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Linux Driver Support Still Leaves A Lot To Desire

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  • #76
    Basically you can clone win7 and use it on similar hardware. Similar means first of all the controller should work with ahci driver. If that is not the case it is always bad. If you use ntfsclone to clone the partition you have to use a hexeditor/dd to clone the serial number of the hd as well - 4 bytes at offset 440. Usually you can boot it - win8 even goes one step further when you use it as win8 to go on an usb hd. The problematic part however begins when you dont use oem activation. Even when the hd serial is the same the rest of the system is different and you have to reactivate. In that view linux is much better, no activation needed. You can install onto usb hd as well and as long as you use network-manager (because you will get different ethX devices) you can go online easyly. As long as you use the oss drivers you can boot it anywhere you have got support for the gfx chip. Well i even extended that and wrote a gfx autodetection for binary drivers but fglrx stopped working for xserver 1.12 on 64 bit and therefore i can not create an iso image with it. Wake up amd!

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    • #77
      Why I have to run Windoze

      I'm an old-time Linux user from the early 90s. Recently, with considerable reluctance,
      I've made the decision to run Linux on top of VMware on top of Windoze on my laptops.

      There are 2 main reasons:

      Hibernation does not seem to be reliable.
      Lack of usable support for USB monitors.

      I understand that the Linux kernel community has its priorities, but
      laptop support seems to be somewhere down on the list. It would
      be a big boost to my confidence in using Linux if some serious
      attention were paid to these items. Some kind of diagnostic
      tools are needed to let everyone know when a driver is crapping
      all over the kernel space, or if memory was corrupted during
      a hiberate/restore cycle.

      I'd go and help out, but I have a day job.

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      • #78
        I read Phoronix regularly, but never felt the need to post before.

        Hardware support is the biggest problem I have in Linux. Sometimes it's very good, other times it's just awful.

        I'm currently running Arch and a recent update killed the brightness controls that worked fine on my Sony laptop for over a year. I could probably fix it, but I'm not sure that I can be bothered.

        On the same laptop, a bug at the time I set up the OS means that the trackpad was detected as a PS/2 mouse. The VGA out is stuck at a low resolution and I've not been able to find a fix.

        On my old Dell laptop, Debian could always find the wireless card, but it never found the wired card. Ubuntu worked with both out of the box. I started using it as a server a few months back and there were some problems with the graphics (yes, even just on the command line!).

        I think that graphics support is incredibly important. Going back 15 years, I'd have said that the PC was the best gaming platform, but over time I've decided that it's just not worth it (for me at least) to keep upgrading just to be able to play the latest games. I've flipped between consoles (NES, SNES, PS1, Dreamcast, PS2, Xbox, Xbox 360) and PC over the years, but since the Xbox, I've not gone back to the PC. As such, I stopped caring about the GPU in my machines.

        That's changed recently though, with just about everything trying to be GPU accelerated. Even Adobe Reader uses GPU acceleration (on Windows at least)! The benefits of dedicated hardware for video decoding are also clear. Using my AMD GPU in Linux feels like a very second class experience.

        I think Linux is certainly better than Mac OS X in this regard. Plugging in a supported device in OS X produces the same response as plugging in an unsupported device - i.e. nothing. I get that Apple's going for simplicity, but when you plug in a printer and it has no driver for it, the least it could do is help you find one.

        Windows on the other hand to me has always been good for driver support. I've never had a driver (from either Windows Update or the manufacturer directly) that doesn't work properly.

        The only difficulty is in finding drivers for older hardware when moving to a newer line of the OS (particularly pre-Windows 2000/XP).

        Sure a lot of stuff doesn't work "out of the box" and needs you to get the driver, but at least you can be pretty confident that you'll find one.
        Last edited by Daveoc64; 06-21-2012, 08:10 PM.

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        • #79
          Linux/Windows driver support

          I agree about OS/X & WIndows driver support - Nobody does as good a job at supporting third-party
          hardware as Microsoft. The real problem at this point is that they may succeed at locking Linux
          off the desktop with UEFI.

          OTOH, they may commit corporate suicide with W8. That would be fine by me, as long as I get
          all of the W7 licenses that I need.

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          • #80
            Originally posted by bittwiddler View Post
            I agree about OS/X & WIndows driver support - Nobody does as good a job at supporting third-party
            hardware as Microsoft. The real problem at this point is that they may succeed at locking Linux
            off the desktop with UEFI.

