the evolution of Linux hardware support
Now that Greg is working fulltime on the Linux Driver Project I took the chance to look at the list of missing hardware support, the thing that springs to mind first is that after 10 years on Linux now – the hardware issue is solved. Many years ago the problems would prevent you from using Linux due to lack of support for your IO controller, e.g. now we lack support primarily for optional 3rd hardware like webcams and crypto hardware accelerators. We even have wireless drivers now, they aren’t especially good but improving by the day thanks to John Linville and his troup of merrry mens dedicated efforts.
This leaves the big gap to be filled, 3d driver for nvidia and ati’s popular cards, luckily RadeonHD and Nouveau are working on filling those gaps.. ATI are now being helpful by providing specifaction, nvidia still hate freedom but I have a feeling once they are the lone group to not have their product work out of the box, they’ll come around.
All this naturally being supported out of the box makes Linux an appealing choice for people as compared to using Windows and having to install from 30 drivers cds, imagine the waste reducing we could have if hardware cases actually only came with hardware and not inch thick manuals and license agreements nobody reads or driver cds they shouldn’t by any right need.
So all the best of luck and thanks to Greg Kroah Hartman and his 310 volunteer driver programmers. The gaps are getting smaller every day, and not only are you getting us hardware support but new members of our community and more people working on Linux is always a good thing. And naturally many thanks to our friends over at Novell for letting Greg do this fulltime on your dime.