Linux Hardware and compatibility

Hardware Compatibility

Hardware compatibility is a broad subject. Every component of your PC is hardware. In order for your machine to function correctly, three things have to happen.
             1) your Bios must recognize the hardware,
             2) your operating system must recognize the hardware, and
             3) the hardware must be configured correctly.

The Microsoft way The Linux way

         In a Windows (Microsoft) system, support for almost every imaginable piece of hardware exists. The
challenge is to make sure the hardware physically can be installed (a 16bit card cannot go into a PCI slot), Legacy hardware may conflict with other hardware especially plug-and-play if DMA's IRQ's or Ports are the same, and device drivers in the form of dll's may have the same name or include different functionality as those from another vendor. This last issue is commonly known as DLL hell! Microsoft has long known about the issue's concerning DLL's and registry collisions and is actively trying to move away from them through the invent of the .NET platform and NT based operating systems. Their new focus Vista and soon Windows 7 completely replaces the registry and dll concept. IMHO Microsoft is moving in a disastrous direction. It is great for them but not for us! Under both, .NET and Vista operating systems of the future will be supplied by Microsoft actively over the internet. Our machines will require up to date specific hardware with device specific drivers supplied solely by Microsoft. Everyone will have the same basic software shell and identical configuration. Applications will all come from Microsoft and how we use our computers will be solely at Microsoft's discretion. Ouch! No more privacy, No more personal choice, No more free enterprise, and fully at the mercy of Microsoft Engineers for our internet safety!!!  Of big concern here is how having to access Microsoft at each boot to obtain drivers will impact an already congested internet, overloaded servers, and our pocketbooks as Microsoft starts to charge us to use OUR own machines!!!

     Linux doesn't have as much support for hardware as it's competitor but it also doesn't have the pitfalls of dll's and registry issue either. For hardware to be compatible under Linux, the Bios must recognize it, and a kernel driver must exist for it. Once the system has an appropriate driver all applications may use the device since the kernel owns the driver not the application.

Below you will find links to various hardware utilized in Linux systems.

    Hardware Compatibility Lists:

openSUSE Hardware Compatibility List  - The following pages are used by the openSUSE community to record the compatibility of various hardware and full systems with SUSE Linux. Please share your experience by adding your hardware, especially if you had some issue that you overcame.
      See below

    Or see  Other Compatibility Lists

  OpenSuSe Linux Hardware Compatibility

Full Systems



Other Linux Hardware Compatibility Lists

Debian GNU/Linux device driver check page  - This database verifies the PCI devices at this time (X drivers, ISA, USB, IEEE1394 or any other devices are out of its focus). Paste your result of 'lspci -n' taken from GNU/Linux OS (such as Debian, Knoppix, RedHat, and so on) to the box, then push 'Check' button.

DebianOn  - is an effort to document how to install, configure and use Debian on some specific hardware. Therefore potential buyers would know if that hardware is supported and owner would know how get the best out of that hardware.

Mandriva Knowledge base  - offers a Hardware compatibility list and general Linux driver issues, general and special Linux hardware information and driver sites.

Red Hat Hardware Catalog  - Database containing certified hardware for Red Hat products.

UbuntuUsers Hardwaredatenbank  - Auf dieser Seite soll eine Hardwaredatenbank fuer Ubuntu Linux entstehen. Sie koennen hier unter Ubuntu Linux verwendete (neuere) Hardware hinzufuegen, welche gut laeuft. HCL  - This is the Linux Hardware Compatibility List from

Linux Hardware Compatibility HOWTO  - This document attempts to list most of the hardware known to be either supported or unsupported under Linux.

Linux Hardware Components  - The manufacturers and distributors listed on this site sell hardware and peripherals that are Linux-friendly. If you're looking for drivers or need to know if your hardware is supported, this is a good place to find out. Compatibility List  - This is a user submitted compatibility database for hardware running under GNU/Linux.

FSF Hardware Database  - Free Software Foundation's listing of hardware that supports free software.  - is a web site to lookup and report hardware compatibility and incompatibility with Linux distributions. The idea is to collaboratively rate which hardware is working or not working under Linux distributions.

Linux Support for HP PC's  - This page provides an overview of Linux support for HP PC's and peripeherals. Don't base purchasing decisions on the information provided here. This site's main goal is to provide information for people already owning an HP PC.  - source the best deals on linux compatible hardware from around the USA and present them for you in one location. The shop offers software, clothing and accessories all relating to Linux in some way too.

Unix printer compatiblity database listing  - The OpenPrinting printer database contains a wealth of information about specific printers, along with extensive driver information, basic specifications, and an associated set of configuration tools. You can just go straight to a particular printer, or you can list all printers from a given manufacturer. Looking for a printer to buy? See also the Suggested Printers page.

Gutenprint Supported Printers  - Gutenprint, formerly called Gimp-Print, offers high quality drivers for Canon, Epson, Lexmark, Sony, Olympus, and PCL printers for use with Ghostscript, CUPS, Foomatic, and the Gimp.

TurboPrint 2 - Supported Printers  - This is the list of TurboPrint Supported Printers. It includes almost every Canon, Epson & HP and many Brother printers. TurboPrint makes it possible to use the latest color printers with Linux. It is designed to produce maximum quality photo prints as well as high-speed text documents. Printer set-up and configuration is as simple as on Windows or MacOS. TurboPrint is a high-quality printer driver system for Linux built on existing standards (lpr or CUPS printer spooler, ghostscript interpreter for Postscript) thus achieving easy integration and maximum compatibility with existing applications. TurboPrint 2 offers new functions and additional programs.

SANE: Supported Devices  - shows if your scanner is supported and if yes, by which backend. If it's not supported, it may at least point to documentation or test programs. The search engine contains information from the latest stable SANE release, the development ("CVS") version of SANE and from external backends. The database is updated once per day.

