10 Rocking Features in 10 Days: Better Hardware Support

Yesterday we took a look at the new Firefox plugin work. Today we turn to one of the most vexing of questions for many Linux users: hardware support and all that it means.

Why is hardware so vexing?

Basically, there is a lot of hardware and each requires a driver. People keep making new pieces and types of hardware and people keep buying it. All this means keeping up to date is a constant struggle, although projects like the Linux Driver Project are helping change that.

So I have a shiny new piece of hardware, how do I make it work?

For the most part, hardware auto-detection has just worked for many Ubuntu releases. In fact, Ubuntu 4.10 (Warty Warthog) was the first major distro to ship with the so-called Utopia stack, which allowed autodetection of many pieces of hardware via HAL.

However there have been a few types of commonly used hardware causing problems on linux desktops: printers, video cards, winmodems (also called software modems) and wireless cards.

So what is this about printers?