            OTOH, they may commit corporate suicide with W8. That would be fine by me, as long as I get
            all of the W7 licenses that I need.
            Well, MS has a huge advantage in dictating driver standards. Where else are hardware manufacturers going to go? Apple barely offers upgrades beyond drives and RAM, save the low-volume MacPro (which does not support many PCIe devices anyway). Device makers mostly have only one real option for profit, and that's to offer driver support for Windows, the OS that has the highest marketshare. Sadly, while most devices work in Windows, they occasionally suck. I've had some LAN and WiFi issues in the past on Windows (recently, I might add).

            As for UEFI locking out linux, I might need some clarification. I've installed Ubuntu on 2 UEFI machines already. It just requires a small EFI partition and then it's all good. I believe Windows 8 was at one time planned to lock down the bootloader, but I think MS may have backtracked a little on that one, probably to keep from being sued. Even then I think that was more for WindowsRT devices.

            As you said, Windows 8 is very make or break for MS. People are already needing the full power of PCs less and less, and I think that's why MS is gambling hard on a tablet OS. Problem is, they might be shooting themselves in the foot by making the PC experience so confusing. If people think global menu hiding is bad, what about totally hiding menus and functions off into hot corners? Toss in the jarring Metro-to-classic window experience, and I get the feeling people will not be fans of the change. I see it as a Vista moment, where people will be begging for downgrading to 7, thus extending its support well past Windows 9.

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            • #81
              There is something wrong with this rush to the smartphone market.
              Surely there is a stable desktop market. As for myself, I'll have a hard
              time moving off Gnome2. If I get shoved off a cliff, I may have to
              move to Linux Mint/Mate.

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              • #82
                Originally posted by AJenbo View Post
                This is not fact, more likly it a myth you are trying to start. Googleing for ""fedora 17" "not working on my"" gives about 51k hits, mot of them hardware related. ""fedora 17" "not working with"" will serve you another 233K, instead of wasting every bodys time here you should probably go help out some of the unfortunate useres with your magical advice.
                To be completely fair, that can apply to any operating system under sun. You will always find people posting about problems on support forums. Things are odd like that.

                Not trying to be a dick, and I agree that to say there are no problems is not true, but using Google as a counterargument is counterproductive.

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                • #83
                  Originally posted by Lugaidster View Post
                  Whether you like it or not, there are many users aggravated by most of what appears on that list. But I guess you either don't care about other people's problems or you're too enveloped in your own perfect world that you just don't want to see it. There's none so blind as those who will not see...
                  Linux does have problems, because if it does not - it is perfect, which means it has no place to expand, which in turn means its dead.
                  Fact that Linux is actively developed, hence postulates that it has problems. No arguing here.

                  But the WAY these problems are depicted, their nature explained, weither they really exist and weither it is being Linux source of the problem or monopolistic third party, that simply vetos resolution.
                  This is the relevant detail.
                  This is exactly why above mentioned list is bullsh!t - it has major problems by preverting such details.

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                  • #84
                    Originally posted by droidhacker View Post
                    I have no choice, I have to contradict the majority (or all of) that list.

                    -Point OSS drivers are slower: So what? They're plenty fast enough for the VAST majority of users, who DON'T use their computers for stupid crap like playing games.
                    -Point OSS drivers have fewer features: Same as previous point -- SO WHAT? They do what they need to do.
                    -Point difficult to configure drivers: Huh? Not at all. KMS = automatic config in VAST majority of cases, tweaking at GUI System Settings --> Display.
                    -Point difficult to upgrade drivers: Couldn't be more wrong. "yum update" --> Done.
                    -Point documentation != developers: Development is plenty fast enough to satisfy virtually everyone.
                    -Point same-day support: It is impossible to ACTUALLY HAVE hardware on the same day it is released, so this point is irrelevant.
                    -Point features not implemented: Duplicate of point 2.
                    -Point linux power consumption > microshit: LIES. I briefly ran microshit7 on my newly acquired laptop to update the BT module in my car... it ran the CPU fan at no less than 50% the entire time. Installed Fedora 17 with discrete GPU disabled, and fan OFF 90%+ of the time, briefly comes on MINIMUM speed when the temp exceeds 40. I DARE YOU to tell me that its using more power in Linux.
                    -Point sound cards slow to support: Never heard of this before. Every sound card I've EVER seen has worked fully out of the box.
                    -Point poor printer support: That's really REALLY funny... because I just did a fresh F17 install on my new laptop, and I didn't have to do **ANYTHING** to set up the (NETWORK/WIFI laser) printer. File --> Print, and guess what? It already had the printer configured without me having to DO ANYTHING.
                    -Point poor peripheral support: If you have ever seen a keyboard or mouse that did NOT work in Linux, let me know about it and I'll tell you how to PLUG IT IN. MUCH more unusual equipment than a simple keyboard or mouse works perfectly.... scanners, webcams, etc.


