device mean?

A virtual device, in operating systems like Unix or Linux, refers to a device file that has no associated hardware. This type of file can be created with the mknod command, for instance. A virtual device mimics a physical hardware device when, in fact, it exists only in software form. Therefore, it makes the system believe that a particular hardware exists when it really does not.

A virtual device is also known as a virtual peripheral.

Techopedia explains Virtual Device

As the name suggests, a virtual device is present as an abstract form, that is, without any concrete hardware accompanying it. Virtual devices are generally used to fix an error in the operating system. For example, a bug or virus can be detected by supposing an external device is monitoring it. Initially, the command mknod was used to produce the character and block devices that populate the "/dev/" directory. But now the udev device manager automatically creates and destroys device nodes in the virtual file system. The supposed hardware (virtual device) is detected by the kernel, but, actually, it is only a file/directory.

Share this:

Connect with us

Email Newsletter

Join thousands of others with our weekly newsletter

The 4th Era of IT Infrastructure: Superconverged Systems
The 4th Era of IT Infrastructure: Superconverged Systems:
Learn the benefits and limitations of the 3 generations of IT infrastructure – siloed, converged and hyperconverged – and discover how the 4th...
Approaches and Benefits of Network Virtualization
Approaches and Benefits of Network Virtualization:
Businesses today aspire to achieve a software-defined datacenter (SDDC) to enhance business agility and reduce operational complexity. However, the...
Free E-Book: Public Cloud Guide
Free E-Book: Public Cloud Guide:
This white paper is for leaders of Operations, Engineering, or Infrastructure teams who are creating or executing an IT roadmap.
Free Tool: Virtual Health Monitor
Free Tool: Virtual Health Monitor:
Virtual Health Monitor is a free virtualization monitoring and reporting tool for VMware, Hyper-V, RHEV, and XenServer environments.
Free 30 Day Trial – Turbonomic
Free 30 Day Trial – Turbonomic:
Turbonomic delivers an autonomic platform where virtual and cloud environments self-manage in real-time to assure application performance.