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Hardware Manufacturers that Actively Support Linux?

Cliff posted more than 12 years ago | from the doing-more-than-paying-lip-service dept.

Linux 650

wirefarm asks: "I know there is are lot of well-supported pieces of hardware for Linux, but I was wondering, which vendors really go out of their way for the community? While tracking down drivers for a wireless PCMCIA card today, I found that the vendor boasted of having Linux support, but it was seemed that they were actually touting drivers that were community-developed, rather than written with any help of the company. So my question is this: Which companies really stand out when it comes to providing specs and developing drivers?"

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Read this technocrat scum! (-1)

Commienst (102745) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401263)

I have an ingenious idea for some research! How about we calculate the energy it takes to make a modern tractor, the energy it takes to convert petrol into fertilizier, the energy it takes to extract and transport that petrol to be turned into the fertilizier, etc. and compare it to the energy it takes to do the same task with a horse and ox! Then maybe technocrats like you will shut the fuck up.

Technology does not make work easier. It just delegates more work to some people in India, China, Africia who are rendered desperate and will work to produce trinkets and extract resources for assholes such as yourself. Just because you cannot see that work being done from your privelaged position makes it easy for you to believe technology is a tangible improvement.

Re:Read this technocrat scum! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3401278)

Bonehead replied to wrong story... he he he

Re:Read this technocrat scum! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3401291)

Which was the right story?

ho ho

Re:Read this technocrat scum! (-1)

Commienst (102745) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401345)

This one. 'Twas no accident. Computer hardware is technology. The guy you are replying to is a unclever troll wasting everyone's time and I am an idiot for letting him!

Re:Read this technocrat scum! (-1)

Commienst (102745) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401311)

I did this on purpose, you fucking cocksucker, ass-licking maggot. No one was reading it on the other story. I also got first post.

Re:Read this technocrat scum! (-1)

Luke SkyTroller (564295) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401343)

From the comfort of this bridge I am currently residing under, I have been working on a program producing income and delegating the hard work to ingenious thinkers like yourself by stealing your credit and identity in general. Sorry, times are ruff.

Re:Read this technocrat scum! (-1)

Commienst (102745) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401384)

I do not do the work I do for credit, I assure you. All I care is that my message is spread wide and afar. I am a true prophet. I shall guide the people to the moon where there is no technology to start life anew. Of course we will need technology to get there and make it breathable but all prophets are hypocrites, and so shall it be with me.

Not yet! (3, Informative)

samjam (256347) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401265)

Canon don't yet, I was very annoued with my facncy new cheap 650 USB scanner!

They are still "thinking about it" and won't give out any specs in the meantime.

Re:Not yet! (-1)

Commienst (102745) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401292)

Canon don't yet. = Canon do not yet.(Which is bad grammar!)


Canon does not yet. or Canon doesn't yet.

Re:Not yet! (4, Interesting)

volsung (378) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401298)

Note to people looking for USB scanners: Epson has apparently been nice to the developers. From the SANE USB scanner list:

Epson have[sic] been very helpful with the development of the backend, to the point of providing documentation that's not yet released.

Re:Not yet! (3, Informative)

rafelbev (194458) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401351)

This also applies to their printers. They are the most supported... much more than HP does. Epson printers simply ROCK regarding linux support. My Stylus never gave me problems and I know alot of people who can say the same. They guys who import them in my country support our LUG too.

Just my 2c


Re:Not yet! (2, Offtopic)

prizog (42097) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401446)

"Epson have[sic] ..."

No, not sic. It's a British (and Australian) convention to treat a company as a group of individuals, a plural. This makes a lot more sense than American, which can't make up its mind whether companies are singular or plural. Both of the following are acceptable in American, although the first more so: "IBM is the leader in memory technology; they have just released a new 1TB memory module." "IBM is the leader in memory technology; it has just released a new 1TB memory module."

Disclaimer: my Australian sample size is 1, and my British sample size not much larger. I'm an American who is trying to switch to the British convention for obscure political reasons (I don't like the idea of companies as entities comparable to individuals -- it removes responsibility and encourages unethical behavior).

Intel (5, Informative)

swagr (244747) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401270)

My Compaq Evo n600c laptop had an eepro100 that wasn't supported by the kernel until 2.4.18.

Intel had a src download driver that compiled and worked flawlessly.

Re:Intel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3401438)

eepro has been supported by the kernel for a very very long time, but the intel drivers have always been better.

nvidia, but... (3, Informative)

Dead_Smiley (49033) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401271)

they are not Open Source. I guess this is the obvious one to many... mode me down if you wish.

