The NULL TTY Driver Is Coming To The Linux 5.2 Kernel
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 21 April 2019 at 12:00 AM EDT. 3 Comments
While initially some questions were raised over the usefulness and practicality of this driver when it was first proposed on the kernel mailing list, the NULL TTY driver is set to make its maiden voyage to mainline with the upcoming Linux 5.2 kernel cycle.

The NULL TTY driver is intended for use-cases where no console driver is present/enabled as intended or otherwise. For init scripts and programs attempting to access /dev/console, it will error out while attempts like linking the console device to /dev/null will cause issues depending upon usage since it doesn't behave like a TTY.

So should no TTY console driver be present/enabled, the NULL TTY driver will provide a dummy console where all writes are simply discarded. This can also be tested via booting the kernel with console=ttynull for forcing this 124 lines of code driver.

This simply dummy driver is queued as part of tty-next for the upcoming Linux 5.2 cycle.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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