Does /init (or /linuxrc) script creates temporary device nodes in /dev?

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http://unix.stackexchange.com – Considering that GRUB executes following lines: kernel /vmlinuz root=/dev/sda1 ro initrd /initrd On boot, how does the Linux kernel finds out about /dev/sda1 device node? I know that initrd/initramfs images contain modules for storage (etc.) devices, which are loaded into memory to enable access to the storage. What bugs me, is how exactly the kernel parameter root=/dev/sda1 is parsed by the kernel. Does the /init (or /linuxrc) script in initrd/initramfs creates the /dev directory and then the device node /dev/sda1 in it? Or the "major" and "minor" numbers for /dev/sda1 are hardcoded in (HowTos)