Re:nvidia, but... (5, Insightful)

knewman_1971 (549573) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401353)

Call me crazy, or mod me as flamebait, but...

Frankly, I couldn't care less if nvidia's drivers are open sourced. After spending months trying to play Quake II on a Voodoo5 5500, I bought a GeForceII MX 400. I was playing within 5 minutes of installing the card.

I've owned an Intel Pocket Concert MP3 player for over a year...still can't use it on Linux...(yes, there is a project in ALPHA on freshmeat...and it's been in Aplha for the same ammount of time that I've owned the player.

My concern with Linux drivers for hardware begins with "If the fscking thing supported at all?" and ends with "Hmmm. WHich kernel am I going to have to use today?". If a vendor actuallly takes the time to give me drivers, then fantastic. I'm just not going to quibble about the open source thing.

I'll fight that battle when MOST vendors include drivers. Until then, I'm happy just to be able to use my shiny toys.

Re:nvidia, but... (1)

Dead_Smiley (49033) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401423)

Nah, I don't think you are crazy. I just want the freakig thing to work, just like you.

There was a time when I didn't mind dinking with things for days on end just to see if I could make it work. Now I don't have time...

Sun Microsystems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3401279)

They've really cooperated with the Linux community. Otherwise, there wouldn't have been Linux on SPARC at all.

Posted anonymously for karma rationing.

Typical response (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3401281)

"What do you mean you want to run an OS other than windows? There are operating systems other than Windows? Do you mean DOS? No, we don't support DOS." -- Typical hardware manufacturer

Re:Typical response (5, Funny)

swagr (244747) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401390)

This happened to me during an ADSL support call. They switched their DNSs and I wanted to know the new ones.

"..I'm running on Linux..."

"O.K. Go to Start... Settings... Control Panel..."

"No. I'm not running Windows, I use Linux".

"On a Mac?"

"I just need to know the DNS numbers."

"O.K. What's the problem again?"

"My connection has been working fine. I ping IP addresses but can't resolve domain names. I think you guys switched your DNSs IPs."


"Do you have some numbers beside something that says 'DNS' or 'Domain Name Server'"

"....... Oh yes."

"Can I have them."


ATI (5, Informative)

CynicTheHedgehog (261139) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401294)

ATI gets a lot of bad press for their drivers, but they do release the specifications for their hardware to multiple open source development groups. What you end up with is Free, open drivers that are as good as the groups that make them. This as opposed to NVidia, a company that although support Linux through binary drivers, does not release the source code or specifications.

Re:ATI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3401381)

Not the whole story! I recently purchased an ATI Radeon 8500DV only to find that the driver only supports 2D acceleration. As I recall after browsing their website, the GATOS project and X11, ATI has no plans to release any 3D info to allow a driver to be written. I'm still hoping, but they DO NOT support the good features (the only reason to buy an expensive card) for X. Please correct me if I'm wrong, I'd love to get a driver, and I went with ATI rather than NVidia because I want free and open drivers. 2D only isn't it.

Best Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3401417)

I find the best solution is to build a video card from scratch. That way you're sure to know the specs.

I just finished one I call the "Clicker". I called it that because I built it out of relays instead of solid state electronings. It's very loud. And slow. And takes up half the house.

Re:ATI (2)

Sabalon (1684) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401421)

Oddly enough, as you were trying to say that ATI is a little better than Nvidia (cause of the opensource/binary driver thing), you have said that NVidia activey supports linux - goes out of there way as the question said, while ATI just says "here...good luck".

ATI gets a lot of bad press for their drivers for a damn good reason too :)

Re:ATI (1)

fdawg (22521) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401434)

Say that to my Dual Head ATI Radeon VE. I couldnt find drivers that used half of the card's funtionality that were present in windows. Heh, I was lucky to get a single display to work albeit only on the second monitor with nothing on the first. I have happily switched to Matrox where their drivers are built in house and work rather well aside from the lack of TVcapture/output in linux but that is only a matter of time.

Siemens and Fujitsu-Siemens (2, Informative)

dam (61193) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401295)

They develdoped stuff for BIOS power management, specific motherboard chip related things (cpu fan speed or stuff like that) and apparently the 4 Gig patch for the Kernel.

