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Thread: Why is wireless network hardware especially hit and miss with Linux?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    London, England
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Why is wireless network hardware especially hit and miss with Linux?

    how does someone begin to develop a driver for a piece of hardware that has no documentation?
    They start with an actual example of the hardware. And that costs money they do not have. If there are alternative products that work in Linux then why spend time, energy and money trying to make every electronic device compatible with Linux? A person would have enough hardware to stock a computer museum.

    It is a machine. It is more stupid than we are. It will not stop us from doing stupid things.
    Ubuntu user #33,200. Linux user #530,530

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    where the work takes me
    Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Re: Why is wireless network hardware especially hit and miss with Linux?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFu View Post
    Then there is Android. End-users of Android (and iOS) don't see them as Linux/Unix systems, but they are. When you get down to the non-GUI stuff underneath, Android is Linux just locked down in ways that a Linux desktop user would find frustrating. Google did some interesting things with userids and groups to make Android's security a little odd compared to our Ubuntu Desktops. That's all.
    This is a point, the way I was introduced to Linux was basically through having an android phone that I wanted to flash with another ROM, I'm sure that will be a gateway to Linux for others too, I notice particularly that a lot (the majority) of the community made informational material / blog posts etc. seem to be created by young east Asian men, who I always assume are Indian or thereabouts. Perhaps in that locale especially Linux use will grow because of the connection to android phones?

    Privacy concerns exist for all software. There have been a number of F/LOSS modules across a number of projects that were modified to be anti-privacy. Some took a few weeks before anyone noticed. Some coders don't make a copy of the code, but point directly to the development tree online. This way, they get the most recent code ... with the anti-privacy changes. GoLang and JavaScript coders commonly do that. OTOH, Java coders tend to have crufty code because they don't get newer versions of libraries often enough.
    I appreciate this, as someone who couldn't understand the source code anyway I like to think of it like taking part in a game of cards while hardly understanding the rules, I have no idea if the guy next to me is cheating (malware), but as long as everybody keeps their hands above the table (i.e open source), then I can have some confidence that if there is a cheat at the table, at some point someone who understands the game will notice and cry foul. Plus surely the open source community isn't exactly a soft target when compared with environments chock full of proprietary software, used by many people who are perhaps less aware of the potential pitfalls. But I understand open source isn't a panacea for all privacy concerns.

    Ah ... hardware support for devices. So, Google did something good for Desktop Linux users when they created chromebooks. Because those have been really popular in schools (at least in the USA), vendors have been forced to support the Chromebook Linux kernels. My webcam gained support for Linux that way. It was Windows-only for years, then in 2016, I connected it to a chromebook and it worked. Connected it to any older Chromebook from 2012-ish and it worked there too. That vendor had been notorious, at least to me, for being extremely popular, but never supporting Linux at all. Poof - I've learned that at least 4 different models of their webcams support Linux this year. We're talking plug-n-play. The drivers are part of the kernel already for all of them. So, while google is often bad, they aren't always bad when their market power does stuff like this.
    I wondered about this actually when I read that ChromeOS was a Linux distribution, I mean I don't know how similar to other distributions it is (a quick search turned up that it uses Google chrome as it's principle UI - sounds pretty new age) but perhaps this too is another factor that will lead to more people adopting Linux 'proper'?

    Either way while I'm not massively impressed with Google's practices, or surveillance capitalism in general, I have to say that here in the UK the TV advert for the Chromebook absolutely nailed it. So many adverts for laptops completely fail to sell it to anyone who isn't technologically inclined, they just spout a load of spec jargon, but the chromebook advert actually addresses the main bug bears that normal people have with their laptops. I wouldn't be surprised if they do well as it sounds like they are in the US, especially with all the Covid related distance learning at the moment.

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