[Smaug] question about meeting

Meg McRoberts dreidellhasa at yahoo.com
Fri Jun 17 19:42:41 PDT 2005


Hello, Jorge, and welcome to the wonderful world of Linux!

> Question before I forget
> I know Linux is different than Windows, why is so hard to install a
> driver in Linux?

The major issue is that hardware comes and goes so frequently and
anyone selling hardware has to write a new driver every time new
hardware comes out.  Developing and testing the driver is time-consuming;
making it easier to install is an additional effort.  If one is in business
to sell hardware, one has no choice but to make the hardware work easily
on Windows (who have more than 90% of the market) but may not invest the
effort to make it easy to install on Linux.

Maybe there are some other contributing causes -- for example, most hardware
drivers must run completely in kernel space on Linux -- that may make the
effort for developing Linux drivers a little more difficult (or at least
require some special skills) but also contribute to Linux being generally
more robust and secure.  But I think the biggest issues is that it takes
a lot of effort to make anything easy to use and few companies find it
worthwhile to do that for Linux these days.

I'm not an expert but I've heard that Mandriva/Mandrake has about the
strongest out-of-the-box hardware support.  If you're having a lot of
trouble with hardware support, you might try installing it.

meg



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