Re:Siemens and Fujitsu-Siemens (1)

kuiken (115647) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401361)

the 4GB and 64GB patches where developed by Siemens and SuSE

The general ruel (4, Funny)

OccSub (572282) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401296)

My rule of thumb: If it's cheaper than all the others... it won't work under Linux

Re:The general ruel (1)

sydneyfong (410107) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401350)

what about those 386 boxen? ;-)

Unless it's bleeding edge (2)

shaldannon (752) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401367)

In which case, it will (1) cost more than all others and (2) not work under Linux. It just depends on the hardware in question. Things like network cards and crappy video and sound are cheap and probably work just fine under Linux. About the only cheap things I can think of that won't are WinModems and CD writers.

Re:The general ruel (5, Informative)

gmack (197796) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401433)

Uhh no

The cheapest 10/100 ethernet cards tend use an RTL-8139 wich has good drivers while some of the more expensive cards don't work at all.

Price just isn't a good indicator.

database or directory of peripherals? (3)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401297)

More broadly, is there anywhere you can go to get information on what peripherals work with Linux? The poster refers to "tracking down" drivers. Is it really as bad as that, just Google searching for it or something? I recently bought an internal modem that was advertised on the box as working with Linux, but I could only get it to work intermittently. It would have been nice to be able to find information about that particular modem from people who knew more about the kernel and drivers than I do.

I don't really care if the manufacturer actively supports Linux. I think that's too much to ask. But I would like to be able to go to a web site somewhere and find out what printer I can buy that will actually work, and where to get a driver.

Re:database or directory of peripherals? (2)

Stonehand (71085) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401334)

You should be able to find a copy of the "Hardware Compatability HOWTO" at [] . I don't recall how often it's updated, 'tho.

Oh, and some types of hardware have their own HOWTOs, notably Ethernet, Zip drives, and so forth.

Re:database or directory of peripherals? (2, Informative)

CrazyDwarf (529428) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401453)

The most recent one is located Here [] . It was updated just last month. It looks like is changing their url, that's why it shows up now as

Re:database or directory of peripherals? (5, Informative)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401376)

For a list of vendors that offer Linux drivers, you can try's hardware vendor list [] . I don't know how frequently it is updated. For information on compatibility, you can try the Linux Hardware Database [] . It provides all kinds of information on what works and how well, where to find drivers, workarounds for problems and general user ratings and comments.

Matrox? (4, Informative)

alexandre (53) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401303)

Well, matrox seems to have been quite nice with their GXX0 séries... (dual screen lib i think etc..)

Note: (5, Informative)

Telastyn (206146) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401304)

That just because they were community developed, doesn't mean the company didn't give out specs and info to facilatate the community's work.

3com cards seem to work on everything
Recent Intel network gear
Recent Nvidia
3dfx used to
IBM (even before the Linux money, their laptops worked well)

I second this... (1)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401338)

Giving specs to the "community" is a great step for companies to take. I'm sure you'd get mixed reactions from slashdotters between having closed source linux drivers, or community created open source drivers.

I think making the specs public is all we ever really asked for.

Matrox and Nvidia (2, Informative)

mrfuzzee (465632) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401305)

Matrox has the new drivers out for Xfree86 which work well, and a hell of a lot better then AcceleratedX. Nvidia also has drivers for Xfree86, and just kicks butt. I have been happy with both, They are relatively easy to install and configure.

Nokia (0)

xnok (550520) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401306)

Nokia is a big supporter of Linux, and have shown commitment. Their wireless PCMCIA cards (almost impossible to find, and overpriced) come with linux drivers and source code that was developed in-house.

Some...but not many (1, Insightful)

Moneky-Boy (569762) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401307)

I know Epson is in line with Linux and open source. They don't claim it without proper acknowledgment. Yet there are few companies that are headstrong about Linux like Nvidia. Yes Nvidia might only give a little source, but that is their right. At least they are developing for the Linux arena.

If the game developers start to support Linux then the Hardware will follow.

Creative Labs (5, Informative)

Kaypro (35263) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401309)

I believe Creative has a dedicated site for the continued development of their sound card drivers. They even have a CVS up as well.


Re:Creative Labs (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401432)

No DXR3 in there though. However, I'm willing to bet the devices that are supported have drivers with fewer bugs and less unnecessary crapware.

Zero marks for (3, Interesting)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401310)

UMAX - probably the worst supported scanners under Linux - I've got an Astra 610P, and still have to use WINE to get it to work :-

Re:Zero marks for (1)

hyperstation (185147) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401339)

i had one of those too, but it started shooting sparks out at me after it received some smoke damage from a house fire. you've been warned.

oh, and i never could get it to work w/linux. :)

Linksys (3, Interesting)

misfit13b (572861) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401312)

They've been pretty Linux-friendly in my experience for my home networking...

