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Thread: How do you know if you have installed all drivers?

  1. #1

    Default How do you know if you have installed all drivers?

    I have used SUSE in the past and have always ended up coming back to windows. One main reason i did this was because i didn't actually know whether all my drivers were installed correctly.

    I absolutely hate windows but currently use it for ease.

    So tell me. How do you know if your drivers for your GFX are ok? Whether you have installed your sound drivers correctly and if there are any other outstanding drivers that you need to install that havent yet been installed. Please do tell me.

    In windows we have the Device Manager.

    Is there anything like that in SUSE?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How do you know if you have installed all drivers?

    Quote Originally Posted by NEO-BAHAMUT- View Post
    I have used SUSE in the past and have always ended up coming back to windows. One main reason i did this was because i didn't actually know whether all my drivers were installed correctly.

    I absolutely hate windows but currently use it for ease.

    So tell me. How do you know if your drivers for your GFX are ok? Whether you have installed your sound drivers correctly and if there are any other outstanding drivers that you need to install that havent yet been installed. Please do tell me.

    In windows we have the Device Manager.

    Is there anything like that in SUSE?
    I have not used MS-Windows at home since 1998, so I can not say much about MS-Windows. Nor MacIntosh for that matter, as it was last 1990 when I last used a Mac.

    But one thing to know about Linux is it is different from Windows. If you are looking for a similar way of grouping or structuring things in Linux, that you knew and liked very much in another operating system, there is IMHO a strong possibility that you will be disappointed. In such a case, if the disappointment is insurmountable, then simply stay with the Operating System you like. If that OS happens to be MS-Windows, then all he better, as most people in the world use and like that OS. Most of my friends (who are smart people) like and use MS-Windows, and I would not dream of talking them out it.

    Now if you wish to consider Linux with an uncoloured view (which can be very difficult given one's background in another operating system) then IMHO a good way to start is to read up on some basic openSUSE Linux concepts. You could start with this page: Concepts - openSUSE

    Reference sound concepts, you could start with this page: Sound-concepts - openSUSE

    Reference drivers, ... typically Linux uses kernel modules as drivers ...

    You can tell what kernel modules are loaded by typing:
    lsmod
    Now you will need to learn what each of those acronym short cuts are. But in there are webcam modules, sound modules, graphic modules, ...etc ....

    One can see what USB devices are present by typing:
    lsusb


    One can see what storage devices are present by typing (with root permissions):
    fdisk -l
    Now is that the same as MS-Windows way? No. If you want the Windows way, then Windows is the place to be.

    Typically, most Linux distrubutions use "alsa" for their basic sound driver, and inside alsa are various sound modules (of different names) that can be loaded, and are seen by the "lsmod".

    Reference your graphics it depends on your hardware. In the case of ATI and nVidia, typically one loads either:
    • vesa generic driver
    • openGL driver for either ATI or nVidia
    • proprietary driver for either ATI or nVidia
    One can look in their /etc/X11/xorg.conf file to figure out what driver is loaded, but one needs to know what they are looking for.

    OpenSUSE comes with a configuration tool, known as YaST, but it is not going to be the same as the MS-Windows applications ...

    Another important thing to keep in mind wrt Linux, and it is stated in the Concepts link I provided, but frankly, most new users don't understand the depth behind the simple statement "opensource free software".

    Because Linux built on open source free software, Linux tends to be a bit of an "anarchy" and there is not much in the line of central control. Hence the central aspects that one might see in other OS, often simply do not have the same equivalents in Linux.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How do you know if you have installed all drivers?

    Loading, configuring, and updating hardware drivers was one of the biggest hurdles I had to take from moving between Windows and Linux. The only reason was b/c I was looking for a windows-like solution of the device manager, which Linux lacks.

    As is described in the info already provided on the "Concepts" page, linux loads hardware drivers as kernel modules. Instead of having to download drivers from a certain manufacturer for a piece of hardware, the kernel modules work on a range of related hardware devices providing varying levels of functionality. From my personal experience, this has actually resulted in Linux working better on most computers after an installation than Windows does.

    In the case of video cards, the manufacturers usually provide a driver that can be downloaded and installed which is similar to how Windows drivers are installed. As an alternative, you can add the respective repository under YaST and install the kernel module like you do any other piece of software.

    If you want to know if all of the drivers for your system are loaded or not, the best way of testing is to use the piece of hardware in question: if it works then you don't need to worry about anything. If it works, but has limited functionality, then either the module itself is still incomplete (for a variety of reasons), or you may need to make some configuration changes. If it doesn't work, then you are either missing a kernel module, and will need to compile it yourself or install it from a package if available, or the module isn't loaded.

    The commands provided by oldcpu are the best ways of checking what modules are loaded, and what devices are connected.

    To provide an example, all of the hardware on my computer works after an installation of opensuse 11.0 and 11.1 except for my wireless card and my TV tuner. My wireless card has an Atheros AR5007EG chipset. Madwifi is the kernel module that is normally loaded for Atheros based wireless devices, but the current stable release doesn't have support for my chipset. I am therefore forced to download the latest development version of madwifi and compile and load the module myself. Afterwards, my wireless card works without any trouble.

    My TV tuner is a hauppauge hvr-1250. This has actually been supported by the kernel since version 2.6.24, and on opensuse the kernel module loads without any trouble; my problems with getting the device to work are problems with the software I use to access it. Only recently have I been able to use the device, but that has been because the software I would like to use has finally added support for it.

    If you don't like the way Linux presents hardware information, I would recommend you stay with Windows. The Windows-way and Linux-way of loading and configuring drivers are different but equally valid. As with many other things, whatever OS you prefer to run boils down to experience and personal preference.

  4. #4

    Default Re: How do you know if you have installed all drivers?

    Quote Originally Posted by srschifano View Post
    ... a windows-like solution of the device manager, which Linux lacks.
    YaST => Hardware => Hardware Information

    Or the "real thing" (CLI-commands)

    /usr/sbin/hwinfo

    (or better)

    /usr/sbin/hwinfo --item (for items see /usr/sbin/hwinfo --help)

    /usr/sbin/dmidecode
    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity. (R.J. Hanlon)

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How do you know if you have installed all drivers?

    Hi,

    Quote Originally Posted by NEO-BAHAMUT- View Post
    So tell me. How do you know if your drivers for your GFX are ok? Whether you have installed your sound drivers correctly and if there are any other outstanding drivers that you need to install that havent yet been installed. Please do tell me.

    In windows we have the Device Manager.

    Is there anything like that in SUSE?
    First of all how to detect if the module (alias "driver") is installed:

    Do you have a picture on your screen? So the module for your grafic adapter works fine. Do you hear the sound? Ok, sound module works ... That's the way I look at it. Only if it doesn't work or doesn't work correctly (e. g. no 3d-support) you have to mess around with it.

    To know about what has been recognized and installed use the commands mentioned above. Also try this as root on a console:

    Code:
    ls[TAB][TAB]
    and try the listed commands. You will see that Linux doesn't only tell you which hardware has been found but also the colour of the bits it uses. One of the great advantages is that we don't have something like windows device manager which hides the important infos in case that it doesn't work.

    Bye

    Erik

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How do you know if you have installed all drivers?

    If you use Kde 3, as well as the CLI and Yast there is an application called KInfo Center that will also give you information pertaining to drivers installed on your system and a great deal of other information as well. One might assume that Kde 4 and other DE's have similar tools but this is something that I cannot say.

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