The compatibility information in this chapter relates to Ubuntu. Other distributions might have different storage and CPU requirements. Also bear in mind that Ubuntu is available for x86-64 and PPC architectures as well. Consult the release notes to get a detailed specification for these versions.
Specific issues regarding Linux hardware compatibility can be researched online at a number of sites.
Other sites, such as the Linux-USB device overview at http://www.qbik.ch/usb/devices/, offer an interactive browsing of supported devices, and printer compatibility can be researched at LinuxPrinting.org at http://linuxprinting.org/. Some hardware categories to consider in your research include
• Controller cards Such as SCSI, IDE, SATA, FireWire
• Input devices Keyboards
• Modems External, PCMCIA, PCI, and controllerless workarounds
• Pointing devices Mice, tablets, and possibly touchscreens
• Printers Various printer models
• RAM Issues regarding types of system memory
• Sound cards Issues regarding support
• Specific motherboard models Compatibility or other issues
• Specific PCs, servers, and laptop models Compatibility reports, vendor certification
• Storage devices Removables, fixed, and others
• Video cards Console issues (X compatibility depends on version of X11R6 or vendor-based X distribution used)
If you have a particular laptop or PC model, you should also check with its manufacturer for Linux support issues. Some manufacturers such as HP now offer a Linux operating system preinstalled, or have an in-house Linux hardware certification program. Laptop users will definitely want to browse to Linux on Laptops at http://linux-laptop.net/.
If you cannot find compatibility answers in various online databases, continue your research by reading the Linux Hardware HOWTO at http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Hardware-HOWTO/. At that address, you will find loads of general information and links to additional sources of information.
Keep in mind that when PC hardware is unsupported under Linux, it is generally because the manufacturer cannot or will not release technical specifications or because no one has taken the time and effort to develop a driver. If you hit a roadblock with a particular piece of hardware, check the hardware manufacturer's support web pages, or Google's Linux pages at http://www.google.com/linux. You can then type in a specific search request and hopefully find answers to how to make the hardware work with Linux. This is also a good way to research answers to questions about software issues.
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