Re:Linksys (1)

diparfitt (219811) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401394)

My linksys ethernet card came with linux and other bsd drivers. and they worked really good.

linksys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3401313)

linksys seems to at least TEST on linux (according to their NIC boxes), and they provide linux drivers. I've never called them or anything, but I've never needed to either.

Any company.... (1)

mixbsd (574131) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401314)

... that doesn't kowtow to M$ by making devices that aren't Win*-specific should promote this issue. You only have to see what idiocy created winmodems to see what I mean.

Video Card Manufacturers (0, Redundant)

MrZaius (321037) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401315)

Quite a number of video card manufacturers produce at least binary support for their devices. Matrox, NVidia, 3dfx, and ATI all play a leading, or at least active, roll in their driver development.

Matrox especially stands out, offering their alternative XFree86 binaries and wonderful configuration tool to get dualhead displays working (powerdesk)

It's not as widespread as I'd like (0, Offtopic)

El Hooloovoo (314824) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401316)

I was very pleased to find that Linksys was offering source drivers for my wireless USB network device, and that NVIDIA offers Linux source drivers as well (I've been out of the Linux loop for a while). I just wish more hardware vendors would follow their example and start supporting non-standard operating systems.

Nvidia... (5, Informative)

ishark (245915) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401318)

Bad as it may sound, since they don't provide the source to their drivers, they seem to work seriously in improving them. I've been using them since my old TNT2 card, and the big problems present at the beginning have faded away to give place to a full featured, fast and reliable thing. I've also had answers to my mails reporting problems, which is always nice.

Speed is now at the same level of Windows, features seem to be there as well (I don't remember if everything works at every resolution yet or no), and over time they have become stable enough to be used as primary XFree drivers (in the beginning I used them only when I needed openGL support).

Given their work on the driver, I'm willing to live with their closed-sourceness. It's when it doesn't work and I cannot look in it to fix that I become less tolerant....

Re:Nvidia... (2, Offtopic)

ZaMoose (24734) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401416)

And the fact that all I had to do was add an

Option "TwinView"
Option "SecondMonitorHorizSync" "30 - 110"
Option "SecondMonitorVertRefresh" "50 - 160"
Option "TwinViewOrientation" "LeftOf"
Option "MetaModes" "1600x1200,1600x1200; 1600x1200,NULL"

To my XFree86Config-4 to enable duall-head configuration pleases me to no end.

X running at 3200x1200 on 19" and 22" monitors is just too sweet.

Now if only I could get the GNOME menu bars to extend across both desktops...

3ware (5, Informative)

wiwo (214485) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401319)

3ware actively supports Linux as there a linux drivers on the CD you get with their RAID-Cards. Works fine, at least with SuSE 7.2+

nividia and PCtel (3, Insightful)

GutBomb (541585) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401321)

I would have to say nvidia. they don't provide open source drivers, but usually their windows & linux driver updates are released at the same time, and actually right now, thier linux drivers are a bit more current then the official windows ones. (i am running the 28.80's in linux, but nvidia has only released 28.30 i think for windows) If i have to name another besides windows, I would have to say PCTEL. back in the days when NO winmodems worked, they had linux kernel modules for thier modems, even obscure onboard ones. I haven't heard much from them lately however.

Quite a bit, actually. (2)

awptic (211411) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401322)

I've been subscribed to the linux kernel mailing list for some time, and there's quite a bit of discussion
coming from employee's of many popular hardware companies. NEC, Promise, IBM, SGI, SUN, to name a few.
Then there's the ever so popular drivers developed by NVIDIA, closed source unfortunately, but that's
a company policy iirc.

Re:Quite a bit, actually. (1)

novafire (263854) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401360)

But I have yet to see drivers for the Promise Fasttrak that support RAID setups.

Agere and 3Com (2)

scumdamn (82357) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401323)

Both Agere and 3Com have drivers available that they've written.
I don't know the quality of either, but from what I hear, Agere's drivers are good for linux. I know they are for other operating systems.

Matrox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3401325)

Write their own drivers. Usually coinciding with the release of the product.

Matrox (3, Informative)

shaldannon (752) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401326)

Matrox is actively supporting its line of dual-head cards under Linux and various flavors of Windows. There may also be *bsd support as well, but not being a bsd user, I didn't pay attention. I'm running a Matrox G450 under Red Hat 7.2 (upgraded from 7.1) with two ViewSonic E771 17" by .26 monitors in merged display mode and it is phenomenal. I had to use their tech support list to get it working, but it only took a few days...mostly because I'd ask the question from work, try the solution at home, and then follow up at work. See the screen shot [] (2560x1024 .jpg image, 10485992 bytes).

