Search for drivers

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There are often cases when a couple of devices does not work properly in your computer out of the box under Linux. The reason for this may be too new hardware (not yet implemented in the kernel), the absence of necessary Linux drivers (not provided by hardware vendors), too obsolete hardware, incompatible devices (e.g. storage controller and drive model, etc.) or a defect. According to data from the, at least 10% of Linux users encounter such problems. According to our statistics, the most problematic devices are:

  • WiFi cards
  • Bluetooth cards
  • Card readers
  • Fingerprint readers
  • Smart card readers
  • Printers
  • Scanners
  • Modems
  • Graphics cards
  • Webcams
  • DVB cards
  • Multimedia controllers

If a device does not work, then this does not mean that it cannot be configured properly. Sometimes you can find a more suitable kernel or a third-party driver for a device on the Internet. To search for the required kernel, you can use the LKDDb database, where all Linux kernel versions are indexed for supported device drivers, or search for a solution on forums and similar resources.

Today we are launching a new way to find drivers — by creating of hardware probes! If a driver was not loaded for some device in your computer probe, then the database engine will offer a suitable kernel version or known third-party drivers. The same information is presented on each PCI/USB device page in the database.

A probe can be created by the following command (there is an AppImage for other Linux distributions):

   hw-probe -all -upload

The drivers search is carried out on the basis of LKDDb database for kernels from 2.6.24 to the newest 5.0 version. Also we have indexed the following third-party drivers:

  • nvidia — NVIDIA graphics
  • wl — Broadcom WiFi-cards
  • fglrx — AMD/ATI graphics
  • hsfmodem — modems
  • sane — scanners
  • foomatic — printers
  • gutenprint — printers
  • and about 100 drivers from Github for WiFi cards and other devices

Yes, we have indexed fglrx for old AMD/ATI graphics cards. In some cases, the performance of this driver was higher than the free radeon driver, but you need to install a previous version of your Linux distribution, because the fglrx driver is not supported by newest Linux kernels and Linux distributions.

This is not the only example when you need a rollback to an old kernel version. For some devices, the drivers become obsolete and are removed from the kernel. In such cases, you need to pick up one of the old versions of your Linux distribution with an appropriate old kernel, and then manually update necessary software if not provided in the repositories (e.g. browser).


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