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Not compatible? You have just about covered installing Linux on a Chromebook laptop, but what about those of us who want a desktop with a bit more power and capability? Suppliers of components (motherboards, CPUs and so on) all profess a total ignorance of Linux, and offer no help or advice regarding component suitability. From somewhere I seem to remember there was a compatibility site – does such a thing continue to exist, and is it up to date? Maybe you could run a hardware list of the components you use. Because all the wonderful software is useless if there is no hardware on which it can be run. Peter Brearey
Neil says I’m just going to come out and say it (until someone tells me to stop): 90 per cent of core components are
Linux-compatible. There’s certainly a large range of peripherals – usually USB-based, certainly Wi-Fi dongles – that you do need to check will work, but that’s a more complicated area. When we’re talking motherboards, processors, memory, drives, displays, these are core PC components that are designed to work around the core interface protocols that make a PC modular and the parts interchangeable. As Linux recognises those protocols – as they are open standards – the Linux kernel will work. There’s way more to this and it sounds like it could be part of a feature… That’s not to say you might not run into the odd issue, but then you can say the same to Windows users. Having said that, with motherboards I can imagine there being issues with individual parts such as Ethernet, Bluetooth or audio components. But if you stick to well-known makes that use Intel or Broadcom
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* For full terms and conditions see: www.futureplc.com/terms-conditions 16 LXF254 September 2019
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