Compaq (3, Informative)

BayStealth (137271) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401328)

I am in the process of bringing our brand new network on-line (8 new DL-360s) and Compaq has been extreamly helpful. All of the servers are running RH 7.2 (they were delivered with 7.1 installed) and we have run into several issues reguarding RAID, the LightsOut boards, etc. Compaq support for their hardware and software has been excellent. Not to mention several cool software things that came with the servers.

NetGear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3401329)

NetGear has always had great Linux support. Any NIC I bought from them (including the wireless 802.11b PCMCIA (MA401) I just got), came with src to compile a driver. Of course, the kernel superceeds most of these drivers, but it's still nice to see the support.

For USB scanners: Epson (5, Informative)

Basje (26968) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401330)

According to the sane USB page they release even preliminary specs on demand: ml [] .

Mandrake linux detected my 640U flawlessly, and it works great. And on top of that, it scans better and faster than my old scanner, which I killed while trying to get it working under linux :) (which I shall not name here)

Re:For USB scanners: Epson (2)

larien (5608) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401388)

Yup, got an Epson scanner which took me a little while to get working, but nothing difficult; just that I'd never used Sane before. I now do my scanning in linux rather than Windows, as I can understand Xsane better than the Windows software which came with the scanner.

However, watch out; one scanner (the 1250) doesn't work under linux. Check out the link from the previous article for a complete rundown of supported printers and how well they work before you buy!

nVidia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3401331)

As far as I know, nVidia are developing their own linux drivers.

Many do.. (2, Informative)

psavo (162634) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401332)

  • Well..
  • Matrox
  • nvidia
  • intel
  • ibar (a.k.a ibm ;)
  • HP (deskjet printers)
  • OKI (4w driver was sponsored by them)
  • AMD
  • ATI (sortof. at least their linux drivers sucks as much as windows one..)
  • ... pretty much more.
Jeesus christ this lameness filter gets my ass. no wonder there's THGSB week going on. This is SO lame.

Re:Many do.. (1)

phaze3000 (204500) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401443)

I decided that it would be better to reply to your mis-information than simply mod you down.. I'll leave that job to somebody else.. :)


Bzzt.. wrong! nVidia provide binary-only drivers. There are stability issues, and there's no way they're going to be resolved, because no-one's got the source to fix it.

ATI (sortof. at least their linux drivers sucks as much as windows one..)

I've got an ATI Radeon in my machine, my gf has an ATI Radeon in her Windows 2000 box, and I can confidently say that the Linux drivers are far better than those for Windows, probably because ATI didn't write them. ATI (unlike nVidia) have been very good about releasing specs to the community.

There's one company everyone seems to be missing out here: Adaptec. They took over maintenance of the SCSI drivers for their cards in the Linux kernel a while ago, and they've put a lot of work into them.

3ware... (3, Informative)

MonkeyBot (545313) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401333)

I have several 3ware raid cards that have worked great. Not only that, but I've had to call several times for support, and every time, I either talked to someone who helped me right off the bat, or was contacted by someone who knew what they were talking about within the day. Twice, they even made driver fixes on the fly and sent me the updated code the next day. DEFINITELY the best company-based Linux support I have seen...

Good to hear (2)

tweakt (325224) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401410)

I just bought a bunch of new gear and built a server with the intent of setting up a 3-IDE drive RAID5 software under linux-2.4. Well as luck would have it, some wierd bug has bitten my system and I'm getting the dreaded PCI timeouts which hang the whole thing solid. I've tried a bunch of stuff and decided it isn't worth my time to try and solve.

So I've given up on that and ordered a 3ware 6410 for $99. True hardware IDE RAID5 for under $100...not bad. Good to hear they excel at support. We'll see how it goes when I get it in a few days. *eagerly awaits*. I especially like the fact you can download a full source driver tarball from their website. But of course the driver has been in the kernel since mid-2.2 days.

Snap up those 6000 series, it looks like they are discontinued (and 7000's start at $250 and are 64bit only! ack!).

MS Keyboard... (1)

frleong (241095) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401335)

FWIW, Microsoft Keyboards are nicely supported under Linux, although not by the manufacturer (why need it anyway, when the BIOS itself supports keyboard input?)

hit and miss... (4, Informative)

laserjet (170008) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401347)

Linux support is kind of hit and miss right now with larger companies. For instance, HP is adding more linux support than ever to their printers, even the office jets, but if you go buy a scanner, they don't support it. Obviously, the community supports a lot of HP scanners, but not the company. []

HP is also supporting RedHat on it's new Itanium servers, and also supports RedHat with its mid-range storage arrays. They seem to be testing the waters, and I think they are doing all right for such a large and slow moving company.

