Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 25th Jan 2006 18:15 UTC, submitted by AdamW
Mandriva, Mandrake, Lycoris Mandriva is now testing a new hardware compatibility list system based on feedback from ordinary Mandriva users. The 'harddrake' Mandriva hardware utility can upload a list of your system's components to the Mandriva database, and you can then use the simple web front end to let others know how well each piece of hardware works with Mandriva. The system and the interface have already been in testing by Mandriva Club members and other enthusiasts. You can join in and help test it further by posting in the Mandriva forums (you can post in the community chat forum if you are not a member).
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Not the first initiative...
by amiroff on Wed 25th Jan 2006 20:50 UTC
amiroff
Member since:
2005-07-06

If I'm not mistaken, Ubuntu has been doing exactly the same stuff for a while. I remember submitting my harwdare specs with personal comments to their servers. It would be nice if all the distros could have the same HCL.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Not the first initiative...
by Steff on Wed 25th Jan 2006 22:44 in reply to "Not the first initiative..."
Steff Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes, except that the Ubuntu list is for internal use of Canonical as far as I am aware (for development and bug fixing purposes) whereas this list is going to be public and can be searched.

I think this is a good idea and a nice thing for the whole Linux community. After all if some hardware works properly with one distibution it is likely that it will work (one way or the other) with other distributions as well.

Currently there are lots of lists in many different places (linuxquestions.org for example) plus lots of sites specialized in components or product lines (linux-laptop.net comes to mind).

They are often a great resource and are useful to seach before buying new hardware (remember: the golden rule of running Linux is search before, not after having bought!).

However, they usually have problems:
1. They are not always well organized (typically they are little more than forum threads, not in web format style) or do not contain all the relevant specifications.
2. They often contain lots of old cruft and very little recent components.
3. They are not always trustworthy as the hardware makers change chips from one production run to the other without changing name to the component (e.g. the Netgear MA111 USB wireless donge). This is a thing I really hate!

I wish them well and I hope that the idea really takes off, users will definitely benefit. Mandriva, Fedora and Ubuntu with their large user base and diverse community are realistically the only ones with a good starting point to create a large and meaningful database.

Even nicer would be the possibility to adapt the package and distribute it with other distributions as well, making the database even larger and more userful for non-Mandrivians (this is wishful thinking, but dreaming is not forbidden, right?)

In this way perhaps manufacturers of open and reliable hardware will benefit, pushing others to imitate them.

Steff

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Not the first initiative...
by AdamW on Wed 25th Jan 2006 23:47 in reply to "Not the first initiative..."
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

I checked the HCLs of all the other major distros while we were building the new MDV HCL: I couldn't find a similar one for any other distro. Do you have a link to the Ubuntu one? The hardware database and the tool for uploading your system has actually existed in Mandriva for a while now - it was previously used for the Testzilla system for having users do simple tests on packages. It's just the extra glue and the web front end to turn it into an HCL that's new. The closest thing I could find to an HCL for Ubuntu was a rather chaotic Wiki page. Red Hat's HCL is quite similar to our old one (i.e. top down and seemingly rather small). SUSE's was the best, in my opinion - it has a very nice interface but it's also top down and doesn't seem to cover 10.0 yet.

The tool should be portable to other distros but not quite trivially - it builds on the lspcidrake we have in Mandriva which is slightly different from the standard lspci (different format of output, different hardware categories, probably some other stuff), so that would have to be ported too. Then of course we don't have any provision for choosing non-Mandriva products in the web front end. I think the database can be useful for users of other distros, though, as it's usually the case that if a component works in one distro it's at least _possible_ to make it work in any other, though it might require some more work (hand-building a module etc).

Edited 2006-01-25 23:49

Reply Parent Score: 1