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The Truth About Linux Hardware Compatibility

Dec 05, 2008, 03:03 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Matt Hartley)

"Sad as it is to say, the single best effective HLC (hardware compatibility lists) that I have seen are those that are not Linux distribution specific. Compatibility lists provided by the SANE or HPLIP projects, among others, have shown us that getting the data collected is not outside of our grasp.

"Instead, the problem seems to stem from the fact that unless we have users consistently updating their hardware abilities with each release of any specific distribution upgrade, any sort of predictability is more less a role of the dice. This might be enough to get desktop Linux by for now, but clearly as users find new hardware compatibility successes out on their own, there needs to be a cohesive means of allowing others to know for sure what hardware is going to work and what will not.

"Even considering the fantastic resources mentioned above, including other efforts from The Linux Foundation and distro specific resources like UbuntuHLC.org, in the end I have found endless numbers of compatible hardware not highlighted, as no one bothered to report it. To make matters worse, even when things are being reported as not working or working, they are often done so by people who have no idea what they are talking about. Let me give you an example."

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