                    Wifi works,
                    web cams work (strangly, I have several computers with webcams, including laptops built in, and the all work 100%),
                    Even a BLUETOOTH 3 modules -- working.


                    No weird drivers, nothing to install.
                    Just drop in the install disk and EVERYTHING is up 100% without exception.
                    Is it tough living with autism?

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                    • #85
                      Originally posted by crazycheese View Post
                      Linux does have problems, because if it does not - it is perfect, which means it has no place to expand, which in turn means its dead.
                      Fact that Linux is actively developed, hence postulates that it has problems. No arguing here.

                      But the WAY these problems are depicted, their nature explained, weither they really exist and weither it is being Linux source of the problem or monopolistic third party, that simply vetos resolution.
                      This is the relevant detail.
                      This is exactly why above mentioned list is bullsh!t - it has major problems by preverting such details.
                      I'm sorry, but you're misinterpreting the purpose of the list. The list presents problems, not reasons for those problems. From the point of view of a regular Desktop user, if the printer doesn't work, it doesn't matter why, only that it doesn't. The reasons for the problems presented can be many. For example, if you ask hardware developer companies why Linux has crappy GPU support, they'll say (some) that's it's because there's no ABI so it makes it hard for them to write the drivers and support them. If you ask Kernel developers (some) it's because they aren't open enough or supportive enough (Case in point, the Linus-Nvidia debacle a few days ago). Maybe both points of view are wrong, maybe the reason is completely different; I don't know, users don't know, they don't care and, again, it doesn't matter. Because those problems are still there, and there are many that just wish to ignore them rather than acknowledge them, and without that first step, no real resolution will ever come. New hardware will continue to be released, new proprietary versions of those libraries to interface with that hardware will continue to be released as well as new technologies around that, and so, with the current approach, there will always be a lag.

                      Many old computers do run great on Linux, some much better than when they had Windows. But that's not the case with new(ish) hardware and new(ish) technologies.

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                      • #86
                        Originally posted by Lugaidster View Post
                        ...
                        Maybe both points of view are wrong, maybe the reason is completely different; I don't know, users don't know, they don't care and, again, it doesn't matter. Because those problems are still there, and there are many that just wish to ignore them rather than acknowledge them, and without that first step, no real resolution will ever come.
                        ...
                        My good God! If I could scream this from the top of my lungs every damn time!

                        This is EXACTLY what's happening with most users who come to Linux. "My wireless card won't work!", "Why can't I have the same battery life as in Windows?" etc. etc. etc. The first step towards making Linux better is to acknowledge that there ARE problems. Unfortunately there are some in the community which don't want to accept this fact and want to behave like ostriches when they're faced with danger (Google it up if you don't know, you'll see what I mean). This is why it's so important to have lots of discussions with hardware companies and we should all try our very best to convince them to release documentation, code, or anything else that can help developers make things work (better) under Linux.

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                        • #87
                          Originally posted by gamerk2 View Post
                          Translation: Linux is perfect, and I don't want to hear about any "flaws", because they don't exist.

                          And people wonder why Linux on the Desktop is functionally dead to 99% of the population.
                          There's something wrong with your translator. Winboys wants Linux to be like Windows, but Windows sucks. It's popular, because of games and software. That's all. Bring games and software to Linux and Windows will die. Windows is terribly broken, so there are no reasons (except mentioned) to use this virus ware.

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                          • #88
                            Originally posted by johnc View Post
                            This is very true. I'm always frustrated when I hear people talking about Linux 1999 when they go off on some critical rant.

                            But it's just as bad with the anti-Windows caricatures... "It crashes all the time... It's infested with viruses... It's slow and bloated..." Windows ME was like a dozen years ago. Things are different today.

                            (In fairness... when I installed Windows 7, it didn't have a LAN driver, so it couldn't download all the other drivers automatically. Getting and installing the LAN driver was trivial though (double-click to install). Compare that to installing a LAN driver on Linux.)
                            What's true is Windows 7 is still broken by design (using dos principles...). It's not better, because it's still terribly broken. Vista was even worse nightmare, so this 95 example is flawed.

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                            • #89
                              Originally posted by Terseus View Post
                              No, I'm not saying that Linux has better hardware support, but different.
                              Linux has superior hardware support to Windows and OS X which depend on third party's that saves them.

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                              • #90
                                Originally posted by birdie View Post
                                Where credit is due: major Linux problems
                                Most of this is simply bullshit written by a dumb troll. Dot.

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