Samsung is also supporting their printers, by offering Linux drivers and Linux phone support (minimal, but it is there). This is a good thing.

Qlogic and Emulex both support linux with some of their fibre channel HBA's.

So as you can see, you kind of have to pick and choose who you get our stuff from. The corporations are still in the "test the waters" phase for the most part, before they dive in to linux head first. They don't want to get burned by wasting money doing all the work if it will not pay off. In another 3 years, I think Linux support will be fairly mainstream as far as business server and workstation equipment go, but it may still be hit and miss in the consumer market (i.e. webcams, cheap USB scanners, cheapo printers, etc.)

Re:hit and miss... (1, Offtopic)

laserjet (170008) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401369)

damnit! Sorry for leaving that tag open... I promise to preview my next post!

Oops (2)

tweakt (325224) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401427)

Looks like "hit and miss" is missing an </a> ;-)

DLink and a noname laptop (4, Informative)

NETHED (258016) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401348)

DLink has pretty good support, especially for Linux. My dad's noname laptop came with a CD that provided Linux drivers, and they actively support them via the phone support.

Gigabyte has been good to me. (2, Informative)

SwellJoe (100612) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401355)

I don't know if it is universally the practice at Gigabyte, but the networking server group there have been great. They've always made sure up-to-date drivers shipped with everything I've gotten from them. Some of their boards ship with Promise ataraid controllers, and while they couldn't get me the docs they tell me the techs there have been campaigning Promise to be more forthcoming (and they do provide binary drivers for those controllers--I don't use them, but they are there and Gigabyte actually apologized for not having source drivers available).

Matrox seems to be good too, as I've never had trouble getting their video boards to work right out of the box with X (as I understand it the Matrox folks are more helpful than most to the X developers).

That said, Promise is clearly bad for refusing to release their drivers in source form (I guess they think their software RAID technology is so advanced it would give their competitors a great benefit--or maybe they are embarassed to let us see it). Logitech have never been friendly to the OSS world about their QuickCam cameras. I think a lot of printer manufacturers have been a nuisance in this regard (I gave up on trying to figure it all out and bought a Postscript-capable network printer). I'd be curious about good and well supported inkjet printers, though...

Oh, yeah, our Microtek X6EL scanner works great with Linux and SANE. I don't know if the manufacturer is to be credited partially or if the driver author was just heroic in his efforts, but it works exceedingly well.

I'm only interested (-1, Offtopic)

Rossalina W Sanchez (575882) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401364)

My interest would be that they cater to minorities as well as Linux. I've been in the IT industry for over 10 years now and most of the Linux/Unix companies are run by white males who offer little opportunity for minority females to work for them, let alone get ahead.

For instance, I'm an MIT graduate and an expert in the field of TCP/IP. I've written mods for the kernel and developed specs for several hardware drivers, yet I see nothing but one closed door after another in the Linux business world as the sexist white males do do everthing in their power to stop me from getting ahead.

Why are IT men so intimidated by powerful/smart women?

Re:I'm only interested (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3401418)

Who says IT men are? I am in IT, and I would love it if some girl actually understood what I am doing and gave me creative inputs on what I should do.

Everyone needs a little direction, especially myself.

Wavelan/Orinoco/Lucent (1)

dreamt (14798) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401365)

Well, whatever their name is today, the Lucent/Wavelan [] wireless ethernet card is pretty well supported. Lucent has released their own binary-only drivers, but from reading the wireless mailing lists (or faqs, I forget), they also seem to work with the person who has developed the Open Source drivers as well.

There are quite a few ! (5, Informative)

forged (206127) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401366)

Pick one source from the following list, in no particular order:

RedHat Hardware Channels . tml []
(among others, there are Dell, Egenera ..)

Linux Hardware []

Linux at IBM []

Linux at Compaq []

It is a safe assumption that hardware from the 2 above manufacturer will be well supported, since they are supporting Linux heavilly.

Last but not least, make sure to read the Howto:
Linux Hardware compatibility HOWTO []

Citrix - metaframe people (0)

Hyperfrog (575345) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401371)

Hmm.. the joys of using FreeBSD as your main system, and having a nice thin client (TM) so you can have a TS window to use as well.

Best of both world in my opinion.. you get a nice stable FreeBSD box as your main OS, and you have any M$ crap which your company really needs to use in the TS window. And, since the Terminal Server tends to be one hell of a box, it works fine.

