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Thread: Linux Driver Support Still Leaves A Lot To Desire

  1. #21
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    Sep 2011
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    Quote 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.
    "Good enough for me" != "Truble free"
    Besides the article seams to be written in a gaming company context witch makes most of your reply either invalid or off topic.

  2. #22
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    Jul 2009
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    Yes, hardware support is one issue. But don't miss software support!

    Windows installers kind-of suck from a packaging perspective, sure. But installing some piece of software designed for Windows is usually a piece of cake. Software designed for linux but not packaged for the local distribution is often a pain to get working! (Audio issues, dependencies, etc.) This is important, and distro-dependent solutions are not enough!

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonimus View Post
    Your point about printers is utterly baseless, if there is Mac OS X support there should be linux support considering both use CUPS.
    You must not have installed a whole lot of printeres. On Linux my network printer is prsented in 5 flavors of witch only one works, on Mac you only see the one that works. Tons of scanneres on printers do not work (although a lot do), even the onces from Canon where they report having a driver on there webstie. HP wifi printers are a pain to set up from Linux. Besides how is a first time customer going to know what is "Crap" and what isn't when most clerks go "Hurr durr derp!" when asked if somthing will work with Linux.

  4. #24
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    What the hell is gamers hardware? Is Linux some kind of GPU free zone?

    When I am buying a piece I expect it to function according to its specs. It doesn't matter what I am going to use it for. And GPUs are not preforming to their specs on Linux, whether it is performance or features.

    Thus Michael is correct in mentioning it.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyborg16 View Post
    Yes, hardware support is one issue. But don't miss software support!

    Windows installers kind-of suck from a packaging perspective, sure. But installing some piece of software designed for Windows is usually a piece of cake. Software designed for linux but not packaged for the local distribution is often a pain to get working! (Audio issues, dependencies, etc.) This is important, and distro-dependent solutions are not enough!
    True, but I think it would be more fair to compare it to a program for windows packaged in a dos installer (I have had this happen where the software works but installer doesn't). The difference here is that software is still being poorly packaged for Linux/Distros and we have compeating standards that just gets labled as "Linux" causing confusion and hazzel.

  6. #26
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    Jun 2012
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    Default Take in accout all the factors, not only the good/bad ones

    In Windows most of the drivers are provided by the hardware vendor, sometimes it work and sometimes it doesn't; when it work it's cool, but when it doesn't work you have an unusable hardware component and your hands are completely tied.
    In Linux the community, in most of the cases, doesn't have the support of the hardware vendors so they do the best they can, other times the hardware vendors provide driver but doesn't care enough to make them work properly (proprietary or not), in such cases the community try to fix it but sometimes (proprietary drivers) it's impossible.

    As you can see, you can be stuck in both OS's, the main difference is, when you get stuck in Windows you can do near to nothing to fix it, in Linux at least there's a chance to get it working even if the hardware vendor ignores you.

    By the way, what happens with all these hardware components with Windows XP only drivers? In Windows sometimes the backward compatibility simply doesn't exist; how much 10 years old hardware components are no longer supported in the Linux kernel?

    I think that all the OS's have their strong points and their weak points, and compare them partially doesn't have very much sense.

    PD.: Sorry for my poor english.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Madison, WI, USA
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    I know it's feeding him, but he looks hungry...

    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.

    - What about professionals who want to do 3D rendering, people who hardware-accelerated video playback (via GL/CL or hardware blocks). Faster drivers are also probably more efficient drivers, which could mean better battery life on laptops.

    Point OSS drivers have fewer features: Same as previous point -- SO WHAT? They do what they need to do.

    - I'd like MSAA, lower power usage, complete OpenCL support, etc.. The OSS drivers provide a composited desktop and some performance, but there's still room for improvement and implementation of additional/newer standards.

    Point difficult to configure drivers: Huh? Not at all. KMS = automatic config in VAST majority of cases, tweaking at GUI System Settings --> Display.

    - Alright, so where do I configure TV-out, power profiles, Anti-Aliasing settings, Anisotropic settings, video decode post-processing, and the host of other options that catalyst/nvidia give you (especially under windows).

    Point documentation != developers: Development is plenty fast enough to satisfy virtually everyone.

    - The quantity of articles here on Phoronix showing the OSS drivers still playing catch-up and the number of discussion threads attached to them indicate otherwise.

    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.

    - Good for you, you've got a laptop that was broken in windows and happens to work in Linux. My laptop gets 2-3 hours of battery life in Linux, 4+ in windows, and 5+ in MacOS.

    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.

    - Most sound cards I've used have worked correctly out of the box, but some HDMI audio has required waiting for development or setting kernel parameters to get them to work.

    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.

    - Lucky. My Lexmark S505 works wonderfully in Windows/MacOS, but the Linux drivers that Lexmark provides refuse to work on Mint 13 x86-64.

    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.

    - The basic parts of all of my keyboards/mice work, but my Logitech MX Revolution requires 3rd party, unmaintained software to get most of the buttons working.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prescience500 View Post
    Wow...I'm supprised no one else seems to have noticed what I've noticed...

    Easy and out of the box hardware support very much matters on the distro. For instance, on Kubuntu, all of my hardware works out of the box. On Fedora KDE, only one of two printers works. The printer that does work has a built in scanner and fax machine, but the scanner does not work. I think part of the goal should be to get all of the drivers properly into the kernel so it's always out of the box support, not only on certain distros. I suspect that in the long run it would save developer time so that they could focus efforts on other stuff.
    Strangely I think Fedora would have a newer kernel than Kubuntu, however the difference in versions should be considered. And if the kernel already supports it, then maybe its something with Fedora itself.

  9. #29
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    Scanners and most usb devices are not handled by the kernel, you want to look up the SANE version and packages:
    http://www.sane-project.org/

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by archibald View Post
    <sarcasm>I'm guessing they're overweight too...</sarcasm>

    Perhaps you could provide some evidence for your assertion? If you can't then please don't bandy around such stereotypes, they add nothing to the debate about linux hardware drivers.
    Evidence:

    Last edited by droidhacker; 06-21-2012 at 11:58 AM.

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