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Finding printer, modem and soundcard hardware drivers for Mandrake Linux 10.0

Unix-Linux expert Ken Milberg gives advice on how to find hardware device drivers or write your own.

I have three operating systems on my computer: XP, Mandrake Linux 10.0 and FreeDOS 9.2. All hardware works under XP but I cannot get my printer, TV tuner card, modem or sound card to work under Linux. I do not have hardware drivers for Linux. My sound card is integrated into my motherboard. The hardware manufacturers are not interested in providing drivers for anything other than XP. I would create the drivers myself if I knew how. Could I get an Emulator to solve this problem?

Unfortunately, we've all had similar problems. If I were you, instead of contacting the manufacturer, I would talk

to Mandrake directly and let them know about your problem. They might surprise you. I've used Mandrake and I like their support. If they can't help you, then reach out to the Linux community and find out if someone has already developed a device driver already for the specific hardware that you have.

I can understand manufacturer reluctance to provide drivers for Linux, as Linux still has a way to go before it can compete with Windows on the desktop. If you really want to try this sort of thing yourself, here are two resources for you. The first is an on-line tutorial and the second is an O'Reilly book on writing device drivers, aptly named Linux Device Drivers.

This was first published in May 2006

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