Oh.. and the client (so far as I know) for linux (works nicely on BSD) was released by Citrix. (However, I don't have any evidence either way as to who wrote it), but it looks like Citrix. Feel free to correct me if you have evidence stating otherwise.

Epson printers (1)

jcphil (243106) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401375)

Check over at and you will see that they have a near perfect record for working with Linux.

What is a good External Modem for Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3401377)

What is a good external 56K modem that will work with Linux with a minimum of hassle?

Re:What is a good External Modem for Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3401402)

And what is a good internal or external 56K modem that will work with both Windows and Linux, as well?

dell (0)

myspys (204685) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401380) []

Not Efficient Networks (1)

Dark Coder (66759) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401382)

During my employment at Efficient Networks, there were many internal battles to implement and deliver Linux drivers for the 3060/3061 DSL PCI adapter cards.

The battle was barely won (or lost asoundly, depending on whose perspectives). Efficient decided to implement DSL drivers on 2.4.0-pre8 (or something close to that revision thereof) and release them as closed source.

Back then, legal department(s) did not have thorough understanding of the GNU license, much less BSD license and err'd on the side of caution.

Management wasn't innovative enough to move forward. Business model was geared on large scale, high-ROI, and high profit: only large business customers (and at the mercy of a handful of large business customers). Pity, for a 100K of development, one could have garnered name-brand recognition and spawn untold low-cost mini-DSLAMs for Bell-uncharted neighborhoods.

Can't fault them for their decision. Perhaps a strong undercurrent and loyal following is missing from their mantra.

Linux (and FreeBSD) user-base is a force to reckon with and was ignored completely here.

Conexant (1)

InodoroPereyra (514794) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401387)

Conexant [] are helping the development of linux drivers for winmodems [] based in both the conexant HCF and HSF chipsets. The current beta version for the HCF is running happily in my desktop at home :-)

midiman/m-audio (1)

ChannelX (89676) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401391)

The M-Audio Delta series of 24bit audio cards have linux drivers. very nice audio boards.

Re:midiman/m-audio (1)

David Greene (463) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401455)

In my experience, Midiman has not been helpful. I once asked for specs for one of their old parport MIDI interfaces. No dice. They argued with the tired old "trade secret" line. How many ways can one interface to MIDI through the parallel port? I'll not buy from them again.

BusLogic (Mylex) (3, Informative)

MoNsTeR (4403) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401393)

Do they still exist?
Anyway, I remember they wrote all their own linux drivers for their scsi cards...

More hardware... (-1)

Commienst (102745) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401395)

More hardware. Let us dig up the whole world until there are no metals or silicion left. Not a patch of ground undug! Let us destroy the environment we live in till the point of no turning back! Yes we can save lives through the expedition of technological society where everything is so complex it takes an army to understand how to make the machines we operate! Fucking technocrats.

Here's one: (1)

Dead Penis Bird (524912) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401400) [] develops their own drivers, usually with the help of reverse-engineering.

Promise = Average (1)

joebp (528430) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401406)

I couple of months back, I was making a 320GB network backup server for my house. The Promise Ultra133 TX2 supported both drives larger than 137GB and Linux (as advertised).

So, I went ahead and bought the card and two Maxtor 160GB drives. They didn't work with a basic Mandrake install. At this point I emailed Promise tech support. A couple of kernel options (found by searching Google groups) added to lilo and... It recognised the drives as 128GB. Great.

As it turned out, Mandrake 8.1's kernel doesn't support drives larger than 128GB, but a new kernel later and they were working to full capacity.

A whole week later, I got a reply from Promise tech support suggesting the kernel options I had used.

The moral of the story is: Linux support means it will work, but perhaps at reduced functionality.

And, of course, having documentation available online is kind of useful.

Lynksys (2)

Technician (215283) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401408)

The 3 port standalone print server has excellent drivers and docs. They didn't write the drivers, and do not claim to support them, but they did an excellent job of finding them and including them on the CD. The software is provided as-is as they state they don't support it. They do provide docs on server interface and how to connect and configure it. You can even FTP a print job to an attached printer.
If you want to share a dot matrix, laser, and inkjet with your Linux/Win mix LAN, this is a good way to go. TCP and several other network protocols are supported and can be enabled/disabled per your needs. It does not provide spooling. A machine configured to spool the jobs will be needed if you desire this feature. Otherwise the printers appear (and function) as local printers via the driver. 2 of the 3 ports support bi-directional centronics printers.

NVIDIA For One.... (5, Insightful)

CDWert (450988) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401409)

I would say NVIDIA for one, people complain constantly about closed specs etc.