VueScan: Supported Scanners  - is a continuously upgraded list of VueScan supported scanners. VueScan supports more than 500 different scanners, and these are organized by vendor name. VueScan is a scanning utility that works with most high- quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. A free trial version is available.

Digital Camera Support for UNIX, Linux and BSD  - trys to explain how to find out if your camera may work or not under a UNIX system. This site includes a table summarize for digital cameras, how they are supported under UNIX operating systems.

Supported Cameras in gPhoto  - On this page, you find a list of the supported camera models of the current release of gPhoto (=digital camera software applications for Unix-like systems. gPhoto2 is a free, redistributable, ready to use set of digital camera software applications for Unix-like systems). Support for additional cameras may be in the current libgphoto2 SVN trunk code. They will be added to the next release. If your camera is neither supported in the current release nor in current SVN trunk, it is possible that it is an old camera for which the original gPhoto driver has not been ported yet (mostly due to lack of demand) or it is a new camera for which there is no support at all.

Working Webcams with PWC  - This is a web-based collaboration area for the next generation Philips Web Camera Linux Kernel Module. On this page, you find a list of the supported Webcams.

ALSA Soundcard Matrix  - ALSA ("Advanced Linux Sound Architecture") supported audio- cards or chipsets. ALSA provides audio and MIDI functionality to the Linux operating system.

OSS Sound Card List  - OSS supported audio- cards or chipsets. This list is not 100% complete. There are dozens of sound cards that are based on some standard sound chips (or motherboard chipset) made by vendors like Intel, VIA, Cirrus/Crystal, Analog Devices, Realtek, Yamaha, C'Media, Trident, Sigmatel and many others. Such cards may not be listed in the following list but they are still supported.

Driver Status for XFree86 4.3.0  - provides information about the status of the driver and hardware support in XFree86 4.3.0 compared with that in XFree86 3.3.6.

LinuxTV - Supported Hardware (ATSC, DVB-C, DVB-S, DVB-T devices)  - This page is intended to help the "end user" determine whether the device they own, or one that they are considering purchasing, is supported or not under Linux. Before purchasing a DVB device, you should check whether it is listed as supported within the appropriate section of the wiki.

Linux USB Device overview  - Audio, Modems, Joysticks, Hub devices, Keyboards, Mouse, Cameras, Mass Storage, Multi- functional devices, Printer, Scanner, UPS, Networking, USB-to-Serial converter, Video, Vendor specific devices that don't fall under a certain category.  - Support and information about IDE & RAID- Controller. This page offers a list of companies that have support for ATA-33, ATA-66, ATA-100, ATA-133 chipset, SATA 1.0 and Native "PURE HARDWARE ATA RAID" support in Linux.

Serial ATA (SATA) chipsets - Linux support status  - Serial ATA (also known as S-ATA or SATA) chipsets are rapidly replacing legacy "parallel ATA" (PATA, i.e., regular ATA/133) chipsets.

Linux ATA wiki  - is a useful wiki about ATA and SATA compatibility.

Serial ATA (SATA) Linux hardware/driver status report  - This status report applies to the latest SATA driver release.

WLAN Karten/Chipsaetze  - bietet einen Ueberblick ueber (fast) alle Wireless Funkkarten sowie eine zusaetzliche Liste der Chipsaetze.

Linux wireless LAN support  - is an attempt to create a, more or less complete listing of wireless devices with information about the chipset they are based on and whether or not they are supported in Linux.

802.11g Client Adapters  - offers a list with 802.11g Client Adapters, their chipsets, available drivers and much more infos.

Hardware supported by MadWifi  - This page (and its sub-pages) lists hardware that has been reported to be based on one of Atheros' chipsets. Usually these reports also contain comments on whether the device in question is supported by MadWifi.

Laptop Manufacturers - Linux Status  - This is an overview of more than 150 laptop and notebook manufacturers and their current Linux support status. Besides Linux also other UniXes are mentioned and some hints about laptops with other CPUs than from Intel are included. The survey will be updated constantly.

Linux on Laptops  - is an index of information and documentation of interest to those who now use or are considering using Linux on a laptop.

PCMCIA/CF Card Survey  - TuxMobil's Linux Hardware Compatibility List for PCMCIA/PC-Card/CF-Card and CardBus cards sorted by Manufacturer. You may find as well some tips and tricks to get PCMCIA/CF/CardBus cards to work with your Linux laptop, notebook or PDA.

Linux Status of Mobile Hardware  - Here are Hardware Compatibility Lists - HCLs for Linux with hardware and accessories used in laptops, notebooks, PDAs, mobile phones. Hardware like internal modems, miniPCI cards, IrDA ports, Bluetooth and wireless connectivity. Also portable scanners and printers, mobile CD and DVD writers and much more is covered.

Linux with PDAs and Handheld PCs  - You want to use Linux or another UniX with your PDA or handheld computer? Here are links to usage documentation about Linux with different PDAs. You may find documentation about non-Linux PDAs as well as dedicated Linux PDAs (like the Agenda VR3, the SHARP Zaurus and the Samsung Yopy).

Linux and Mobile (Cellular, Smart) Phones  - You want to use Linux or another UniX with your mobile (cellular) phone? Here are links to usage documentation about Linux with different mobile phones. You may find documentation about non-Linux phones as well as dedicated Linux phones.

comp.os.linux.hardware  - Description: "Hardware compatibility with the Linux operating system". Search the Usenet archiv of the Newsgroup comp.os.linux.hardware for helpful information with hardware problems and drivers. And at least if you can not find a solution there in the archiv, I recommend to post your question yourself with your favored newsreader.