Chapter 8. Working with Devices
Ah, hardware . . . "I hate hardware!"
Part of the personal computer experience seems destined to be an eternal battle in getting your current system to talk to the latest and greatest devices. There's always a new, hyper-fantastic, 3D video card; mind-blowing stereo sound system; or hair-trigger game controller out there. Then there are more mundane things, such as modems,
We are used to
In this chapter, I'm going to give you the tools you need to deal with common issues and give you some tips on avoiding problems in the first place.
Yes, It Runs with Linux!
Device support under Linux is
That said, if you haven't already bought that new gadget, there are a couple of things that you should do. For starters, if you are in the store looking at that new printer, pull the salesperson aside and ask whether it runs with Linux. If the person doesn't know (which is sometimes a problem but less so as time goes on), take a few minutes to check out the excellent Hardware HOWTO document. You can always find the latest version by surfing on over to the LDP's Linux Hardware Compatibility HOWTO page:
If you don't find what you are looking for there, check out the hardware compatibility guide on your Linux vendor's site.
Although Linux is Linux, different releases of different
As Linux gains in popularity, you'll find that hardware vendors are increasingly interested in tapping into this ever-growing market. I've had the experience of being on site, adding hardware to a customer's system (Ethernet cards come immediately to mind), and finding that the system did not have the drivers. I quickly visited the Ethernet card manufacturer's Web site and found precompiled drivers ready and waiting for me.