[TUHS] /dev/drum

Dan Cross crossd at gmail.com
Sat Apr 21 02:12:28 AEST 2018

That's a bit different. It's possible that some early Unix machines had
actual drum devices for storage or swap (did any of them?), but the
/dev/drum device is what Clem says it was.

It's funny, I just happened across this a couple of days ago when I went
looking for the `hier.7` man page from 4.4BSD-Lite2:


It refers to this:

The claim is that it came from 3.0BSD. Why was it called drum? I imagine
that's historical license coupled with grad student imagination, but I'm
curious if it has origin in actual hardware used at UC Berkeley. Clem, that
was roughly your era, was it not?

        - Dan C.

On Fri, Apr 20, 2018 at 12:00 PM, David Collantes <david at collantes.us>

> I found a Wikipedia[0] entry for it.
> [0] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drum_memory
> <https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drum_memory?wprov=sfti1>
> --
> David Collantes
> +1-407-484-7171
> On Apr 20, 2018, at 11:02, Tim Bradshaw <tfb at tfeb.org> wrote:
> I am sure I remember a machine which had this (which would have been
> running a BSD 4.2 port).  Is my memory right, and what was it for
> (something related to swap?)?
> It is stupidly hard to search for (or, alternatively, there are just no
> hits and the memory is false).
> --tim
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