"Plug-and-play (PnP) is a system which automatically detects PC
devices such as disks, sound cards, ethernet cards, modems, etc. It
also does some low-level configuring of them. To be detected by
PnP, the device must be designed for PnP. Non-PnP devices (or PnP
devices which have been correctly PnP-configured), can often be
detected by non-PnP methods."
"While the Linux kernel has no centralized plug-and-play system,
it does provide programs which various device drivers can use to do
their own plug-and-play. Many drivers take advantage of this and
find your PnP devices OK. The BIOS hardware of your PC likely may
also do some plug-and-play work. Thus if everything works OK
PnP-wise, you can use your computer without needing to know
anything about plug-and-play. But if some devices which are
supported by Linux don't work (because they not discovered or
configured correctly by PnP) then you may need to read some of this
HOWTO. You'll learn not only about PnP but also something about how
communication takes place inside the computer."
"In this document I mention so many things that can go wrong
that one who believes in Murphy's Law (If something can go wrong it
will) may become quite alarmed. But for PnP for most people: If
something can go wrong it usually doesn't. Remember that sometimes
problems which seem to be PnP related are actually due to defective
hardware or to hardware that doesn't conform to PnP specs."