5 Things You Can Do to Put Linux in the Driver Seat

khess 2 Tallied Votes 849 Views Share

This is a plea to all hardware manufacturers: Please create Linux drivers for your hardware. OK, so Linux isn't the Stormin' Norman of the Desktop arena but that doesn't mean its users don't want or need drivers for hardware. I don't blame the kind volunteers that donate their time to program bits and pieces of the Linux kernel and associated programs but I do blame the hardware manufacturers for not supporting a huge user base of Linux users. I'm tired of it and it's time for action.

Here's what we can do:

1. Any time you find a piece of hardware that doesn't have a Linux driver, write to the manufacturer and request that a Linux version become available for it.

2. Boycott any hardware that doesn't explicitly work with Linux.

3. Check hardware compatibility lists and only purchase hardware that does work with Linux.

4. Document your experiences with hardware successes and failures and post them to your blogs or notify me and I'll post them.

5. Join the Linux Foundation or the community distribution network of your choice and contribute (time, money, resources) to the project.

Collectively, we can put enough pressure on hardware manufacturers to supply Linux drivers for their hardware. It's in their best interest to do so.

Manufacturers say that there isn't enough Linux deployed to justify spending resources on creating Linux drivers and potential business adopters say that without proper driver support, they'll never make the switch. So there you have it. A classic standoff. A stale mate. No one will make a move because no one can move.

Join me in my new quest to convince hardware manufacturers to supply us with much needed Linux drivers.

Write back and tell me if you've made any progress or received answers to your requests. I'll post them here in a future entry.

Ancient Dragon commented: Nice helpful article :) +36
majestic0110 commented: Great article :) +6
Ancient Dragon 5,243 Achieved Level 70 Team Colleague Featured Poster

Both Fedora 11 and Ubuntu work with all the hardware I have -- HP Officejet 6500 All in one printer, 1.5TB USB HD, HP Pavilion m8530f computer, flat-screen monitor, Logitech wireless keyboard/mouse. The problem I found was lack of support for 65-bit operating systems. Example: Abode does not have 64-bit Flash drivers, so I can't watch films or movies while running *nix; I have to boot with Vista to do that.

Jason Perlow 0 Newbie Poster

Ancient Dragon: You need to install the 32-bit version of Firefox on your Fedora 11 system. Download it from the Firefox website, and extract it to /opt/firefox. You can then copy the 32-bit flash player plugin (libflashplayer.so) into the plugins directory under /opt/firefox.

I always use the 32-bit version of the browser due to plugin compatibilities. You may need to install the 32-bit compatibility layer in Fedora to support this if you didn't do an "everything" install.

zenarcher 0 Newbie Poster

I've only used the 64 bit Firefox browser for at least a year now. And, the 64 bit flashplayer from Adobe works just fine with it. See here to get it:

Merely save it to: /usr/lib64/mozilla/plugins and enjoy 64 bit flash. While it's called a "pre-release," it's perfectly stable and beats using workarounds or the 32 bit Firefox.

macemoneta 0 Newbie Poster

I use Fedora, and it has been years since I encountered any hardware that didn't 'just work'.

In addition, the Linux kernel developers have a team of 200+ developers that will create and maintain drivers for manufacturers, for free:


All a manufacturers has to do is ask.

magevideogames 0 Newbie Poster

I use Ubuntu 9.04 64-bit and have been using Ubuntu since 7.10. Although I've been hoping with each release, so far I still am unable to get 5.1 sound out of my Asus M2V motherboard. Other then that it works fine, I haven't tested the 9.10 beta yet though.

SpiralBlue 0 Newbie Poster

I'm tying to find drivers for a MOTU Midi Express XT. I've written MOTU saying Windows is too flakey, Apple is too expensive, I'm changing my studio over to Linux and am held up by my Express XT. I've read that MOTU has been rude regarding Linux support and am thinking of junking it for a supported Edirol box.

If anyone has had any luck, drop me a reply. I've spent all weekend trying to make the thing work and I don't have experience reverse engineering drivers.

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