But the truth is it would be competivley BAD for Nvidia to release the specs, yes others have, they choose not to, thats fine with me, they do provide GOOD drivers, and the SRPMS, as well as tared gzipped kernel modules for you to compile on any Linux setup you wish, the actually libs are closed source but hell they DO provide drivers for an OS that accounts for a VERY small portion of their sales market.

There are other vendors that provide Linux support, to be honest If I was in charge of a HW company, I wouldnt, I would provide the specs under some kind of closed agreement to 3rd party developers.

NVIDIA Does provide nice linux drivers, I have, unlike other never had any problem, they release newer version and each generation (for the most part) they get better what more can you ask....(and please dont say provide the specs, if you are thinking or saying that Im betting you have no experince in engineering hardware for a commercial market where competition, especially in th 3d accel, is just downright evil)

Re:NVIDIA For One.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3401454)

Just remember, they run hot and cold.. it's a gamble.

Works really well for one guy.
crashes every 20 mins for the next

I appreciate their support, but I've been bitten

Manufacturers may help, but... (2)

fruey (563914) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401413)

In general, the support for hardware can be guesstimated:-

  1. If the hardware is top end, and likely to be owned by Linux people (gaming graphics cards, hotrod modems, cool peripherals) then they are fairly likely to work, with obvious super-high end exceptions. Top end hardware also usually follows specs for standard stuff (like standard SVGA, etc)
  2. If hardware is low end, forget it. Most of it is manufactured in bulk for Windows only, may have some proprietary code where standards would have done, and is less likely to be owned by a Linuxer anyway. Exceptions below*
  3. Latest products : unlikely to work because drivers won't have had time to get integrated into kernel development, however modules may be available. Again, if it follows standards then it may work (with performance hit) with generic drivers anyway
I have seen 3Com mentioned, well there's a case in point where they are industry standard network card people. Loads of people have 3Com cards. Loads of people having certain hardware means it's likely to be supported, however....

* Very popular shitty low end hardware may work due to good hacks by lots of owners, however reverse engineering isn't an exact science and strange hardware stuff means only hardware which is technically acceptable in it's I/O style will work.

Manufacturers who only develop for Windows are most likely to be found having market share in low end products. The top class lot are much more likely to work. Peripherals that are little more than I/O ports which are instruction driven from host processing (huge binary drivers required) won't work with Linux unless the manufacturer releases all the specs.

I would say that manufacturers make regular business judgements on all their support: because Linux doesn't have market share enough to make it a sales point to support "end user" hardware and they won't release code (because competitors making low end shit will steal it and obfuscate it as a Windows locked binary) but server hardware is supported rather more quickly, because the server market share for Linux is substantial enough.

Watch for drivers being GPL, but not in kernel (3, Informative)

Yohahn (8680) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401415)

With the advent of hotplug, and firmware uploading, there are going to be lots of firms offering support for linux, but it won't be included with the kernel.

I work for a company that will be releasing firmware for our devices, and a script that makes it work with hotplug. We can GPL.

I worry that drivers like these won't get the attention that ones in the kernel do because they aren't included.

I hope that there will be some common method of installing firmwares or a commmon repository of firmwares in the future.

Linux users seem to depend on drivers being included with the kernel, having nothing else to get.


snubber1 (56537) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401437)

Sangoma [] is a excellent company to work with when it comes to linux-related issues. They make internal T-1 CSU/DSU router cards that can save a company a bundle.

They produced the drivers themselves, and therefore know them inside and out when you need support. I've even had them offer to log into the box I was working on and set things up for me (granted if the t-1 is your only connection thats kind of impossible!)

HP (1)

ruckc (111190) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401440)

HP has always been nice to the linux community, they have this nice Sourceforge project for their printer drivers. Its a real shame though that I bought their cheapest (stupid move) laser printer a few months back and it doesn't like linux (Only supports PCL not PostScript).

Wireless cards (2, Informative)

xiaix (247688) | more than 12 years ago | (#3401442)

When I went looking for wireless cards for my Vaio running linux, I found as the author did that most of the 'support' for linux means 'some one figured it out'. Although this is part of the beauty of being a linux user, sometimes you want to know that the hardware manufacturer actually knows you are out there and cares enogh to support you. In the end I wound up buying a Cisco Aironet 350 card ($125 bux at [] , which came with linux drivers, software, and install instructions.

I dont mind spending a few dollars more to support a company/product that supports my choice to use linux [] . It was well worth the extra $ to plug it in, run the install, and connect to the network at my college in under 5 minutes.

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