When I get a stable system I copy my good root partition to another disk, of course editing /boot/grub/menu.lst and /etc/fstab to use that partition so that I can boot into either my "stable" Arch or my "work in progress" Arch. I copy the root partition using rsync like this. Everything always works fine and I don't have any problem, but I do have a question: is it still necessary to
# Include + /dev/console + /dev/initctl + /dev/null + /dev/zero
AFAIK even these devices are now created dynamically by udev. Are they? Is it possible now to boot a system with an empty /dev directory?
Unnecessary. devtmpfs is mounted very early on top of /dev and managed by the kernel. "Back in the day" these nodes were needed for proper operation in early userspace before /dev was mounted.
I could see on my running system that the device nodes all have the same creation date and my question really was whether any devices had to exist in the filesystem before the devtmpfs was laid on top. And the guy from New Jersey with the big smile face says "unnecessary." Thanks.