RDSK vs DSK: Difference and Comparison

A computer is a device that has several minuscule and big parts. These parts perform several functions, which result in the computer’s overall performance. To be specific, if a person wants to store their data in the computer, the data can be stored in many forms. One of the most prominent ways to store your data Is in the computer drive.

Whenever a file is stored in the drive, the respective file has a path. The path entails the location of the file. In an environment like Unix, one can find their files in the hard drive with device paths like 1. RDSK, and 2. DSK.

Key Takeaways

  1. RDSK is a remote desktop service, while DSK is a local service.
  2. RDSK enables users to access a remote computer system, whereas DSK requires direct access to the computer.
  3. RDSK requires a network connection, while DSK operates independently of network connectivity.


RDSK files are created in a computer‘s memory (RAM) and used as a virtual hard drive to develop and test software applications. DSK files are created by copying the contents of a physical disk, such as a floppy disk or a hard drive, and saving it as a file that can be used for data transfer.


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RDSK is a type of device path. It is a raw device path. It is also referred to as RAW because all the drives that are present in it are not formatted. The RDSK is a type of raw device path. The requests that are processed by the drive are directly sent to the RDSK device path.

DSK is a type of device path as well. It is a device path where drives that are already formatted are stored. The requests that are sent by DSK are processed by the operating system itself. Communication done through DAK is much easier and more convenient.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonRDSKDSK
Type of Raw device pathBlock device path
ContentUnformatted drives Formatted drives
Convinience LessMore
IntricacyMore Less
Role of the OSNoneRequests are sent to the operating system

What is RDSK?

The definite location of a file and where it is exactly stored is known as a path. Similar to that, RDSK is a type of device path. It determines and entails the location of a certain file, drive etc. They are a form of a character device. They have access to the data at a particular length and order.

There are many applications of RDSK. However, the main application of RDSK is to manipulate the data in the corresponding layer, and it’s a single character at a time. The “R” in RDSK stands for “raw disk”. The data present in the drive is dealt with by RDSK in minimum amounts in, the smallest amounts.

The data in the drive is given a space of five hundred and twelve bytes, and if the written data does not occupy the entire section, then the remaining space is not used. The remaining space is left unused. Thus, in RDSK, the loss of space is observed.

One can use the RDSK whenever he or she wants to copy the raw disk as well. Here the files are placed in characters because RDSK is a type of character device. Here the transfer of data is also done one character at a time. Drives like tape drives are Accessible through character device files.

What is DSK?

Every file that is stored in a drive has a certain path that determines and entails its location to the user. Similarly to that, DSK is a type of device path. It is a type of block device path that Goes through the buffer cache. The operating system plays the role of processing the requests that are sent by DSK.

Before the data is transferred, it is read and written in the memory through the form of a buffer. This process takes place in DSK instead of direct transfer of the data to the physical disk. This process also improves the input and output of the physical disk, which is also considered one of the advantages of the DSK.

There are certain names that can be used as logical device names for the purpose of mounting as well as unmounting The file systems. The file that is a part of the DSK possesses logical instances. Other than that, there are other advantages of DSK as well.

Since the data is copied to the disk after going through the process of buffer memory, there is no loss of space in DSK. It is considered one of the most useful advantages. However, the data is accessed in the form of blocks because it is a type of block device path. This also enables access to the data in a structured and hassle-free manner.

Main Differences Between RDSK and DSK

  1. In RDSK, loss of data is experienced. On the other hand, in DSK, loss of data is not experienced.
  2. The data is accessed in the form of characters in RDSK. On the other hand, the data is accessed in the form of blocks in DSK.
  3. RDSK is more complex to access and use. On the other hand, DSK is less complex to access and use.
  4. The operating system doesn’t play any role in RDSK processing the request. The drive processes the requests that RDSK sends. On the other hand, the operating system processes the requests that are sent by DSK.
  5. The content in RDSK consists of files that are not formatted. On the other hand, the content in DSK consists of files that are formatted.
  6. The “R” in RDSK stands for “raw disk”; hence it is a type of raw device path. On the other hand, the DSK is a type of block device path.
  7. The RDSK devices are mainly used to manipulate the data in the corresponding layer, and it’s a single character at a time. On the other hand, the DSK device is used to access data in the form of blocks.
  1. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ar300104b
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/5386854/

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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