Why so difficult for drivers?

I’m probably going to eat my words but why am I having such a hard time with installing drivers in Linux (in general). My friend is convinced Suse is great but I’ve had nothing but trouble with every Linux install I’ve ever done and I’ve been trying since the days Red Hat was sold in Best Buy back in 1999. I’m sitting here now, frustrated beyond all belief because I have an Intel D201GLY2A (cpu/board combo) that has integrated SiS662 graphics that Suse doesn’t like. Now it appears as if Suse can handle video card drivers from Intel, NVidia, and ATI rather well… but why do I have to go through over-writing files in deep directories to get these drivers to work? Is this normal or just because of SiS’s incompetence? I find it wrong to ask anybody to have to manually edit the xorg file. Isn’t there a program with a nice GUI avail that can make this process less scary? If not, I suggest the community seriously look into building something into the OS to make editing this file safer and easier for those not fortunate to have the “right” video card.
Shouldn’t there be a program that does what Windows’ “Update driver” button does in their hardware manager? Just point to the files and boom, it puts em where they need to be. I wouldn’t think this would be hard… or does Microsoft have a patent that can’t be worked around? lol

Wrong section.

-> Soapbox - openSUSE Forums

Ok, to cut through my venting and make it specific;
How does one get Suse to update driver files by pointing to them? I have updated drivers and everywhere I read it says I need to over-write files and edit an xorg file. Is there, or isn’t there a utility in Suse to update driver files, specifically for the SiS662 video?

Unless SiS has provided an installer of their own - the answer is no.

If they had proper Linux support they would have a “repository” where they deposit all their drivers which in return you could simply add and always have the ‘latest drivers’ automatically installed whenever they’re updated.

Good examples of these are the ATI and nVidia repositories which are maintained by the respective companies. Unfortunately you’ll have to do it manually, this time.

Thank you for the explination.
So in other words, like my 1st post; “just because of SiS’s incompetence” would be correct.
Is there a program that edits the xorg file or is it all done manually? Last time I edited it I was propmpted upon reboot to select 2 options, one being a fail-safe and KDE4 never loaded… just stuck me at a prompt.

You could also splurge and buy yourself a discrete video card from ATI/nVidia…get better performance and better driver support.
Depending on what your motherboard supports…you can get one really cheap and it will totally blow away your onboard.

Examples found here:
Newegg.com - $10 - $25, Desktop Graphics / Video Cards, Video Cards & Video Devices

Find me a video card for the D201GLY2A that isn’t PCI and I’ll buy it :wink:

LOL. Well you aren’t helping me much…I had to Google your mobo to see what it supports. Looks like only 1 classic PCI slot. So take a peak here:

Pricewatch ® - PCI

Well I do agree with you on the fact that Linux needs a unified system of installing drivers for different devices to make it easier for new people to get stuff up and running.

Maybe one of these days…

Sure, a lot can be improved. Though in reality, it’s the equipment makers who are lagging here more than Linux. Windows commands the biggest market share so companies put their efforts into having Windows drivers. Linux is sometimes never even considered - no money in it. Luckily, companies like nVidia and ATI take that extra step.

Also, each version of SuSe Linux improves in its ability to handle more hardware. When I ran 10.3, I had to go out and get drivers for the onboard network and sound in order to get them working. This time, everything worked without the need for me to find the drivers, This, at least, is certainly heartening.

I can’t disagree but why, in a time when computer sales are slowing down, wouldn’t companies what to be gravitating towards “free” software? I mean if they can’t sell computers with windows on it like the used to, why not cut out Microsoft and start supporting the hardware so as to not have to cut their own profit margins?

I’d like to see something done about the driver complexity. Linux has Wine, why couldn’t it have Dine? Play on words but hear me on this one. A layer that translates windows drivers for use on linux operating systems! Sure it would take a performance hit but for free who can complain. Besides; with the growth of Linux using something like Dine, hardware co’s would put more effort into writing native drivers. That would be the day I switch to Linux full time. Until then, XP stays as my main OS. I’m pulling for Suse and Ubuntu and won’t give up trying the latest versions but there are still a lot of hurdles that need to be overcome before I, a power user, would give up Microsoft… especially with their driver support.

The concept that just adding linux will make it free or cheaper is a myth.

If you go to buy a Dell PC with Ubuntu you will actually pay more than windows. Reason being that the computers have to be pulled off the line and specially loaded with linux.

Now im not bashing linux for that fact, I believe if you think something has value then its worth paying for.

Preloading an OS is usually just a matter of imaging the disk appropriately, but yes, a different line has to be setup. Also helplines have to be set up. But it shouldn’t cost more than a Windows pre-install, except for the OEM license which is deeply discounted by M$. There is no way OEMs are paying anything like the off-the-shelf prices for Vista.

Around here, you can get an Acer 5135 notebook with Vista HB. There is a cashback of $150 which is close to 1/4 of the original price. So much is the cashback incentive that if you want Ubuntu on it, it’s cheaper to get the cashback, then install Ubuntu over it, since Vista HB is pretty, well basic.

Look at it another way, even if you were to pay $50 more for a working Linux preinstall, you are getting or can get: Office Suite (OO, etc), media playback, photo and video apps, development tools (compilers, IDEs), no AV needed, and so forth all at no cost. These apps cost serious money in the M$ world. If the hardware is supported, what’s not to like about such a deal?

I tried to find the article, but its eluding me. But basiclly Dell builds the pC like normal even putting window on it, they then pull it aside for a fresh reimage of linux. So theres basically a cost for the extra handling.

Sure, but then your losing support.

Yeah i would agree to that.

I guess my point was that the “bottom line” price doesnt go down just by adding linux. It infact goes up, but like you point out your investment in a different OS may reap savings down the road.

Actually they’re cheaper because the machines are preloaded with applications from companies such as Symantec etc. who pay the PC manufacturers to include them. Linux naturally has none of these and thus “costs more”.

I wonder if there will ever be a law passed that protects consumers from being forced into buying extra software for hardware to work. Example; the SiS Linux drivers are junk. Move a window and processor usage jumps up >50% basically forcing me to use Windows because of the drivers avail. Nowhere was this mentioned on the product description. Kind of shady… too many lawyers in this state already so if you know some, let em at it!
Really though, I think it’s pretty obvious that Microsoft is taking advantage of anti-competitive threats. I mean for crying out loud, Vista’s main competition is it’s predecessor!?!?!?!?
When governments start moving strictly to Linux file types I think the industry will start to shift. Until then, the free just isn’t a good enough selling point :frowning: