Linux Doesn’t Lack Drivers, it Lacks Complete Drivers

If you take the newest version of Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon, you can install it on just about any standard desktop PC, and it will work. The video card will most likely work just fine. It will work even better if you take the two clicks to install a binary driver, if necessary. The mouse, keyboard, and other peripherals will work. All of your drives will work. It is only incredibly rare hardware, such as some proprietary enterprise RAID controllers, that will be completely unsupported. Also, if you have an extremely new high-end motherboard, it may not work perfectly. However, problems with new motherboards seem to get fixed in the next kernel release. You can’t expect much more than that, especially considering the incredibly rapid kernel development cycle. I can not honestly say the situation is perfect. There are still a lot of drivers that need writing. However, it has been a very long time since I have encountered any completely unsupported desktop hardware, and more drivers being written every day.

If my experience is not uncommon, why is there still a common perception that Linux lacks hardware support? Perhaps people tried Linux back when hardware support was terrible, and they don’t realize how far it has come since then? Perhaps people who have this impression have never really tried Linux, and they just go by what they read in the tech news? These are possibilities, but whatever the cause, I can tell you that there is actually another, bigger, problem looming in the Linux world. The problem I see is that many existing Linux drivers are incomplete.

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